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How long do refrigerators typically last?

Your refrigerator is a crucial appliance in your home, keeping your food fresh and safe for consumption.

As with any appliance, however, it won’t last forever. So how long can you expect your refrigerator to last?

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that affect the lifespan of a refrigerator and provide some tips for keeping your fridge in good condition.

On average, a refrigerator can last between 10 and 15 years, depending on a variety of factors. One of the most significant factors is the type of refrigerator.

For example, top-freezer models tend to last longer than side-by-side models because they have fewer moving parts. Built-in refrigerators, which are typically more expensive, can last up to 20 years or more.

Another factor that affects the lifespan of your refrigerator is how well you take care of it.

Regular maintenance and cleaning can help extend the life of your fridge. Here are some tips for keeping your refrigerator in good condition:

  1. Keep your fridge clean

    One of the most important ways to care for your refrigerator is to keep it clean. A clean refrigerator not only helps prevent food-borne illnesses, but it can also improve the efficiency and lifespan of the appliance.

    Here are some tips for keeping your refrigerator clean:

    1. Clean spills and stains immediately: If you spill something in your refrigerator, be sure to clean it up immediately. The longer a spill sits, the more difficult it will be to clean, and it can even damage the interior of the fridge.
    2. Wipe down shelves and drawers regularly: Take some time each week to wipe down the shelves and drawers in your refrigerator with a damp cloth or sponge. This will help prevent bacteria and other germs from accumulating.
    3. Check expiration dates: Be sure to check the expiration dates of the food in your fridge regularly, and dispose of any expired items promptly. This will not only keep your fridge clean but also ensure that you’re not consuming expired food.
    4. Keep odors at bay: Odors in your refrigerator can be a sign of bacteria and mold growth. To keep odors at bay, consider using an open box of baking soda in your fridge, or invest in an odor-eliminating product.
    5. Clean the coils: The coils on the back of your refrigerator are responsible for cooling the appliance. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the coils, which can reduce the efficiency of the refrigerator. To clean the coils, simply vacuum them with a brush attachment.

    By following these simple tips for keeping your refrigerator clean, you can help extend the lifespan of your appliance and keep it working efficiently for years to come.

  2. Check the temperature

    Maintaining the proper temperature in your refrigerator is crucial for keeping your food fresh and safe to eat. If the temperature is too warm, your food may spoil more quickly, while if it’s too cold, your food may freeze and become ruined. Not only can this be frustrating and wasteful, but it can also shorten the lifespan of your refrigerator.

    To ensure your refrigerator stays at the proper temperature and to extend its lifespan, follow these tips:

    1. Check the temperature regularly: It’s important to regularly check the temperature inside your refrigerator using a thermometer. The ideal temperature range for a refrigerator is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is outside of this range, adjust the thermostat accordingly.
    2. Keep the door closed: Every time you open the door of your refrigerator, you let warm air in, which can make the appliance work harder to maintain the proper temperature. To reduce the strain on your refrigerator and extend its lifespan, try to keep the door closed as much as possible.
    3. Avoid overloading your fridge: Overloading your refrigerator can cause it to work harder to maintain the proper temperature. To avoid this, only stock your fridge with the amount of food you’ll need for a few days at a time.
    4. Clean the gaskets: The gaskets on the door of your refrigerator are responsible for creating a seal that helps keep the cool air inside. Over time, the gaskets can become dirty or damaged, which can compromise the seal and cause your refrigerator to work harder to maintain the proper temperature. Be sure to clean the gaskets regularly to keep them in good condition.
    5. Allow air circulation: In order for your refrigerator to work efficiently, it needs to have proper air circulation. Be sure to leave some space between items on the shelves, and avoid blocking air vents.

    By following these tips for maintaining the temperature in your refrigerator, you can not only ensure your food stays fresh and safe to eat but also extend the lifespan of your appliance.

  3. Replace the door seal:

    Another important aspect of prolonging the lifespan of your refrigerator is by replacing the door seal. The door seal, also known as the gasket, is responsible for creating an airtight seal around the refrigerator door. This prevents cold air from escaping and warm air from entering the fridge, which can cause the compressor to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, leading to increased energy usage and potential damage to the compressor over time.

    Over time, the door seal can wear out and become less effective, leading to air leaks that cause your fridge to work harder than it needs to. One way to test your door seal is by placing a dollar bill in the door and shutting it. If you can easily pull the dollar bill out, it’s a sign that the seal needs to be replaced. You may also notice condensation or moisture forming around the edges of the door, which can be a sign of a faulty door seal.

    Replacing the door seal is a relatively easy and affordable repair that can be done yourself or by a professional appliance repair technician. It’s recommended to replace the door seal every five years or sooner if you notice signs of wear and tear. This can help to extend the life of your refrigerator and ensure it’s working as efficiently as possible.

    In addition to extending the lifespan of your refrigerator, replacing the door seal can also help to improve the quality and freshness of the food inside. With a tight seal, there is less chance of outside air entering the fridge and causing food to spoil or lose its freshness. This means less wasted food and money, and a healthier fridge overall.

  4. Don’t overfill your fridge

    While it may be tempting to cram your fridge full of food, overfilling it can actually lead to a shorter lifespan. When a refrigerator is overfilled, it can restrict the flow of air, making it harder for the compressor to keep the temperature at the desired level. This can cause the compressor to work harder than it needs to, which can put additional strain on the components and potentially lead to premature wear and tear.

    In addition, an overfilled fridge can make it difficult to keep the interior clean and organized. It can be harder to see what’s in the fridge and where things are located, which can lead to forgotten or expired food. This can contribute to the buildup of mold and bacteria, which can cause unpleasant odors and potential health hazards.

    To prevent overfilling your fridge, it’s important to regularly clean and organize the contents. Take the time to throw out any expired or unused items and wipe down the shelves and drawers. Consider investing in clear containers or bins to help keep similar items together and make it easier to see what’s inside.

    If you find that your fridge is consistently overfilled, it may be time to consider upgrading to a larger model. While this can be a larger investment upfront, it can pay off in the long run by helping to prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator and making it easier to keep clean and organized.

    By being mindful of the amount of food and items you store in your fridge, you can help to extend its lifespan and ensure it’s working as efficiently as possible. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, more organized fridge with fresher, healthier food.

In addition to these tips, there are a few other factors that can affect the lifespan of your refrigerator. For example, the quality of the refrigerator itself can play a role. Cheaper models with lower-quality parts may not last as long as more expensive models with higher-quality parts.

The amount of use your refrigerator gets can also affect its lifespan. If you have a large family or frequently entertain guests, your refrigerator will likely have to work harder than a smaller household.

Finally, it’s important to note that even if your refrigerator is still functioning, it may not be as energy-efficient as newer models. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it may be worth considering an upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. Not only will this save you money on your energy bills, but it can also help reduce your carbon footprint.

In conclusion, the lifespan of your refrigerator depends on a variety of factors, including the type of refrigerator, how well you take care of it, and the quality of the refrigerator itself. By following the tips outlined above and taking good care of your fridge, you can help extend its lifespan and keep your food fresh and safe for years to come. And if you do need to replace your refrigerator, consider investing in a high-quality, energy-efficient model that will last for years.

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