No ice packs won't harm your freezer at all. I also have a bunch of them in mine and they've been there for years.
One rule of thumb with a freezer, the more you have in it, the better it works.
Do you keep your freezer well stocked? If not, try putting bottles of water in there to take up the space. When mine starts running low, I stick 2 liter coke bottles in there filled with water. Having a lot of empty space in your freezer will cause it not to freeze as well.
Ice packs will not cause the freezer to be any hotter than the frozen food you put in the freezer would.So forget what the sign said.First I would check the temp control for the freezer to see if someone had changed the setting.Second I would vacuum the dust that accumulates under and behind the frig.If those are ok then it is time to call a service man for a check up.
I don't see how unless it is because you open and close the freezer a lot to get to them. Most freezer books tell you to keep your freezer as full as possible even if it's just with milk jugs of water or newspapers. The less open space the freezer has to keep cold the better.
Are you sure the thermostat is working properly? How old is the unit? Is it next to a hot window or stove? Is the water line to the ice maker working right? There could be a lot of reasons it's not working correctly. Better check with an appliance repairman.
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