Cost to repair a freezer

Expect to spend a few hundred dollars on a freezer repair

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Freezers are more fickle than you think. With the low temperatures, complex parts and unique designs, repairs can vary widely in price and scope. Smaller, stand-alone freezers are often more affordable to repair than large ones or those connected to a refrigerator. And if it’s a higher-end model or has built-in smart technology, you could see price tags of $650-plus for some repairs.

We spoke with appliance repair technicians across the country, finding the cost to repair a freezer typically falls between $250 and $500, depending on the problem and region where you live. Learn more about what impacts the cost to repair a freezer and how much you should expect to pay for the most common services.


Key insights

  • Costs can range anywhere from $50 to $650 depending on the type, component and brand.
  • The most expensive repairs include a broken compressor and control board.
  • Portable and chest freezers are usually cheaper to repair than upright and drawer freezers.

Types of freezer repairs and costs

The biggest factor in the cost of a freezer repair is what’s broken. Something as simple as swapping out a lightbulb could run you as low as $50. But if it’s a broken compressor or control board, you may pay up to $650, depending on the size and type of freezer.

Coils

Clean the coils about once every six months to prevent dust buildup.

Excess dirt is one common reason your coils may not be working properly. Instead of releasing heat like they’re supposed to, the buildup of dirt can cause them to actually retain it instead. This can be a cheap, easy fix if they’re just dirty. But if they’re broken, it could cost up to $440.

Compressor

The compressor is a key component of your freezer, helping to keep a balanced temperature by moving coolant through the system. When it’s not working correctly, your freezer will have a hard time maintaining a consistent temperature.

If you have a smaller, stand-alone freezer, you may consider just replacing it completely instead of paying the high cost to repair the compressor, which is often between $250 to $650.

Control board

One of the most expensive and complicated parts of your freezer, a broken control board means quite a bit out of pocket for repair. This piece of technology handles all your freezer's major functions, from temperature alerts to defrost cycles. To repair it, you'll pay between $300 to $650 on average, although higher-end models could be more.

Defrost motor

Some freezers have built-in defrost motors, also called evaporator fan motors, to help keep the freezer frost-free and operating at peak capacity. They operate automatically on a regular basis to heat up the freezer slightly as needed. If they’re broken, temperatures can spike unexpectedly and lead to over-freezing or spoiled food. This repair costs between $100 to $440 usually.

Door dent

While unsightly, most door dents don’t usually require an immediate repair — which is good because the cost can vary quite a bit depending on the dent size, type of freezer and its material. In some cases, the entire door may have to be replaced, which could cost as much as $700.

Door seal

A door seal, on the other hand, can’t be ignored. With a bad seal, your freezer won’t maintain its temperature or will lose the ability to stay shut completely. Luckily, this is usually a simple and relatively affordable repair, costing as low as $100.

Thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t visibly showing the temperature but is working just fine, you could just avoid this repair altogether. But if it’s unexpectedly altering the temperature up and down via a malfunction, you’ll want to get it fixed. This could cost between $75 to $200, depending on the situation and if the repair tech needs to defrost your freezer to access the thermostat.

» LEARN: How to clean and maintain your refrigerator

Cost of repair by freezer type

There are four main types of freezers: portable, chest, upright and drawer freezers. Depending on the size and complexity of the system, repair costs can range pretty widely from type to type.

  • Portable freezers can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 to repair. Because they’re designed to be taken on the go, they’re lightweight and easily broken if handled incorrectly. The most common repairs for this type of freezer are specific to the seal and the floor of the freezer.
  • Chest freezers, which are often found in basements and garages, cost between $50 to $400 to repair. While often pretty large, they’re usually pretty simple in design — making them more affordable to repair when something goes wrong.
  • Upright freezers look and operate like a refrigerator, offering easier access to your frozen goods without digging through drawers or a big chest. They vary in design, complexity and size, meaning their repair costs also vary. Depending on the situation, you could spend anywhere from $50 to $500 repairing an upright freezer.
  • Drawer freezers are higher-end freezers designed to blend in with your kitchen cabinetry. They’re pretty expensive on their own, meaning repairs are often higher as well. On average, you’ll pay somewhere between $75 to $500 on repairs. The most common repairs for this type of freezer are to fix the roller tracks, seals and the front of the drawer.

» COMPARE: Best freezer brands

Signs you need freezer repair

According to Dave Roebel of Northeast Mechanical Services, an HVAC company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a freezer should last you about 15 years if maintained properly. But if you notice any of these signs, he says to call a repair tech right away before your food spoils and the problem worsens.

Loud noises

Unusual or loud noises like grinding, clicking or buzzing can indicate a malfunctioning compressor or motor. If you start to notice random sounds coming from your freezer (ones that aren’t related to ice dropping), there’s something wrong with your system.

Frost buildup can lead to freezer burn, bad odors and damage to the appliance.

Frost buildup

Noticing a lot of frost or ice on your frozen food? First, check that your settings are correct. If it’s not as simple as a temperature change, you may have a bigger problem. Frequent and excessive frost buildup can indicate a problem with the freezer's cooling system, Roebel said.

Not maintaining temperature

If your freezer can't maintain a consistently cold temperature, leading to thawed or partially thawed food, it's a sign that it may need help. This could be anything from a compressor to the thermostat to a bad seal.

Leaks

If water or ice starts pooling inside or outside your freezer, you may have a clogged or damaged drain. In some cases, this could be an easy fix; in others, it may cost you quite a bit out of pocket — and not just in repairs. If left untreated, it could lead to other types of damage to your flooring or foundation.

» SPOT LEAKS: Best water leak detectors

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    How long does it take to repair a freezer?

    If it’s a simple repair and all the parts are immediately available, a repair tech could do the job in as little as an hour. But if the parts are back-ordered, or it’s not immediately clear what the problem is, it could take a few hours or a few days to get the freezer back in working condition.

    A reviewer from Virgina had to contend with back-ordered parts: “The freezer in my refrigerator died. … The problem was that the part was either back-ordered or could not be purchased. So it took almost three weeks to resolve the issue. [The home warranty company] ended up allowing me to just purchase a new refrigerator.”

    How long do freezers last?

    Freezers last between 10 and 20 years, on average, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. The best way to ensure a long life span is to maintain the freezer regularly by cleaning the coils, defrosting it on a regular basis, checking on your gaskets and making sure not to overpack it with food.

    Can I repair a freezer myself?

    If you have some do-it-yourself experience, you can likely fix your freezer independently. Just be aware that some manufacturers will void your warranty if you repair something yourself.

    Simple problems like a bad seal, a leaky ice maker and dirty coils can easily be fixed by a relatively handy homeowner. However, if the problem is related to more technical components, like the compressor or control board, you’ll probably need to call a professional.

    » LEARN: Is an appliance extended warranty worth it?

    Is it cheaper to repair or replace a freezer?

    It depends on the situation if it makes more sense to repair or replace a freezer. If the seal is bad on a chest freezer, spending $100 to repair it is worth it. But if the compressor goes out in your older and cheaper upright freezer, buying a new model may make more sense.

    Compare the repair cost with the cost of buying a new version. And don’t forget to weigh other benefits of replacing a freezer, like upgrading to new tech and snagging a new warranty.

    Do home warranties cover freezers?

    Most home warranty companies don’t cover a stand-alone freezer as a standard part of coverage. In some cases, a company may cover a refrigerator and its included freezer, though. A chest or upright freezer is likely an optional add-on feature.

    Companies may charge anywhere from $5 to $50 for this type of coverage, plus a service fee for the repair (usually between $75 to $150). Depending on the cost of your freezer and if you need a repair during the contract, this may be worth it or may cost you more out of pocket.

    » UNDERSTAND COSTS: How much does a home warranty cost?

    Bottom line

    The cost to repair a freezer can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors. You could spend anywhere from $50 to $650 on a repair, depending on the make, model and issue at hand. In some cases, it may not be worth repairing the freezer and opting to replace it instead.

    And while you may be able to fix it on your own, there are some benefits of hiring a professional — like faster and more accurate repairs — that may outweigh the cost savings. In many cases, attempting a DIY fix can void your warranty altogether.

    So, before you get out your screwdriver, consider getting a professional inspection from a licensed repair tech. That way, you save yourself the time, money and headache of potentially worsening the situation.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Fixr, “ How much does it cost to repair a freezer? ” Accessed Sept. 27, 2023
    2. Forbes, “ How Much Do Freezer Repairs Cost? ” Accessed Sept. 27, 2023
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