Is my freezer worth repairing?

Upright Freezer

Here are a few things to check.

When you’re done reading, if you still aren’t sure, give me a call and I’ll give you a good idea if it’s worth it, for free.


  • You can see frost on the back wall of the freezer.
  • You hear a grinding noise in the back of the freezer (this is the fan hitting built up frost).


  • It’s not defrosting. The defrost system is fixable for much less than the cost of replacing the freezer.

What to do: Fix It!


  • It’s clicking on and off but not running.


  • It might be a bad compressor, which isn’t worth repairing, or it might just be a bad start relay or fan motor, which is definitely worth fixing.

What to do:


Energy Efficiency

If you’re going to replace a pre-1980 freezer with a new one, the payback period could easily be less than a year, so if you have a very old freezer, just replace it. You’ll get your money back in electricity very quickly, then it’s “free money” after that.

These are just some general guidelines. If you would like to discuss it, give me a call and I can help you decide.

A note about expensive built-in freezers like Sub-Zero. . .

These should nearly always be fixed, since even an expensive repair would be less than $2,000 and a replacement would require ordering new panels, probably getting a finish carpenter to work the new one into your kitchen and getting movers and a service technician to safely get the old one out without damaging anything.

In short, if you have a Sub-Zero or anything similar, replacement can easily cost more than $10,000, so even an expensive repair is still a comparatively great deal.