5 Simple Tips To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Refrigerator

If your refrigerator is more than 3-5 years old you may need to be mindful about its usage; in fact if your fridge is quite new it’s never too early to start paying mind to how you’re using it. The older your fridge the more you have to pay attention to its maintenance and servicing. Refrigerators typically last between 10 to 15 years. Frequent use, heavy loading and inconsistent servicing can shorten a refrigerator's lifespan.

Regular cleaning and maintenance can help extend the life of your appliance. Older refrigerators are typically less energy-efficient compared to newer models. If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills, it could be due to your ageing refrigerator working harder to maintain temperature. 

There are some simple things you can do at home minimizing the number of times you open the door and avoiding leaving it open for extended periods or avoiding placing hot food directly into the refrigerator. Here are some other things you can do to extend your fridge’s lifespan.

Clean condenser coil regularly

The condenser coils should be cleaned every six months, usually located at the back or underneath the refrigerator. You should ideally hire an expert to clean the coils. Dust and debris can accumulate on the coils and reduce their efficiency. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a coil cleaning brush to gently remove dust and dirt.

You should also regularly clean the interior of your refrigerator to prevent mould, mildew, and unpleasant odours. Remove all food items, shelves, and drawers. Use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to wipe down all surfaces. 

The exterior, including the door seals (gaskets), should also be cleaned periodically. Wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Pay special attention to the gaskets, as dirt and residue can prevent them from sealing properly since that can lead to energy loss and overworking the compressor.

Avoid Overloading

Do not overload the refrigerator as it can restrict airflow and force the appliance to work harder. Ensure that there is enough space between items for air to circulate freely. This not only helps in maintaining an even temperature but also reduces the strain on the compressor.

Check the door seals regularly to ensure they are sealing properly. A simple test is to close the door on a piece of paper; if you can pull the paper out easily, the seal may need to be replaced. Tight seals prevent warm air from entering the refrigerator, keeping the temperature stable and reducing energy consumption. You can also make sure that you maintain the correct temperature settings is crucial for the efficient operation of your refrigerator. 

Ensure the right placement and ventilation

Ensure that your refrigerator is placed in a well-ventilated area, away from heat sources such as ovens, stoves, or direct sunlight. Heat can cause the appliance to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, shortening its lifespan. Leave sufficient clearance around the refrigerator for proper airflow. 

Most manufacturers recommend at least an inch of space on all sides and at the back. Adequate ventilation helps the compressor and condenser coils to dissipate heat effectively, improving efficiency and longevity.

Don’t delay servicing or repair issues

If you notice any unusual noises, leaks, or fluctuations in temperature, address these issues promptly. Ignoring minor problems can lead to major breakdowns that are more costly to repair and can significantly shorten the lifespan of your refrigerator.

Schedule professional servicing at least once a year or every six months. A qualified technician can inspect the appliance for potential issues, perform necessary adjustments, and ensure that all components are functioning correctly. Regular servicing can help identify and fix problems before they become serious, extending the life of your refrigerator.

Defrost Regularly

If you have a manual defrost refrigerator, make sure to defrost it regularly. Ice buildup can reduce the efficiency of the appliance and increase energy consumption. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for defrosting to prevent damage to the unit.

Many modern refrigerators come with an energy-saving mode. Utilize this feature to reduce energy consumption when the refrigerator is not heavily used, such as during vacations or off-peak hours. Ensure that your refrigerator is well-insulated and protected from extreme temperatures and not in a garage or an area.