An average refrigerator lasts for around 13 years. When you buy a new refrigerator, you pay a large sum of money, and you certainly want it to last for a long time. But just after five years, it starts breaking down. A small issue in the compressor or less cooling or something about your refrigerator troubles you.
You look for an appliance repair service and get it repaired. Gradually, these incidents start happening more often than you can tolerate. Ultimately, you give up and just buy a new refrigerator. You wonder what you could do to make your refrigerator longer but then go back to your lazy life until this painful procedure hits you back after another five years.
If you have recently bought a new refrigerator (by recently, I mean in last five years), this post is for you. I can tell you how you can increase the lifespan of your refrigerator. Do you know that some refrigerators work fine even until 17 years? That’s four years longer than the average life expectancy of this appliance. But what’s better is that you have to call up an appliance repair service less often during this time.
Read More: Appliance Repair Tips
Your refrigerator won't trouble you if you maintain it well. Grab a cup of coffee and learn how you can make your refrigerator last longer.
1. Keep it clean
How often do you clean your refrigerator? You might have thought of cleaning it because of the bad smell. Or maybe you spilled something inside. But have you ever thought of maintaining cleanliness to make your appliance last longer? Do you understand what all needs to be done?
First of all, ensure that the refrigerator is clean from inside. That’s more for your hygiene. Clean the interior with warm soapy water at least once a month. If you’re dealing with bad odor, keep a small bowl filled with vinegar and lime inside the refrigerator for a day (while it’s running). It’ll absorb the bad smell.
Then you should try to clean behind your refrigerator at least 2-3 times a year. Do it more often if you have pets. The reason is the coil plays a major role in cooling, and a dirty coil will lead to inefficient cooling and a greater load on the compressor. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the pet hair and dust from this area.
Door seals in a refrigerator often get dirty or greasy. If you haven’t cleaned those since long, use warm soapy water and a cloth to remove the dirt and grease around the seals.
If your fridge has a drip pan, clean it regularly. I would suggest you do it after every two weeks.
Another cleaning activity is defrosting. If you have got an old style fridge which doesn’t have an auto-defrost option, make sure you’re doing it manually every once a while.
2. Don’t let it stay empty (or overfill it)
Let me tell you the reason why I’m suggesting you this. It’s because, for smooth and efficient operation, proper air circulation inside the refrigerator is necessary. To be able to cool the food products kept inside the fridge, the air must pass around freely. Isn’t it obvious how you can make that possible?
If you overfill your refrigerator, it will cause issues with air circulation thereby putting more load on the compressor. What about leaving it empty? Whenever you go for a summer vacation, don’t you remove all the food items from the refrigerator? Doing so doesn’t seem wrong, but it will wear out your refrigerator in the long run. An entirely empty refrigerator has to work harder for cooling and thus, it will put the unnecessary burden on the compressor.
Therefore, you must try not to overfill your fridge or keep it empty.
3. Make it easy for the refrigerator to cool
The easier you make it for your fridge to cool down, the better it is. If it can work smoothly, the compressor will have to work less. What is this compressor? Well, it’s the most important and costliest component of a refrigerator. If it fails, there are least chances for your fridge to fully recover. A compressor replacement costs more than $1000. It is a wise decision to save this component as much as possible.
Did your mother ever suggest you not to keep hot food inside the fridge? You should wait for it to cool down to room temperature and then put in the refrigerator. It’s suggested so because when you put an incredibly hot item inside the fridge, it has to run for a longer time and work hard to cool down. You can stop it from useless exertion by being careful with what you put inside the fridge.
4. Don’t place it near the heat
A refrigerator is more like a window air conditioner. If you keep a window air conditioner in an area where there’s no proper ventilation, you will stand a high risk of damage to the compressor. In fact, it won’t even cool down your room properly.
The situation is quite similar to the refrigerator. If you put it near an area with excessive heat – like near the gas stove, it will put extra load on the compressor. Keep the fridge in a field with lesser temperature and it will last longer. It’s unpractical to suggest you to keep it far away from your kitchen but try to move it in a better place as much as possible.
5. Don’t use the top as a storage space
We are all used to utilize that extra shelf that we get. The top of the fridge is often a place we use for putting boxes of cereals or some food storage boxes. Doing so makes it hard for the refrigerator to get rid of hot air. It usually dumps the hot air through the top and back. When you cover up the top with tens of boxes, the air stays trapped and effects the overall cooling of your refrigerator.
6. Cover the food you store & set it to right temperature
I just added the cover the food advice because it’s gross when smells from different foods mix up inside the refrigerator. Also, food items have moisture on the surface which creates issues with cooling of the interior. Therefore, cover the food you store in your fridge.
Always keep checking the temperature settings. Try not to set a lower temperature than you require. It’s just extra work for the entire appliance. More work makes it wear off faster.
7. Check for signs of problems
Last but not the least, always check for the problems. Stop ignoring them. If your fridge is running all the time or cuts too frequently, it’s the sign of a fault. If you can see ice deposition on the coil outside, it’s the sign of a big flaw. You should also check if the door shuts properly. Put a dollar bill and see if it slips down after the door is closed. If it does, that means the door stays slightly open. It obviously affects the cooling. When you do notice all these issues, don’t ignore them until something serious occurs. Act fast and call an appliance repair service to check and fix the problem.
That’s it! Now you know how you can make your refrigerator last longer. I hope this will help you save up some money and spend it on better things like going on a road trip!