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When Is It Time for a New Refrigerator?

You Are Here:   Home > Automatic Appliance Parts Blog > When Is It Time for a New Refrigerator?

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Is there so much frost in your freezer that you hardly have room for food? When you crack open a soft drink right out of the fridge, is it barely cool instead of ice cold? It sounds like it might be time for you to replace your old refrigerator with a newer model. Maybe the issues you're experiencing aren't that dramatic, but how can you tell whether it's time to call a repair person, start saving for the inevitable, or go buy a new fridge today? This helpful list is full of signs your fridge is starting to decline.

Your Food Doesn't Last as Long

When a refrigerator is outdated or struggling to work properly, it's common for food to spoil before its expiration date. Another sign is if it takes longer than usual to cool items such as drinks. Subpar power due to age or other problems can make it difficult for the fridge to keep a consistent temperature.

You should keep perishable items at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to food safety standards. If the temperature change settings or knob are correct, but a thermometer you placed inside the fridge is telling a different story, then it's time to invest in a newer model.

The Back of Your Fridge Runs Hot

Your refrigerator's motor and coils are typically located near the back wall. If you feel the back of your fridge with your hand, it's normal for it to be a little warm. However, if the back of your fridge feels excessively warm or is radiating a large amount of heat, then there might be an issue with the motor or coils. If your fridge isn't too old, then calling an appliance repair company is probably the way to go. If your fridge is older, it's not really worth the hundreds of dollars in repairs and likely needs to be replaced.

Condensation Appears Inside Your Fridge

Excessive sweating outside or inside your refrigerator is definitely a warning sign. For exterior moisture, check the rubber seal around the door for mold, mildew, or damage. This indicates the rubber seal is faulty, and it needs to be replaced. If you're handy, you can do it yourself with supplies from your local home improvement store, or you can call a repair company to come out and replace it. For interior moisture, the problem could be the seal, but it's more likely the appliance can't maintain a cool temperature, and it's time to replace your fridge.

Frost Grows in Your Freezer

Along those same lines, if your freezer has turned into a winter wonderland, then the appliance is probably running inefficiently and is outdated. You can remedy the situation by shutting off the freezer, letting the ice melt, wiping the freezer dry, then turning it back on. If the frost comes back quickly, you can practically see it growing every time you open the freezer, or you have to chisel your food out of the ice, you have a problem. New appliances have automatic defrosting features, reducing energy costs, eliminating manual defrosting, and making frosty freezers a thing of the past.

Your Fridge Doesn't Sound Right

A refrigerator normally emits a soft hum. When it either sounds really loud or totally quiet, that could be a sign its time for a new model. If your refrigerator is buzzing loudly, try unplugging it from the wall and plugging it back in. If the loud buzzing starts back up, then your fridge is likely dying. On the other hand, a completely quiet fridge, along with warmer temperatures, probably means a broken compressor. You can check the breaker and try unplugging and plugging it back in, but if you don't hear the compressor turn on, that's a bad sign.

Fridge Needs Frequent Repairs

Maintenance-related problems and the need for small repairs increase as a refrigerator reaches the end of its service. While it might seem less expensive to fix small problems, eventually the repair costs outweigh replacement costs. Typically, you'll save money in the long run by replacing your old fridge with a more reliable and energy-efficient model. Rather than wait until your fridge dies, forcing you to buy a new one while your food spoils on the counter, start looking now. Research the latest fridge technology, compare similar models of styles you like, and watch for sales or discounts.

Increased Electric Bill

If your energy bill has gone up, try plugging an energy usage monitor into your fridge's outlet to see if it's using excessive electricity. The monitor can help you figure out if your fridge is outdated by determining the wattage amount it's using and the monthly estimated cost of its electricity. You can purchase a monitor at your local home improvement store or see if your local utility company lends monitors to homeowners. New refrigerators are more energy-efficient than older ones, which not only saves you money on utility bills but also helps the environment.

Your Fridge Is Advancing in Years

Your average top or bottom freezer refrigerator will last about 10 to 15 years, while side-by-side refrigerators will last about seven years. While some older models have lasted decades, they consume massive amounts of energy and are more expensive to fix when they need repairs. If your fridge is advancing in years, meaning five years or older for a side-by-side or 10 years or older for top and bottom models, there's no doubt technology and energy efficiency have improved, and it's a good idea to start saving for a new model.

Well, there you have it, the major signs it's time to invest in a new refrigerator. Here at Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation, we know how stressful it can be when your fridge starts acting up or suddenly stops working. For more than 50 years, we've been helping our community with quality appliance parts and accessories. If you're having trouble with your refrigerator or you're not sure if it's time for a newer model, give us a call so can help you diagnose the issue and provide you with quality parts.