How long does a refrigerator last?

Refrigerators are an important element of a household and as a significant appliance, it plays its part nicely. Refrigerators usually tend to last longer than other appliances. On average, refrigerators tend to last around 10 to 13 years depending on the model and the usage. Their lifespan is typically longer than other appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, microwave ovens, etc.

But the longevity entirely depends on how you use your refrigerator, what model you’re using, where you’re placing the refrigerator and what you’re doing for its maintenance. If you want to know more about the lifespan of refrigerators then keep on reading.

What is the average longevity of a refrigerator?

Different studies have shown different results but as per the report of the National Association of Home Builders, on average refrigerators tend to have a lifespan of around 12 to 13 years. It entirely depends on the type of fridge you’re using. For example, a mini-refrigerator has a lesser lifespan which is around 9 years.

These are estimated numbers, depending on your usage and maintenance, refrigerators can last way longer or shorter. The longevity of any equipment entirely depends on what kind of treatment it’s receiving.

Even though you might think that your refrigerator can function for decades without facing any difficulties but the truth is, every refrigerator has it’s one lifetime. All of the brands give a warranty such as this fridge will run smoothly for 10 years. It doesn’t mean that your refrigerator won’t face any difficulties in this 10 year. You might have to replace it after a few years or it may outlast 10 years. It entirely depends on how you’re using it.

As refrigerators are an expensive appliance of the household, people expect them to last a long time. They don’t want to replace it easily.

Estimated lifespan of a refrigerator

If you maintain your refrigerator properly, it should last around 14 to 17 years. But this totally depends on which model you have and what size it is. If you have a compact fridge, it should run smoothly up to a decade. Typically, on average, a refrigerator lasts for 10 years if you do the bare minimum maintenance. If you take proper care, do servicing once a while and clean it often, it will outlast the given time. Depending on the model, some refrigerator can up to two decades.

Exceeding the average lifespan of a refrigerator

If you maintain your refrigerator properly and take good care, the lifespan will automatically exceed. A refrigerator is nothing but a machine. Follow the do’s and don’ts and you’ll see a good result. Make sure that your refrigerator is in a shade and not facing sunlight directly. Direct light from the sun can overheat the refrigerator. So, try to keep away from anything that produces heat. Another important thing is to keep the condenser at a distance from directly touching the wall. Try to cleanse the condenser every once a while. Cleanse the seals of the doors using soap and water.

Often, we treat our refrigerator as a store room for food. We dump different kinds of food inside the fridge and then we forget about them. Refrigerators keep the food fresh for a long time but it can’t revive an expired food. So, clean your fridge once in every weak. Get rid of the rotten expired food. Once in every month, try to clean the fridge thoroughly and look at the temperature. If you see that the inside temperature is not as cool as it should be, then you must call a professional. Even if your fridge is just a year old, don’t hesitate to take the help of a professional. Some refrigerators last over 15 years, some last for 1. If you can spot the issues at the right time and take the needed action, then you might be able to save your refrigerator and make it outlast the average lifespan.

If your refrigerator has outlasted over a decade and you’re thinking of replacing it. Here’s a thing, if your fridge is taking more cost to repair then maybe it’s time you should change it. But if the issues can be resolved easily by repairing once or twice then maybe you can still keep that refrigerator.

How to increase the lifespan of a refrigerator?

If you maintain your refrigerator properly, it will definitely last longer. For that, you’ll have to clean different parts on a regular basis, replace the weak parts, call for services from time to time and so on. Here are some tips on how you can increase the longevity of your refrigerator:

Cleansing of the condenser

Every refrigerator has condenser coils which will be found either on the downside of the fridge or on the back. The condenser coil needs to be cleaned once every 6 months. These coils usually get covered by dust and grime. If the coils have grime, the functionality of the fridge will automatically drop. If you can sense that your fridge is not getting cold, then maybe it’s time to clean the condenser coil. You can use a vacuum cleaner to do the job.

Cleanse the doors using soap

The doors of the refrigerator help to maintain the temperature by not letting the cool air escape. But often you’ll see dust covering the doors which creates a hindrance. If the door gets grime it won’t be closed properly, eventually, the cool air will escape. This will lead the refrigerator to lose its temperature. you can simply clean this mess by using warm soapy water. Make sure you see if there’s any leakage on the seals, if there is then you should probably replace it. You can also lubricate the seals by using some sort of petroleum jelly. It will ensure the flexibility of the seals.

Wipe and cleanse the air vents

Refrigerators usually have air vents that maintain the circulation of cool air. Every now and then you’ll notice that these vents are covered by ice or other elements like food, grime or dirt. Generally, they get a coat of ice over them which stops them from circulating cold air. So, make sure you clean them often without damaging the vents.

Replace the built-in water filter

Nowadays most refrigerators come with a built-in water filter. If your fridge is one of them then make sure you change it in every 6 months. These units usually produce bacteria which is why you need to change it often.

Level the refrigerator properly

Your refrigerator should be straight on the floor. If the alignment is not straight then it will decrease the longevity of the motor. So, make sure your refrigerator is on a level with the ground. You can use a leveler to ensure that the refrigerator is sitting properly.

Place the refrigerator in a well-ventilated area

A lot of people nowadays like to place their refrigerator inside a cabinet or in a very narrow space. Often, they set the fridge at a place where there is no ventilation. A refrigerator needs proper airflow to function at an optimum level. Otherwise, the condenser has to work double the amount. Thus, while placing your fridge, make sure the area is well-ventilated.

Checkup frequently

One of the most important tips is to check your fridge frequently. If you hear any strong noises or if you see that the temperature is falling quickly then bring a professional as soon as possible. The faster you spot the problem, the better result you’ll get.

These are some of the significant ways through which you can increase the lifespan of your refrigerator.

When is the right time to replace a refrigerator?

A refrigerator will never last forever, no matter how well you take care of it. You will have to replace it at some point. You might face some difficulties finding out when is the right time to do that.

Here are some signs which indicate that the time has arrived:

  • It will be unable to maintain the cool temperature.
  • Food will get rotten easily.
  • The side and back of the refrigerator will produce extreme heat.
  • The freezer side will get a thick coat of ice.
  • Your electricity bill will rise all of a sudden even though the usage is still the same.
  • The fridge will start to make heavy noises.

If you’ve bought the refrigerator a decade ago and you start seeing the above signs then maybe it’s time to call a professional.

Bottom line

A refrigerator usually outlives the different equipment of the house. The best way to ensure that is by checking up on your fridge frequently. Try to follow the given tips as much as possible. If you see any signs mentioned above, make sure you call a professional. Now there are a lot of people who like to fix the issues on their own. If you are an expert in this field then you can certainly do that. But if you haven’t repaired a refrigerator before, then it’s better to leave it to a professional. Otherwise, you might end up damaging the fridge entirely.


Related: Best Chest Freezers for Hot Garage – Review and Guide 2021

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