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Refrigerators have long been considered the center of many kitchens. With the recent upgrades and technological innovations that appliance brands have been releasing, fridges can connect through Wi-Fi to your phone, are more energy-efficient models, and have edge-to-edge-shelving that stores more food. Additionally, many people are ditching the basic white and stainless steel models in favor of customizing their fridges to match the interior of their kitchens.
Because of this, consumers are curious about how long their refrigerators will remain in good condition. Fridges are a large purchase, and maximizing their lifespan is important. Here’s what you need to know about how long a refrigerator should last.
How Long Does A Refrigerators Last?
Refrigerators can last anywhere from 10-20 years, but their average lifespan is 12-14 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
How Do I Know If My Fridge is Dying?
Your refrigerator will likely need a tune-up or replacement part sometime along the way, but you may be unsure if your fridge is on its last legs or if it can be salvaged. The good news is there are some things you can look out for.
- Your food is going bad: If your food suddenly starts going bad much quicker than it used to, it’s likely that your fridge no longer has the power required to safely sustain food storage.
- Frost inside the fridge: This means that warm air is circulating inside the fridge, whether it be from leaving the fridge open or from the fridge no longer being able to cool down the interior.
- The fridge is running hot to the touch: While the workings of refrigerators mean that warm refrigerant exits the fridge and heats up the coils on the back or bottom of the fridge, no other area of the fridge should be warm.
- The motor keeps running: While you will occasionally hear your fridge’s motor, it shouldn’t be continuously running, and it shouldn’t be super loud.
- Your energy bill is higher than before: While this could be due to many factors, if you know that your fridge has been struggling, it’s worth checking to see if it’s the cause of your mounting utility bills. If it is, you can then swap it for a more energy-efficient model.
How Do I Know If I Should Replace My Fridge or Repair It?
There are two main factors in deciding if you should replace or repair your fridge, your fridge’s age, and the area that needs repair. If it is a mid-aged fridge that needs a completely new compressor and condenser, it might be time for a new one. If it is an older fridge that just needs a new shelf but is otherwise running fine, you can probably keep it.
How Do I Extend the Lifespan of my Refrigerator?
Refrigerators need upkeep the same way other appliances do, and a good place to start is to check the seal around the door of the fridge. Make it a habit to regularly clean it and make sure it forms a total and complete seal. Your fridge’s condenser coils also need regular cleaning to remove any dust, errant food particles, or other debris that can compromise them. Unplug your fridge, then look for the coils on the bottom or back of your fridge and gently clean them.
Adequate air circulation is also key to maintaining the health of your fridge. So contrary to popular belief, the top of your fridge shouldn’t be used for storage.
The lifespan of mini or compact fridges ranges from 4-12 years, but on average they last about 8 years.
The interior shelves and drawers of your fridge should be cleaned regularly to clear away any food debris or spills, while the sides and bottoms of your fridge should be cleared to ensure that the mechanics of the fridge are free and clear and work properly.
Fridges can connect to Wi-Fi, cool more efficiently, and create more ice shapes than just crushed and cubed. You can also look for features like see-through glass doors, voice-command door open, as well as touchscreen doors.
On average, you can expect your dishwasher and washing machine to last 12 years, your stove to last about 18 years, and your microwave to run smoothly for about 7-10 years.
When the condenser coils on the bottom or back become dust or debris-covered, they can’t work as they need to, and it’ll put stress on the compressor and other parts of the fridge to work harder to cool the fridge.