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Of all the appliances in your home, the refrigerator is the least fussy to maintain.
They are more durable compared to other home appliances and don’t need much upkeep, only requiring a thorough clean only once every three to four months.
However, this doesn’t mean that they are immune to gradual damage.
Like any appliance, they will slowly wear down as they are used every day and you’ll eventually have to replace yours.
But before you decide to replace your refrigerator, get to know these signs and factors that reveal what your appliance is in need of.
Signs of Damage in Your Refrigerator
Before you can determine whether your refrigerator is in need of repair or replacement, you have to know how to spot damage and malfunctions in it.
Here are some signs that your refrigerator is damaged.
To put it simply, refrigerators work by ‘sucking’ out the heat inside of it and releasing it outside.
This is why you would feel heat around it, particularly on its back.
If it’s too hot that you have to pull away to avoid being burned, then there’s something wrong with the refrigerator.
If you notice that the outside of your refrigerator has droplets like it is ‘sweating’, it is not cooling properly.
The problem might be with the gasket or door seal, which prevents cold air from escaping and hot air from entering.
Inspect it for tears and get necessary replacements.
Puddles of Water
Water puddles around the fridge can be caused by a lot of reasons such as torn door seals, loose hoses, broken drip pan and a too frosty freezer.
Get an expert appliance repairman to inspect the source of the issue just to be safe.
Take care of the puddles immediately to prevent electrocution risks.
Refrigerator Is Too Noisy
Refrigerators producing a humming noise while working is normal.
However, if it’s too loud that you can hear it beyond the kitchen, it might be time to call a technician.
Food Spoiling Too Quickly
Refrigerators extend your food’s consumable time.
But, if your food is spoiling too quickly then it’s time to replace the refrigerator.
Food spoiling too quickly means that the refrigerator is not efficiently using energy which in turn, is a waste of electric bills.
Factors to account for in repairing or replacing your Refrigerator
If you’ve observed one or more signs listed above, then your fridge has surely developed some damage.
Before you decide on repairing or replacing it though, here are some factors to consider before coming to a decision.
The common life expectancy for refrigerators is about 13 years.
If your refrigerator is close to that age or even older, then it might be time to shop for a new refrigerator.
Refrigerators also have different models with different lifespans for each type.
Here is the guideline for choosing on repair vs. replacement, taken from a study.
- Built-in refrigerators. These types of refrigerators are the ones you can almost always choose to repair. They have a longer lifespan and they are less expensive to repair.
- Side-by-side refrigerators. These refrigerators only have five-years for reparations and after that, you should consider replacements.
- Bottom-freezer refrigerators. They have a slightly longer time of seven years before replacements are recommended.
- Top-freezer refrigerators. Similar to bottom-freezers, they have a time limit of seven years.
Older models of refrigerators have a higher energy consumption rate than the latest ones.
If your refrigerator is older than 10 years, then it might be time for a new replacement that is easier on your energy bills.
The damage to your refrigerator may vary from simple components that can be replaced to more complex parts that would be expensive to replace.
A tip from appliance experts—if your repair bills are more than half the price of a new refrigerator then you should consider replacing it.
The right decision is on a thin line between saving a good amount of money or wasting it.
Choosing to keep repairing your refrigerator beyond its expected lifespan would eventually come to a price for replacements that cost as much as a new fridge.
Being hasty in replacing it though, is wasting the money you paid for its full life.
These tips can help you find a good balance between them should you encounter this issue or are facing it now.