When it comes to your frequently used appliances, your refrigerator is one you don’t really have to think much about. It keeps your food and drinks cool, makes ice and does it all without much thought from you. Which is great for our busy lives, but not so great for knowing when it might be time to call a repair technician. While most refrigerators with regular maintenance can last many years, even the most reliable fridges need to be replaced eventually.
How do you know if you really need to replace your fridge or if it just needs a little TLC?
Before you give up on your fridge completely, consider a few tell-tale signs of fridge problems. Let’s take a look at six of the most obvious signs that you may need to call for service (or, gulp, a new fridge).
1. There’s excessive condensation
If your refrigerator is looking like it’s just run a marathon in the Arizona desert, i.e. it’s sweating, this could be a clear indication that it’s not cooling properly. While all refrigerators have to work to maintain a balance between hot and cold, they shouldn’t be working so hard (or little) that water droplets form on the exterior of the refrigerator. The same goes for condensation inside the refrigerator or even frost in the freezer.
If you notice this, the first thing you should do is analyze the rubber seal around the door. Look for any signs of mildew or mold and perform the following test: Close the fridge door on a dollar bill. Then, pull the bill out slowly. If it slips out easily, you could try replacing the gasket yourself with a kit from the hardware store. If that doesn’t fix the condensation or the bill has drag when you pull it, then it’s time to call the experts to come and take a look.
2. It’s hot to the touch
The way a refrigerator works is very simple: it involves the removal of heat from one region a to another. So, yes, you should always feel some heat coming from the back of your fridge – that means your refrigerators ventilation system is working properly.
However, feeling excessive amounts of heat is an obvious sign that something is not right with your refrigerator. Because the coils on your refrigerator are insulated, an excessive amount of heat is unusual and you should call for service to inspect the coils. Depending on the situation, you may just need new coils or there could be a bigger issue involved. Either way, a professional can help you decide if a repair is cost effective.
3. Your food is rapidly spoiling
The single most important job of your refrigerator is too keep your food from spoiling by keeping it cold. First thing to check is that your food is arranged properly in your refrigerator. Food that is tightly packed into your refrigerator doesn’t allow for cool air to circulate properly.
If you notice that your food is starting to spoil days before it normally would or that it’s taking longer to chill your beer, this is an indication that you may have problem. A refrigerator that take is unable to maintain the temperatures it’s supposed to is using more energy than it should. This means that you’re not only spending more money on your energy bills, but you’re also, likely wasting money on food that you have to throw out.
If you notice this in your fridge, it would be wise to call a repair technician to inspect your refrigerator.
4. There’s frost
One of the most common signs of a problem with your refrigerator may be that your freezer has frozen over. Since many newer units have an automatic defrosting feature, it is not normal for you to have to chisel ice off so that you can reach your food and is a sign that you have a problem.
If you find that your freezer has frozen over, the first step is to defrost the freezer. Once you have done this, plug it back in and monitor it. If the problem persists, it’s time to call a technician.
5. It’s loud, too loud
here is no need for your fridge’s motor to be running at max speed all the time. Unless the door is being opened and closed a lot, your refrigerators motor doesn’t need to be constantly regulating and re-regulating temperatures.
While refrigerators are not the quietest appliances, you shouldn’t really notice any noise while it’s running. An ongoing buzz or hum continues long after you’ve closed the doors, then it’s time to call out a technician to see what the issue may be.
6. Your Fridge is Old and Inefficient
The lifespan of a refrigerator is anywhere from 10 to 20 years. If your fridge is over ten years old and in need of constant repairs, it might be time for you to make the switch to a newer and more efficient model. It might seem wasteful, but with many recycling programs and newer models with better efficiency, you could be saving money and helping the environment by switching out your old unit.
If you need some help deciding if it’s time to repair or replace that old appliance, check out this helpful article here.
In the end, if you’re unable to decide whether you should keep repairing your refrigerator or go ahead and buy a new one, a reputable and trustworthy technician can help you decide. Most of us couldn’t imagine living without this valuable appliance in our lives. Our experts want to help you get your appliance back into working order as quickly as possible even if that means your unit is better served being replaced.