A white Maytag® chest freezer in a storage room

FREEZER PARTS AND COMPONENTS

Your freezer is an essential component of your kitchen, allowing you to store and organize your favorite frozen meals and ingredients for an extended period of time. But if you’re looking to use your freezer to its utmost capacity, it’s a good idea to understand its various components and how they work together. Read on to learn more about the different parts and components of a freezer, including the compressor, condenser and the evaporator, and how they work.

A woman opening a white chest freezer with various frozen items inside A woman opening a white chest freezer with various frozen items inside

HOW DOES A FREEZER WORK?

Most freezers work by using a process of heat transferral to remove heat from the items inside. This is typically done using refrigerant, a chemical that absorbs and gives off heat. The refrigerant cycles through the appliance parts to keep your food freezing cold for long-term storage.

As the various parts of the freezer work to compress and expand the refrigerant, heat is transferred in this circular process that constantly circulates cold air throughout the appliance. This is how a freezer maintains its constant temperature, even when the door is opened.

A diagram of freezer parts A diagram of freezer parts

PARTS OF A FREEZER

Most freezers consist of four main parts: the compressor, the condenser coils, the capillary tube and the evaporator. By removing heat from the air and circulating cold air throughout the freezer, these parts work together to create an optimal environment for long-term food storage.

Read on to learn about how the different parts and components of your freezer work to help make your frozen meals last.

A compressor component

1. COMPRESSOR

Usually located at the lower-back of the appliance, the compressor is responsible for increasing the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant. This component works in tandem with the condenser coils.

Freezer condenser coils

2. CONDENSER COILS

Working together with the compressor, the condenser coils help move the refrigerant along through the appliance. As the compressor pushes the highly-pressurized refrigerant to the condenser coils, the chemical transforms from a vapor into a liquid through this heat transfer process.

3. CAPILLARY TUBE

The capillary tube causes a large drop in pressure that lowers the temperature of the refrigerant as it enters the evaporator so the refrigerant transforms again from a liquid to a vapor.

An evaporator component

4. EVAPORATOR

As it absorbs heat, the evaporator causes the refrigerator to convert back to its low-pressure form. The result is a freezing cold vapor that works to create the optimal long-term storage environment for frozen items. The evaporator is the refrigerant’s final destination before it travels back to the compressor to begin the freezing cycle again.

A white Maytag® chest freezer in a dark room A white Maytag® chest freezer in a dark room

COMMON FREEZER PART QUESTIONS

HOW DO FREEZER COILS WORK?

Freezer coils help to transfer heat from the inside of the freezer to the outside, keeping the interior of the appliance cool for storing items like TV dinners, frozen vegetables and more. Coils are often made of copper, an excellent conductor of heat, and they are usually found inside the freezer.

Freezer coils are an essential part of the heat transfer process that keeps your food frozen. The coils help move refrigerant throughout the appliance as it undergoes changes in temperature and pressure, making the air inside the appliance colder and freezing your food. The coils also help to keep the freezer itself at a consistent temperature, so that your food doesn't thaw and refreeze.

HOW DO YOU CLEAN CONDENSER COILS ON A FREEZER?

Depending on the location of your freezer’s condenser coils, they may not need to be cleaned. To ensure proper maintenance of your appliance, refer to your Owner's Manual for model-specific cleaning instructions.

On Maytag® freezers, the condenser coils are located inside the appliance, making cleaning and care of your freezer more manageable so that you can focus on other kitchen tasks. 

HOW DO YOU DEFROST A FREEZER VENT?

Frost build-up on your freezer vents may cause the appliance to not maintain temperature properly. When frost has built up to about ¼ -inch (6 mm.) thickness, it’s best to defrost and clean the appliance. For help defrosting your Maytag® freezer, follow these tips:

  • Turn the temperature control dial to the coldest setting, approximately 6 hours before defrosting, to ensure frozen food is at the lowest temperature before removing it from the freezer.

  • Remove the freezer basket, if applicable.

  • Unplug the freezer or disconnect power.

  • Remove all frozen food from the appliance, wrapping items in several layers of newspaper and covering them with a blanket. You may also store frozen food in a cooler, additional refrigerator, freezer or in a cool area.

  • If your model has a drain system, first remove the drain cover and rubber stopper. Then, turn the drain so that the arrow is pointing downward, allowing the defrost water to drip out into the hole and flow out of the appliance.

  • If your model doesn’t have a drain system, use a sponge or baster to remove excess water from the freezer bottom and empty the water into a large pan. You can also place pans of hot water in the freezer with the lid open to speed melting. Then, use a plastic scraper to remove frost.

  • At this time, you can gently clean the inside of the freezer using a towel or sponge before rinsing and drying with a clean, soft cloth.

A freezer temperature knob A freezer temperature knob

DO FREEZERS HAVE A RESET BUTTON?

Depending on the model, your freezer may have a reset button that allows you to restart the appliance, such as in the event of a power outage. Exact freezer controls and features can vary across brands, so it’s best to consult your Owner’s Manual for product-specific information on resetting.

To reset your Maytag® freezer or refrigerator, simply power the unit down by turning off the circuit breaker(s) or unplugging the appliance for five to 10 minutes. Power the unit back up by turning on the circuit breaker(s) or plugging the product back in. If applicable, ensure the cooling function is turned on.

HOW DO YOU TELL IF YOUR FREEZER IS BROKEN?

While some causes of freezer malfunction can be fixed by simply cleaning out the shelves for excess food storage, other causes may require a closer look. Knowing about common freezer problems can help you tell whether your freezer is broken and needs professional service.

To tell if your freezer is broken, inspect your appliance for signs of these common freezer problems before calling a technician to address complex internal issues:

  • overpacking

  • frost build-up

  • malfunction start delays

  • defective thermometers

  • improperly sealed door gaskets

SHOP FOR MAYTAG® FREEZERS

When it comes to cooling technology, Maytag® freezers can help you provide the ideal storage environment for frozen meals, snacks and desserts. With features like LED lighting and FastFreeze capability on select models, freezers by Maytag brand deliver a convenient storage solution that complements your routine. Browse the full collection of Maytag® freezers to discover the appliance that’s right for your on-the-go lifestyle. 

Learn more about Maytag® fridges and freezers

Was this article helpful? Pass it on