How Long Do Refrigerators Last

Refrigerators are an important part of any kitchen, but however important they might seem they won’t last forever. Every appliance has its life span which surely depends upon the appliance itself. Even the cheapest refrigerators can cost you between $350 to 1000 dollars which is a lot of money and can set you back for the whole month if you plan to buy a new refrigerator. But how to know when you are going to need a new refrigerator or when your current refrigerator is going to give up?

In this article we are going to take a look at the most common signs of refrigerator failures and when you need to start looking for a new refrigerator.How Long Do Refrigerators Last

How long will my refrigerator last?

A typical refrigerator should last you about 10 to 15 years, give or take a few years. Though mostly the lifespan of a refrigerator depends upon which category of the refrigerator it belongs to. For example, refrigerators that have a separate freezer on top or bottom of the main compartment should last you about 10 to 12 years. Also, there are refrigerators which have a freezer inbuilt into the main refrigerator compartment which lasts much less than the previous category. Beyond the mentioned period, the refrigerator loses its cooling efficiency and will work overtime to compensate for the loss which will result in high energy consumption, expensive bills and lower efficiency. If your refrigerator is in this phase currently then you probably should consider buying a new refrigerator as soon as possible.

How to improve the lifespan of a refrigerator?

As seen above, under typical conditions a refrigerator won’t last more than 15 years in any case but if you take care of it properly you can make its life span as long as up to 20 years. There are few things that you should carry out on a regular basis to ensure that your refrigerator is well maintained and working in its finest condition. Here are a few tips that can help you improve the lifespan of your refrigerator –

1. Clean the condenser –

One of the most important working parts of your refrigerator is the condenser coil and the metal tubings surrounding it. Mostly found below or behind the refrigerator’s back, the condenser coil helps to liquefy the vaporized refrigerant from the unit’s compressor to help release hot air from within the refrigerator and pass it on to its surroundings. This helps to lower the temperature inside the refrigerator and keeps it cool.

In case your condenser coils are not working properly which is mostly caused because of dirt and debris getting stuck into the coils, then it can stop working properly resulting in increasing temperatures inside the fridge that in turn spoils your food. Care should be taken that these coils and condenser tubes should be cleaned on a regular basis at least once every two months and if you live in an environment with higher dust amounts you should consider cleaning it more often.

2. Lubricate-

Refrigerators tend to keep the insides of a refrigerator cool by making insulation which keeps hot air outside of the refrigerator and cool air inside. For this purpose, a tight seal should be established between the inner parts of the refrigerator and the outer surroundings.

This work is carried out by the seal applied inside of the door which is also called as the door gasket. The gasket helps to create insulation which seals the interiors with cold air. Over time the rubber in the door gasket gets weakened and produces cracks which can lead to unwanted breaks in the seal causing the air from within the refrigerator to escape.

This makes the interiors of the refrigerator warm over time decreasing the efficiency of the compressor and the condenser. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly lubricate the door gasket and ensure that there are no cracks or tears in the gasket.

3. Clean the vents

You might have noticed small vents located on the inside of fridge walls and on the roof of the freezer, these vents help in circulation of cold air throughout the refrigerator. If these air vents get blocked then cold air may not be able to circulate inside of your refrigerator resulting in increasing temperature and ultimately spoiling your food. So make sure that you clean these events on a regular basis at least once every two months. Also, make sure that you don’t place food items too close to these vents and block them.

4. Regularly troubleshooting small problems –

Minor fridge malfunctions occur all the time in your refrigerator but if you take care of them in time then you might be able to avoid major faults. Some common problems and their solutions have been listed below –

If you ever see a puddle of water forming below your refrigerator or water leaking out of your refrigerator then it might be because of a faulty drain pipe. It is mostly caused when there is a crack or breakage in the water drain pipe that carries water from the dispenser to the cooling unit. To take care of this problem just unplug your refrigerator and check for leakages and cracks in the drain pipe. Before doing anything to the drain pipe make sure that you shut off the valve located near the sink under the fridge. If the pipe is beyond repair then replace it with a new one and make sure that you don’t leave any loose ends.

If you notice that your refrigerator is making too much noise such as a motor whirling around, then probably it is because of your cooling fan located near the condenser coils. To fix this issue access the condenser coil area located below your refrigerator and check for damage in the fan blades or the motor. If the fan blades are worn out make sure to replace them with new ones.

If you ever get to the ice maker trying to get out some ice cubes for your drink and find that there is no ice in the ice maker even though you haven’t altered any settings then it is probably because of the fill pipe that supplies water to the ice maker is clogged with ice. To solve this issue just turn off your refrigerator for an hour or two until the ice in the fill pipe starts to melt away. Or if you are in a hurry then just use a hot air blower onto the pipe and melt all the ice away with the hot air.

5. Know when to replace –

Though the above-given tips will help you to increase the lifespan of your refrigerator, but there comes a time when the refrigerator cannot be repaired anymore and needs to be replaced. Here are a few signs that show that your refrigerator needs to be replaced –

The back side of your refrigerator gets constantly hot generating an excessive amount of heat.

Your food is no longer staying good for as long as it used to earlier.

Frequent condensation on the insides of the fridge even when your door gasket is in pretty good condition.

You frequently find a thick layer of frost on your frozen food items whenever you retrieve them from the freezer.

Your electricity bill shooting to the sky even though when you are not using any electricity heavy appliances.

If you find yourself facing any of these above-given signs with your refrigerator then probably the time has come to replace it with the new one.…

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How often should I change the water filter in my refrigerator?

Nowadays most refrigerators completely equipped with a water filter. These water filters are designed to remove any kind of impurity and bad taste from the water add by processing the water through a combination of carbon filtration and sedimentation process. The water filter in most of the refrigerators contains a black carbon block that is wrapped in a material such as polypropylene.

The water is allowed to flow through these filters mechanically and as the water flows the material removes any debris and suspended particles from the water. The remaining particles that can’t be separated by sedimentation just cling onto the surface of the carbon block.

This process where the impure particles attach to the carbon block is known as adsorption. Unlike absorption where the particles get soaked into the surface, in adsorption, the particles just stick on to the surface instead of going in.


If you haven’t changed your water filter in the refrigerator in a while you should consider changing it as soon as possible. On an average for a family of four, a water filter can last about six to eight months and need to be replaced after that period.I

f you don’t taste any difference in the water quality even after not replacing the water filter for a longer period of time it is because many of the contaminants are tasteless. It is always advised to change the water filters on a regular basis at least every six months if not earlier.

How does a refrigerator water filter work?

The refrigerator water filter makes the use of a carbon block wrapped inside out material such as polypropylene which absorbs any contaminants and removes the rest by the process of sedimentation. A good quality refrigerator water filter can remove harmful elements such as lead chlorine and other volatile organic compounds such as herbicides pesticides and insecticides.

Since the water supplied by your municipal corporation is chlorine-treated, water filtration also helps in improving the taste of the water which has been treated with chlorine prior to distribution. Chemicals such as chloramine that consists of the combination of chlorine and ammonia are used by municipalities to reduce the formation of harmful products such as trihalomethane.

Volatile organic compounds pollute water mostly by the means of air, paints, and preservatives. In certain cases, they can also enter the drinking water by means of industrial waste. Some of these volatile organic compounds are carcinogenic in nature that can cause liver, kidney and reproductive organ problems.

A refrigerator water filter helps to remove any of these chemical and reduce the number of contaminants present in the water. It also helps to reduce the production of bacteria in water and also improve the taste of the water.

What happens if we don’t change your refrigerator water filters regularly?

During the filtration process, the water is separated from the contaminants by the means of carbon which is limited in capacity. And time passes and carbon continues to filter more and more water daily it also slowly wears off. This directly means that the longer you wait to replace your filter the worse quality of water you will get.
Not changing the water filter on a regular basis can also lead to some other problems such as –

Clogging of the filters – it is the water filters separate the contaminants from the water they start to get packed with the dust and contaminants which slowly clogs them completely. This results in a complete stoppage in the flow of water./

Bacterial growth – the contaminants collected by the carbon block start acting as a feeding ground for bacterias which can also get mixed with your drinking water polluting it.

Carbon wears off – as the water continued to flow through the carbon block on a regular basis, all the available surface area of the carbon gets covered in contaminants and debris leaving no space for any new contaminants. This results in water flowing through the carbon block without getting filtered. This will either block the flow of water completely or will just deliver you contaminated water without filtration.

How often should you replace your water filter?

Typically any refrigerator water filter wars out off its effect within 6 months of regular usage for a family of 4 members. The longer you wait to replace the carbon filter after its expiry period the more harmful your water will become.

Nowadays most of the refrigerators come with the water filter indicator that shows the status of the water filter. These water filter indicators typically show a red light when the water filter needs to be replaced.

How to replace the water filter?

Water filters in refrigerators are pretty easy to replace. Though the process might differ for different models of the refrigerator by different manufacturer’s, but the general procedure remains the same. To replace the water filter of your refrigerator just follow the below-given steps –

1.Turn off your refrigerator and pull out the plug. Shut off the water supply for the refrigerator.

2.Locate the water filter. If you don’t know the location of your refrigerator’s water filter you can refer to the manual provided with the refrigerator.

3.Once the water filter is located, turn it anti-clockwise until it gets detached from the container. Now just pull out the water filter rod.

4.Sometimes you may eid need to apply a lot of pressure while pulling the filter rod out from the container as it tends to get jammed because of the excessive dirt collected by it.

5.Now insert the new water filter rod and turn it clockwise to lock it in its place.

6.Now reset the water filter button. This step might differ for different refrigerators, refer your refrigerator’s manual for more information.

7.Once all the above steps are done run water through the new filter for 5 minutes to flush the filter of any unwanted subtances.…

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How to Avoid Refrigerator Repairs

Refrigerators are one of the most common household devices and can be found in everyone’s house. Being an electric device, just like any other device, it is prone to failure or breakdown. Most of the times the repair costs are high if some major component gets damaged. But all the repairs can be minimized if not completely omitted if regular and proper maintenance is done.

In this article, we will walk you through some common and easy to do maintenance tasks that will ensure that your refrigerator works flawlessly.

1. Cleaning the condenser coils –

Condenser coils are a very important part of the refrigerator’s cooling system and malfunctioning coils can significantly increase the low repair or replacement cost of the refrigerator.

Condenser coils help to cool and condense the refrigerant which pushes cool air into the refrigerator. If the condenser coils are clogged or dirty then they will not perform up to their full potential as they will not be able to release the heat much effectively, resulting in degraded performance of the refrigerator. To compensate for this the refrigerator compressor works harder increasing the heat production and also increasing the power usage.

Follow the below steps to clean your condenser coils –

Locate the coils on your fridge. In most refrigerators, they are either located at the bottom of the refrigerator or at the back side of the refrigerator.

Take out the grill protecting the condenser coils and clean the condenser coils with a coil cleaning brush or a clean cloth to loosen the dirt and debris build-up if any.

Try not to clean too harder and bend the fan blades. Once the cleaning is done, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any remaining loosened dirt around or on the coils.

If you have pets or live in an environment with high dust contents then the coils get too clogged up pretty fast and therefore cleaning should be carried out 2 to 3 times a year or more if required.

2. Cleaning the condenser fan –

Most refrigerators nowadays come with a condenser fan. Refrigerators that have their condenser coils located at the bottom usually have condenser fan right next to it. If your refrigerator has its condenser coils at its back then it probably doesn’t have a condenser fan. The condenser fan circulates cool air throughout the refrigerator keeping it cool and maintaining an ideal temperature for the food items inside the refrigerator.

Sometimes dust particles or debris might get stuck into the condenser fan blades and hinder its working and might even completely stop it. Cleaning the condenser fan is pretty easy. Follow the below given steps to clean your condenser fan –

Pull refrigerator away from the wall and access the bottom part of the refrigerator from the backside. Remove the back lower cover using a screwdriver.

Locate the condenser fan and clean its blades with a clean cloth or a brush. Also, clean the crease around the fan and the rotor so that there are no obstructions between the rotor and the motor shaft. This should help the fan blades move much freely and without any suppression.

Put back the cover and cover and screw it back using the screwdriver

3. Cleaning the door gasket –

There are a total of three types of refrigerators which vary by some features but mostly they work on the same principle. All the refrigerators consist of two sets of coils, the evaporator coil, and the condenser coil. The evaporator coil cools down the interiors of the refrigerator and the condenser coils remove any of the accumulated heat. The only difference between these three types of refrigerators is how they handle defrosting.

The oldest types of refrigerators have a manual defrost where you manually need to defrost by turning the refrigerator off and let the ice melt on its own. The second type of refrigerators is the cycle defrost refrigerators. These work in a cycle of building up and removing frost. You need to manually defrost the refrigerator by turning down the dial to the defrost mode. The water from the defrosting of ice is carried by a channel into the back of the fridge through a tube where it is collected under the fridge in a drip tray.

The third category of refrigerators are the refrigerators which are most commonly found nowadays. These refrigerators use a heater coil to heat up the frost and convert it into water. The heater is turned on and shut down automatically using a timer. An evaporator fan distributes the cool air from the water throughout the refrigerator, keeping it cool.

Whichever kind of refrigerator you have, all of them have a gasket in the door which prevents external atmospheric air from reaching inside the fridge. Dirty gasket or gasket having leaks can cause the atmospheric air to interfere with the air within the refrigerator altering the temperatures inside the refrigerator and causing the food to spoil.

To clean the gasket on the door just use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe out any liquid substances are dirt from the gasket. Don’t use any kind of soap or detergent, just use plain water as soap or detergent can damage the gasket.

4. Temperature settings –

Every refrigerator has temperature settings and you should use them to make your refrigerator run more efficiently. It will not prevent damage or repairs but it will surely help to increase the life span of the refrigerator.

The ideal temperature for the refrigerator is between 2 to 4-degree Celsius and below 0-degree Celsius for the freezer. You can adjust the temperature a bit according to the ambient temperature and season but mostly the temperature should be kept within this range only.

It is advised to keep the temperature knob in the middle settings for the best results. Also, use an external thermometer to monitor the temperature of the refrigerator from time to time in case your internal thermometer is defective.

5. Clean the drip and freezer vents –

If you have a frost free fridge you’ll notice the small vents on the inside of the freezer. These are the air vents that help to calculate the air in and out of the freezer. Unobstructed circulation of air is required for the proper functioning of the freezer. Make sure not to keep any food items too close to the vents and block them. Also, clean the vents off any dirt or buildup on a regular basis.

If your refrigerator is a cycle-defrost type, then it will regularly go under a defrost cycle where all the frost is melted into water and slowly dripped to flow down pan below the refrigerator. In such refrigerators, there is a tube that directs the water into the food compartment. Check for its location in the refrigerator’s manual and make sure that the opening of the tube is unclogged and clear. If the opening gets clogged, water will collect under the crisper drawers and will eventually start leaking.…

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How to Get Rid of Funky Refrigerator Smells

Have you ever found a strange pungent smell coming out of your refrigerator every time you open it? If yes, its probably because something has spoiled inside the refrigerator. Maybe its a glass of milk, maybe a rotten potato or just a egg that has gone bad. Whatever the case may be, it is going to produce a very bad smell that will spread throughout the refrigerator. Some of these smells are very hard to get rid of while some will make you nauseous at the slightest hint of it.

If the smell is left untreated it can seep to every corner of the refrigerator which only will make it more difficult to remove later on.

If you ever have to face such situation follow out step by step guide and get rid of the odor in an effective way –

1. Empty the refrigerator –

You might find the particular item causing all the odor and stench but it is necessary to remove all the items from the refrigerator and not just the offending item. Odor tends to attach itself to any nearby items and when such a odor is produced it will carry itself over to other food items in the refrigerator too.

If the odor is due to a power outage then it is highly advised to just get rid of any of the compromised food as a refrigerator can only keep the food fresh for 4 hours without a power supply.

2. Clean everything –

Once you take out all the food items, either keep it in a secondary fridge or a cold place for the time being. Since odor tends to attach to objects in the surrounding areas, the interiors of the refrigerator are the most common places that will be compromised. Take out the interior components such as plastic bins, trays, shelves, bins, crisper drawers, ice trays, etc and handwash them with warm water.

Make sure you use enough soap and wash them thoroughly. If the smell is too bad, use a tablespoon of chlorine bleach or sanitizing lotion to clean the components. Once all the parts are washed leave them to dry, if possible dry them in the sun. This will help to remove any of the remaining odor.

3. Deodorize –

Once all the removable parts are washed, you need to wash the interiors of the refrigerator. Pull the power plug off and let the refrigerator warm up to the room temperature. To wash the interiors of the refrigerator make a solution of baking soda and water.

The best mixture can be made by adding a cup of baking soda to each gallon of water. While cleaning, use a sponge and soak it in the solution and gently clean the interior thoroughly. Do not use any abrasive brushes or cleaners as they can scratch the refrigerator damaging it.

4. Dry it out –

Once the cleaning is done we need to dry it out. The best and most effective way to dry it is to leave the refrigerator door open and let it air out on its own. It is better if you dry it out in the presence of direct sunlight. Sunlight helps to evaporate any kind of odor that is still pertaining. If the smell is too strong and not going away easily you can also spray some air freshener inside the refrigerator while its drying out.

5. Cleaning the evaporator –

If even after trying all the steps given above, you are unable to get rid of the odor then it is probably due to the fact that the odor has seeped into the evaporator coils that circulates cool air throughout the refrigerator. This can be tricky to get rid of as the coils are delicate and need to be handled with care. To proceed, locate the coils, in most refrigerators, they are located under the refrigerator behind a grill.

Remove the screws on the grill and access the coils. Create a solution of warm water and liquid soap in equal amounts and spray it on the coil and the fan blades. Wipe it with a damp cloth to dry it faster. Now let the coils dry out on their own. Once they have dried out, put back the grill and put in the screws. Once the refrigerator starts working again the coils will circulate fresh air inside the refrigerator, which will remove all the remaining odor and replace it with clean fresh air.…

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