If your freezer door gasket isn't up to par, you'll be losing on two fronts: Higher utility bills and a poor freezer performance.
Sometimes it's easy to spot a trouble gasket because it's either cracked or pieces of it are actually missing. Other times it's more difficult because on first inspection the gasket looks like it's in great shape. Regardless, all it takes is a spot or two that don't form a tight seal, either with the door or where the gasket is glued to the door frame.
It's worth inspecting your freezer door seal a couple of times per year just to make sure it's in peak condition. That way you can replace it at the onset of problems rather than losing money along the way. Or perhaps even worse, let your frozen foods go bad.
What A Bad Freezer Door Gasket Can Do - Worst Case Scenario
If you lose the airtight seal along your freezer door, you stand to lose more than a handful of groceries. It can lead to frosting conditions that the self defrost system can't keep up with.
The condenser coils could freeze over to the point that the automatic defrost system can't keep up, which could lead to several important parts (the freezer defroster heating element, the defrosting relay or thermostat) could go out, requiring repair.
A less painful problem could be the freezing of duct ports and drainage tubes. Not only will the cause the freezer not to defrost, but if we're talking about a fridge-freezer combo unit, cold air will not circulate down (or over) into the fridge portion.
Freezer Door Gaskets By Brand
You shouldn't have any trouble finding a replacement freezer gasket regardless of what brand of appliance you have. Usually all you'll need to know is the manufacturer and the model, occasionally you'll need the serial number so you might as well write it down, too. Refer to your owner's manual for this information, but if you don't have it anymore you should be able to find all this on a metal information plate that's either in the door jamb, near the controls or on the back.
Here is just a short list of the most common freezer (and refrigerator freezer combos) that you'll find replacement parts for: Kenmore, G.E. (General Electric), Amana, Whirlpool, Crosley, Frigidaire and more. And of course that goes for standalone freezers and refrigerator-freezer combos (including side-by-side, freezer on top and freezer on bottom configurations).
Where To Buy A Freezer Door Gasket On The Cheap
You can go the obvious route and order one through your local appliance shop or even an appliance repair specialist, but be prepared to spend three to five times the amount that you could pay if you choose one of the other routes I'll show.
Order Through The Manufacturer. Call (or look up online) the parts department of the actual manufacturer itself. By ordering directly from the factory you can cut out the middleman and pay the same wholesale prices that repairmen pay.
Order Online. Thanks to the Internet, many wholesale dealers are finally accessible to the average DIY guy or gal. You can check out some of the specific appliance parts retailers, or do what I do and order through Amazon. I've never found prices any cheaper than Amazon, even at the specialty websites, and they carry almost anything you could imagine.
Buy From A Local Repair Shop. The prices are higher, but some folks prefer supporting local businesses, even if it means paying several times more money than if they ordered elsewhere. I'm not saying it's a bad choice, I'm just the kind of person who tries to save as much money as possible. If you'd rather support your local businesses even if it costs more money out-of-pocket, than this is probably a good choice.