How Long Should A Refrigerator Last? 10 tips to extend the life

The refrigerator is likely the number one most necessary large appliance in your home. But, after this large, expensive purchase, you might be tempted to ask, “how long should a refrigerator last?” Keep reading to find out expert tips from an appliance repair guy.

We’ve all seen those memes about how older appliances seem to last forever. Remember these? But, what about the modern, smart fridge? How long should a refrigerator last?

how long should a refrigerator last

How long can you expect your refrigerator to last?

According to the appliance industry, the average refrigerator should last for somewhere between 10 years all the way up to 18 years.

However, there are many factors that can determine how long your make and model of the refrigerator might last.

We came up with a list of some specific problems depends on the brand which we recommend not to buy

Nevertheless, there are some things that you can do in order to keep your refrigerator up and running at peak efficiency.

If you keep the coils clean, the door seals cleaned, and be sure that you keep all of the vents clear of dust to ensure good airflow.

As part of our research for this article, we came across a series of things that you want to do and a list of things that you do not to do with your refrigerator.

So, for this article, we included 5 Do’s and 5 Do not’s that you should know about your refrigerator. How long should a refrigerator last?

We put together a shortlist of 5 things that you should be doing with your refrigerator and another list of the 5 things that you don’t do with your refrigerator.

Read also: Smart Fridge Features

Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

5 Things that you should do with your refrigerator

Clean it inside and out

While most people remember to clean the inside of the refrigerator on a regular basis.

But not many people remember that the outside of the refrigerator is equally important to be cleaned.

So, next time you decide to go through the contents of your refrigerator and do a thorough cleaning, be sure that you remember to clean the outside to include the coils on the back and top of the refrigerator.

Remember to replace the internal water filter

Since more and more of today’s refrigerators come with either water and ice makers in the door or just an automatic ice maker in the freezer section the refrigerator will have a replaceable water filter.

It is important that this filter is replaced at regular intervals.

You should be able to find the recommended changing times in the owner manual that comes with the refrigerator. 

Replacement filters can easily be purchased on the manufacturer’s website, or at retailers such as Amazon. The cheapest way to order is to get a multi pack and save money on shipping. If your family goes through a lot of filtered water (like mine), you might need two a year.

Note: we may receive a small commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Keep the top of the refrigerator clear

While it might be tempting to use the space on top of your refrigerator as a shelf to hold stuff that you don’t have cabinet space for, but you should always keep it clear.

The biggest reason for this is because the design of the refrigerator allows for the heat to escape through the top of the unit.

Therefore if you stack stuff on top you will impede the release of the heat and that will make the unit less energy efficient.

Keep the freezer section defrosted to ensure proper energy efficiency

The buildup of frost and or ice on the walls of the freezer section of your refrigerator can be bad for the efficiency of your unit.

Even if your refrigerator is one of those “frost-free” models, you can still get some build-up of ice or frost from any excess moisture from foods being put in while they are still warm or foods being left uncovered.

Keep it not completely full

This may seem a little odd, but if you keep your refrigerator full the motors and fans will not have to work as hard to keep everything at the proper temperature.

At the same time, you don’t want to have too much so that the cool air will not circulate well. There has to be a happy medium.

how long should a refrigerator last

Read also: Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

5 Things that you should not do with your refrigerator

Do not overstock the shelves

Too many times a homeowner will make the mistake of packing their refrigerator full.

This can present several problems, the shelves generally are not designed to hold an excessive amount of weight.

Another huge problem is that if there is not enough room for the cool air to circulate freely you can end up overworking the motors and pumps that are part of the cooling system.

This can severely shorten the life expectancy of the refrigerator.

Do not set the thermostat incorrectly

The optimum temperature for any refrigerator is around 40° F (4° C) for the refrigerator section and, 0° F (-18° C) for the freezer section,  check your owner manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

Having the temperature set too high you risk the possibility of spoiling food and having the temperature too low you risk freezing the food.

You should check the temperature periodically to ensure that it is staying constant.

Many of the newer refrigerators are capable of monitoring the temperature and displaying it for you to see more easily.

Don’t neglect the door seals: how long should a refrigerator last?

In order to keep the warmer air out and to keep the colder ait inside the refrigerator all of the doors that can be opened have a seal.

This seal goes completely around the door and if it forms an airtight seal against the body of the refrigerator.

These seals can be made out of a number of different materials depending on the manufacturer of the refrigerator.

To ensure that the seal remains airtight you want to be sure that you keep it clean and maintain it according to the specifications from the manufacturer.

Consult your owner manual to see what they recommend.

Be sure that you store food properly to avoid spoilage

People may not realize but how you prepare your food that you plan to put in the refrigerator will make a difference in how it runs.

If you make a habit of putting leftovers that have not had a chance to cool down you can affect the internal temperature and also cause excessive moisture.

Both of these can cause the cooling system to overwork and the moisture can lead to frost and or ice buildup.

Same thing if you put uncovered leftovers into the refrigerator, this can cause excessive moisture to buildup.

Having hard water if you have water/ice in the door

Most refrigerators on the market today have some type of automatic ice maker or water and ice in the door.

Ordinarily, this is not a major problem for most people.

However, if you live in an area that is known for having hard water, this can be a potential disaster.

Since the refrigerator is usually hooked directly up to the house’s main water supply and if it feeds it inside the refrigerator through a tiny water hose.

This hard water can cause calcium buildup in the ice maker system and that will eventually damage it beyond use. Protection Status