ARTICLE

How long do fridges last?
Find out when to replace yours

December 30th 2020 - 8 min read

Your refrigerator is typically one of those home appliances you don’t often think about – until you have to. There can be a lot of factors that affect the lifespan of a fridge and you don’t necessarily have to wait until it stops working to upgrade or repair your refrigerator.

In this article, we’ll share some helpful information on the lifespan of a fridge, when to replace a fridge and offer up a few great options if you’re ready to get a new one.

How long do fridges last

Does a fridge have a lifespan?

Every appliance has a lifespan but it can be difficult to say exactly how long a fridge will last. The longevity of your refrigerator depends on the make and model and how you take care of it. Fridges have also improved significantly over the last few years and smart fridges are becoming the new norm in Australian homes.

Before you start worrying about the lifespan of your fridge, why not take some time to learn a little more about this key appliance by checking out our Fridge Buying Guide Inside you’ll find information and tips on how to choose the best fridge for your needs.

How often should you replace your refrigerator?

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your fridge isn’t functioning like a fridge should – e.g your food is spoiling, parts are broken beyond repair or you’ve just outgrown its size – you might want to look at replacing it. There are also other tell-tale signs that it might be time to update your fridge, some of which you may not be aware of.

“The longevity of your refrigerator depends on the make and model and how you take care of it.”

How to tell if your fridge is dying

It might sound a little melodramatic, but when your fridge is ‘on the way out’ there are some key things to keep an eye out for. If you notice something different about how your fridge functions, then that might be your first sign.

Fridge temperature keeps changing

This is an obvious one. If the inside of your fridge switches from freezing to warm (or is one or the other), it might be an indication that something is wrong. A fridge should keep food cool – if you place your hand inside it should feel cold.

Keep an eye on excessive heat coming from the exterior of your fridge, particularly at the back where all the electronics usually are. If it starts to get uncomfortably hot back there, it’s definitely worth investigating further.

Broken seal

If your fridge door opens without any resistance, that might be a sign that the seal isn’t working as it should. A tight seal is important as it’s what allows the fridge to maintain the right temperature and keep all that cool air circulating. Even if the fridge shuts down and stops working, a strong seal will still keep the fridge cool for a few hours.

Pro Tip: You can test the seal of your fridge by putting a piece of paper in the door and closing it. If the paper stays put, the seal is good. If the paper drops to the floor, it could be time to call a professional in to check it out.

Defrosting regularly

Most modern fridges are designed to be frost free, so if you’re constantly dealing with a winter wonderland, it might need your attention. The same goes for mould and mildew, if you keep finding it in the corners of the fridge that could be a sign that your fridge or freezer is defrosting.

High electricity bills

While you can’t blame your skyrocketing electricity bills entirely on your fridge, if it's an older model, it might be contributing (especially if your fridge is more than 10 years old). When you’re looking to update your fridge, take the energy rating into consideration. When shopping for a fridge you might have noticed they all have a star rating. As a general rule, the higher star rating, the more energy efficient the fridge is.

Noisy

Your kids might think it’s a ghost, but you know it’s your fridge going bump in the night! When a fridge needs to be replaced, one of the most obvious (and annoying) signs are the noises. The gentle hum of a fridge might be nice for some, but loud crunches, alarms or constant ringing could be an indication that it’s time for an upgrade.

Handy ways to make your fridge last longer

The good news is, there’s plenty of things you can do to extend the lifespan of your fridge. So if you’re looking to get a few more years out of your current fridge or want to make sure your next one lasts a little longer, check out the tips below.

Clear and clean the air vents

Wiping down and cleaning the air vents will reduce the amount of dust or particles that build up. This will help to keep the air temperature consistent, and your food fresh and cool.

Clean and lubricate the door seals

You already know how important the door seals are for the health of your fridge. Take a warm, damp cloth and clean the seals regularly to remove any dirt or grime. This will improve the suction of the seals and if you add lubricant, all the better.

Change out the water filter

If your fridge has a water filter, you’ll ideally want to replace it every six months or so, depending on the make or model. Be wary of cheap filter alternatives and read the instructions for your fridge to make sure you remove and reinstall it properly.

Setting the right fridge temperature

This is an important one – perishable foods need to be kept at certain temperatures so they don’t go bad. Try using a thermometer to get the conditions just right. The right temperature for your fridge is the one that will suit the contents. Most manufacturers recommend 0 to 4 degrees celsius for fresh food, -18 degrees celsius for your freezer and the chiller compartment should be close to 0. These figures are a guide only, so it’s best to do your own research or check your fridge’s manual for more information.

When should you replace or repair your fridge?

Keep in mind that the older your fridge is, the more expensive it may be to repair, mostly because it might be difficult to find the right parts. Depending on the make and model, it might be an easy fix or simply impossible to do. If the cost of repairs are going to be more than the price of a new refrigerator, it might be time to upgrade.

What types of fridges to consider when replacing

There are four popular types of fridges to check out if you’re looking to replace your current model, they are, top mount, bottom mount, French door and side by side. The biggest difference between these fridges is where the fridge and freezer are situated and how the doors function.

Top mount fridge

A top mount fridge has the freezer sitting on top of the fridge. It’s the most traditional style of modern fridges and is a common choice for many Australian families. If you’re looking for a top mount fridge, take a look at the Samsung 318L Top Mount Refrigerator or LG 441L Top Mount Refrigerator. Both of these fridges are sleek, powerful and offer a range of features designed to keep your food fresh, cool and safe.

Bottom mount fridges

Bottom mount fridges are the reverse, with the fridge on top of the freezer section. Frozen food is often used less than fresh food, so having the freezer at the bottom and the fridge at eye level saves you having to bend down all the time to look inside. You might like to check out the impressive Samsung 336L Bottom Mount Refrigerator or the LG 454L Bottom Mount Refrigerator. These bottom mount fridges both have a good energy star rating and are easy to clean, making them a great option for family homes.

French door fridges

French door fridges tend to have larger door bins and wider shelves so you can maximise storage space. Take, for example, the LG 706L InstaView Refrigerator – its compact design and InstaView Door-in-Door access uses the latest tech to help you save energy and time when you’re ready to cook.

Similarly, the Haier 514L French Door Refrigerator holds a spacious layout and a special MyZone adjustable temperature zone you can control to store food and beverages at specific temperatures. French door fridges are known for their consistent freezer temperature, so if you’re always on the go and into meal prepping, this might be a great option for you.

Side by side fridges

Side by side fridges are as the name suggests: the fridge and freezer are vertically placed next to each other. Our top picks for side by side fridges are the Samsung 696L Side By Side Refrigerator and the Hisense 624L Side By Side Refrigerator.

Perfect for keen entertainers and large families alike, the Samsung fridge offers all-around cooling technology for even temperatures. The Hisense fridge has a non-plumbed water dispenser for quick access to cool, fresh water and adjustable spill-proof glass shelves that are easy to clean and keep tidy.

Shop online and replace your fridge with the latest by The Good Guys

If you’re in the market for an upgrade, check out our fridge sale for all the best deals. We’ve also put together a selection of cheap fridges if you’re working within a budget. And don’t forget –The Good Guys Home Services can arrange fridge installation for you and take the hard work out of bringing your new fridge home. We'll even get rid of your old fridge for you!

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