A freezer door has a door seal placed around the inside edge. The purpose of this seal is to keep the freezer door air-tight to prevent warmer air from coming in and cooler air from leaving. It also helps to limit the amount of moisture that is able to get in, stopping ice buildup. Over time this seal will begin to wear out, wasting energy, money, and food if you're not careful. If you notice signs of cracking or rotting, your seal needs replacing as soon as possible, and here's how you can do it.
Step 1: Buy the Seal
If possible try to find a door seal that is designed for your model of the freezer. If not, you can find generic door seals at most hardware stores. You will need to cut the seal to the correct size for proper operation, but before beginning, inspect the seal you've purchased carefully. Look for cracks, tears, or weak-looking spots which may cause problems and exchange it if needed.
Step 2: Defrost Freezer
Before you can get to work, you will need the freezer to be defrosted. This is to make sure there is no ice buildup behind the existing door seal and to allow you to clean it more easily before installing the new one. Remove all of the food in your freezer and disconnect it, leaving the door open until it has fully defrosted. Leave a towel or pan in place to catch any excess water from your defrost.
Step 3: Remove the Old Seal
If you did end up with a generic brand freezer seal, make sure to measure your old seal to get the right size for your new pieces.
On most models, there is a brace on the underside of the door which holds the seal in place. Gently lift your existing seal to expose the screws holding the brace in place, and loosen these until you are able to pull the seal out. It won't be necessary to remove the screws completely.
Step 5: Clean the Bracket
Use a rag to clean thoroughly under and around the bracket. This would also be a good time to clean the inside of the freezer thoroughly while all the food is out and it is already defrosted.
Step 6: Install the New Seal
Gently push the new seal in underneath the bracket. As you move along tighten each one of the screws down until it is firmly in place.
Step 7: Test the New Seal
Open and close the door several times. If the seal is functioning properly, the door should close tightly. Turn the freezer back on and allow it 15 to 20 minutes to get cold. Run your fingers along the edges to determine if any cold air is leaking out. If you feel anything, open the freezer and check the seal in those locations for cracks and to ensure that the bracket is screwed in tight.