17 Tips That’ll Make Your Fridge Last Way Longer

Refrigerators are an essential part of our daily lives, keeping our food fresh and safe. However, they often don’t get the care they deserve, which can lead to breakdowns and a shorter lifespan. 

By following some simple maintenance tips, you can significantly extend the life of your fridge, ensuring it remains in good working condition for many years! 

Tip #1: Do Regular Cleaning Sessions

Let’s start with the basics: keeping your fridge clean. It might seem like a chore, but it’s crucial. 

Aim to give your fridge a good clean at least once a month. Remove all the food items, and wipe down the shelves and walls with a solution of mild detergent and water. 

Pay special attention to spills and stains, as they can lead to unpleasant odours and even bacterial growth if left unchecked! 

You'll Gag When You Discover What's Really Causing That Dodgy Fridge Stench!

Don’t forget to clean the exterior too, especially the handles and door seals.

If you spill milk in the fridge, clean it up immediately. Dairy products can spoil quickly and leave a lingering odour that’s tough to get rid of.

NOTE: Don’t forget to unplug your fridge and gently vacuum the coils at the back or underneath the appliance to remove any dust and debris.

Tip #2: Check And Set The Temperature

Setting your fridge to the right temperature is crucial. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is between 2 to 4°C, while the freezer should be set at -18°C. 

Keeping your fridge too cold can cause it to work harder than necessary, leading to increased wear and tear. On the other hand, setting it too warm can cause food to spoil quickly!

Regularly check the temperature with an appliance thermometer to ensure it stays within the recommended range. Most modern fridges have built-in digital thermometers, but it’s still a good idea to manually check occasionally.

Tip #3: Keep It Well-stocked, But Not Overloaded

A well-stocked fridge operates more efficiently because the cold items help maintain a stable temperature. However, avoid overloading it, as this can block the air vents and restrict proper airflow. 

food in freezer

This makes the fridge work harder to cool the contents, which can lead to mechanical issues.

Arrange the items so that air can circulate freely. Place larger items at the back and smaller ones at the front, and ensure there’s some space between items to allow for air movement.

Think of your fridge like a bookshelf. It’s easier to find a book if they’re neatly arranged with some space in between rather than crammed together!

Tip #4: Check The Door Seals

The door seals, or gaskets, are essential for maintaining the internal temperature of your fridge. 

Over time, these seals can wear out or become damaged, causing cold air to escape and warm air to enter. This not only makes your fridge work harder but also increases your energy bills.

To check the seals, close the door on a piece of paper. If you can easily pull the paper out, the seal might need replacing. 

Regularly clean the seals and inspect them for any cracks or tears. Use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to remove any residue. 

Tip #5: Defrost The Freezer Regularly

If your fridge doesn’t have a self-defrosting feature, it’s important to manually defrost the freezer to prevent ice buildup

Why? Because ice can reduce the efficiency of your fridge and take up valuable space. 

How To Organise Your Freezer

When you notice a significant buildup, transfer the contents to a cooler and turn off the fridge to allow the ice to melt. Once defrosted, clean and dry the interior before switching it back on.

A frost-free freezer not only works better but also provides more space for storing your frozen goods!

Tip #6: Keep The Fridge In A Suitable Location

The location of your fridge can significantly impact its performance. 

Place it in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources like ovens, dishwashers, and direct sunlight. These heat sources can cause the fridge to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

Ensure there’s enough space around the fridge for proper airflow. Ideally, leave a few centimetres of space between the fridge and the wall, and make sure the vents are not blocked!

Tip #7: Monitor The Door And Light Switch

A malfunctioning door or light switch can cause the fridge to run inefficiently. If the door doesn’t close properly, it allows cold air to escape, making the fridge work harder to cool down. 

Also, if the light stays on when the door is closed, it generates heat inside the fridge! If you notice a warm spot in your fridge, it could be due to a faulty light that stays on. 

Check the door alignment and hinges regularly to ensure they are in good condition and replace any faulty parts immediately. 

Tip #8: Keep The Fridge Level

A fridge that is not level can cause problems with the door seals and can affect the functioning of the compressor!

Use a spirit level to check if your fridge is perfectly level. If not, adjust the legs or use shims to correct the alignment. A level fridge not only performs better but also reduces noise and vibration.

An unlevel fridge can also cause the door to swing open, letting cold air escape and making the fridge work harder to maintain the temperature!

Tip #9: Avoid Putting Hot Food Inside

Placing hot food directly into the fridge can raise the internal temperature, making the compressor work harder to cool down. 

This not only increases energy consumption but also puts unnecessary strain on the appliance! 

hot chicken soup

Allow hot food to cool to room temperature before refrigerating it. 

This simple practice can help maintain an even temperature inside the fridge and extend its lifespan!

NOTE: Use shallow containers to help hot food cool down more quickly before refrigerating it!

Tip #10: Do Regular Maintenance Checks

Performing regular maintenance checks can help you identify and fix potential issues before they become major problems. 

Inspect the condenser coils, door seals, and temperature settings regularly. Listen for any unusual noises, which could indicate a problem with the compressor or other components. 

If you notice any issues, address them ASAP to avoid costly repairs or replacements!

Tip #11: Use The Right Storage Techniques

Proper storage techniques can help your fridge run more efficiently and keep your food fresher for longer. 

Store fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawers, which are designed to maintain the right humidity levels. 

Keep raw meat and seafood on the bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination, and store dairy products and eggs in the main compartment where the temperature is most consistent.

Use glass containers for leftovers and produce bags for fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh and organised.

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Tip #12: Keep The Drip Pan Clean

Many fridges have a drip pan underneath that collects condensation and excess water. 

Over time, this pan can become dirty and clogged, leading to unpleasant odours and potential mould growth. 

Regularly check and clean the drip pan to ensure it is free from debris and moisture.

NOTE: If you notice a foul smell coming from your fridge, the drip pan might be the culprit. Clean it regularly to avoid odours!

Tip #13: Be Mindful Of Power Outages

Power outages can disrupt the normal functioning of your fridge and cause the temperature to fluctuate!

If you experience a power outage, keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible to retain the cold air. Once the power is restored, check the temperature settings and the condition of the food inside. 

If the outage lasted for an extended period, you might need to discard perishable items that have been exposed to unsafe temperatures!

NOTE: Keep a few ice packs in your freezer. In case of a power outage, you can place them in the fridge to help keep it cool!

Tip #14: Consider A Surge Protector

Electrical surges can damage the delicate components of your fridge, leading to costly repairs. 

Using a surge protector can help safeguard your appliance from sudden voltage spikes. 

This is particularly important if you live in an area prone to frequent power surges or outages!

NOTE: Choose a surge protector that is specifically designed for large appliances for the best protection.

Tip #15: Replace Water Filters Regularly

If your fridge has a built-in water dispenser or ice maker, it likely has a water filter that needs regular replacement. 

Over time, these filters can become clogged with contaminants, reducing the quality of the water and ice. 

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacing the water filter to ensure clean, fresh water and prevent strain on your fridge.

NOTE: Mark your calendar or set a reminder on your phone to replace the water filter. Clean water filters help your fridge function properly and provide fresh-tasting water and ice.

Tip #16: Use The Energy Saver Mode

Many modern fridges come with an energy saver mode, which helps reduce power consumption. 

If your fridge has this feature, make sure to use it, especially during times when the fridge isn’t heavily used. 

This can help extend the lifespan of your appliance by reducing the load on the compressor.

NOTE: Check your fridge’s manual to see if it has an energy saver mode and how to turn it on. This small step can make a big difference in your energy bill and the lifespan of your fridge.

Tip #17: Know When To Call A Professional

While many maintenance tasks can be done yourself, some issues require professional expertise. 

If you notice persistent problems such as loud noises, frequent cycling on and off, or temperature inconsistencies, it’s best to call a professional technician. 

Samsung Refrigerator

Regular professional maintenance can help identify and fix issues before they become serious, ensuring your fridge runs smoothly for years to come!

And there you have it! By following these tips, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your fridge, ensuring it keeps your food fresh and your kitchen running smoothly for years to come. 

Do you have a fridge hack you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

SEE ALSO: Is Your Fridge Trying to Tell You Something? Decode Those Bad Odours Before It’s Too Late

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a fridge last?

A fridge should last around 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance.

How do I make my fridge last longer?

To make your fridge last longer, keep it clean, set the correct temperature, ensure it’s well-stocked but not overloaded, check the door seals, and perform regular maintenance checks.   

What is the normal temperature of a refrigerator freezer?

The normal temperature of a refrigerator freezer should be set at -18°C to keep your food frozen and safe.   

How can I make my fridge consume less electricity?

To make your fridge consume less electricity, use the energy saver mode if available, keep it well-stocked without overloading, ensure it’s in a cool location away from heat sources, and regularly check and clean the condenser coils.   

How can I make a fridge more efficient?

To make a fridge more efficient, keep the door seals in good condition, avoid placing hot food inside, regularly defrost the freezer if needed, and use proper storage techniques to allow for optimal air circulation.   

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