How long does a refrigerator last- Discovered

how long does a refrigerator last

Generally, Standard refrigerators typically last between 10 and 18 years, with an average of 14 years. Compact refrigerators are smaller, they have much shorter lives from 4 to 12 years (average lifespan: 8 years). The normal lifespan of a refrigerator may vary depending on factors such as the brand, use intensity frequency, maintenance quality, etc.

Wanting to give you the most accurate information, I have done a lot of research- analyzing industry data. manufacturer specs and my own experience. I aim to equip you with reliable insights into how long does a refrigerator last?

Refrigerators are a crucial part of our life, preserving food and keeping our perishables fresh. Knowing their lifespan is vital for budget planning and preventive maintenance planning. Brand, usage patterns, and maintenance are all important factors in determining how long does a refrigerator last?

Table Of Contents:

  • Understanding Refrigerator Lifespan
  • Factors Affecting Lifespan
  • How long does a refrigerator last
  • All types Of refrigerator and their Lifespan
  • Signs Your Refrigerator Is Failing
  • Ways to Extend your Refrigerator Lifespan
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ’s

Understanding Refrigerator Lifespan:

Refrigerator lifespan refers to the average duration a refrigerator is expected to function efficiently before experiencing significant wear and tear.

  • Influencing Factors:

Multiple factors impact a refrigerator’s lifespan, including usage patterns, maintenance practices, and the brand’s quality.

  • Importance: 

Knowledge of the expected lifespan is vital for good planning since owners can prepare in advance either to repair or replace on time.

Factors Affecting Lifespan:

  • Usage Patterns: Taking into account variables such as door opening frequency, temperature settings, and preventing overloading of the refrigerator will help to determine its lifespan.  
  • Maintenance Matters: Regular maintenance, like cleaning coils and inspecting door seals, significantly contributes to extending a refrigerator’s lifespan.
  • Brand Quality: The brand and overall quality of the refrigerator are very important in deciding its life expectancy, as premium brands often have better durability.  

How long does a refrigerator last: 

How long does a refrigerator last, refers to the estimated length of time a refrigerator will be functional and in excellent functioning order before reaching the end of its operational life.

  • General Range: A refrigerator’s average lifetime ranges between 10 and 18 years.
  • Variable Factors: This range varies based on factors such as usage, maintenance, and brand quality.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consideration of energy efficiency is crucial, as newer models with enhanced efficiency may not only save energy but also have longer lifespans.

All types Of refrigerator and their Lifespan:

Type of RefrigeratorLifespanDescription
Top-Freezer Refrigerators10 to 18 yearsCommon household refrigerators with the freezer compartment located at the top.
Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators10 to 15  yearsRefrigerators with the freezer at the bottom for easier access to fresh food.
Side-by-Side Refrigerators8 to 12 yearsFeatures two vertically divided compartments, one for the fridge and one for the freezer, running side by side.
French Door Refrigerators12 to 15  yearsSimilar to side-by-side refrigerators but with double doors for the fridge compartment, often with a bottom freezer.
Compact Refrigerators4 to 12 yearsSmall units suitable for dorm rooms, offices, or as secondary refrigerators.
Built-In Refrigerators20 to 25 yearsDesigned to integrate seamlessly with kitchen cabinetry for a built-in appearance.
Counter-Depth Refrigerators10 to 15  yearsShallower than standard refrigerators, aligning with kitchen counters for a streamlined look.
Smart RefrigeratorsComparable to othersEquipped with advanced features like touchscreen displays, cameras, and smart home integration.

Signs Your Refrigerator Is Failing: 

Recognizing the indicators that your refrigerator is nearing the end of its useful life is more important than How long does a refrigerator last. Here are some common indications that your refrigerator is failing:

Inconsistent Temperature:

However, if the refrigerator compartments cannot keep the set temperatures and food is not very cold as it will need to be then you should consider that the cooling system has broken down, for this you should know about how cold should a refrigerator be.

Unusual and Frequent Noises:

Excessive or odd noises, such as buzzing, clicking, or rattling, may indicate a faulty compressor or other internal components. This should be noticed because this point can cause a refrigerator’s lifespan to end. Therefore, to know how long does a refrigerator last this point should be considered above all.

Excessive Condensation:

Excessive condensation within the fridge, especially around the door seals or on the walls, could signal a problem.

Frost accumulation:

In frost-free models, frost or ice accumulation in the freezer that does not melt during the defrost cycle may indicate a defrost system malfunction.

water leakage:

Puddles of water on the floor or within the refrigerator may indicate a blocked or faulty defrost drain, broken water supply lines, or other problems.

Warranty Expiration:

If you are having problems with your refrigerator and the manufacture guarantee has expired, this implies its nearing its lifespan.  

Decreased Energy Efficiency:

An unexpected increase in your electricity bill without a change in consumption patterns could suggest that your refrigerator is working harder to maintain temperatures owing to internal problems. You may wonder how many amps does a refrigerator use ?

Regular Repairs:

If you’re continually calling for refrigerator repairs, it can be more cost-effective to replace the appliance, particularly if it’s an older model.

Noticeable Wear and Tear:

An ageing refrigerator may have cracked or worn-out door seals, damaged shelves, or rust on the exterior.

Unpleasant Odours:

Persistent, unpleasant odours that persist despite thorough cleaning may indicate problems with the inside or the insulation of the refrigerator.

If you see numerous of these indicators or detect a sudden and significant deterioration in the function of your refrigerator, it’s best to consult a skilled appliance expert for a professional examination. How long does a refrigerator last depends on the severity and expense of repairs.

Ways to Extend your Refrigerator Lifespan:

After a proper guide on How long does a refrigerator last, here are some tips to prolong the survival of your refrigerators.

Proper refrigerator maintenance may increase its longevity, enhance energy efficiency, and keep your food fresh. Here are five crucial refrigerator maintenance tips:

Wash the Coils:

Accumulation of dirt and debris can build up on the condenser coil at the back or underneath the refrigerator, lowering cooling effectiveness. Gently clean these coils with a hoover cleaner or a coil brush at least once every six months, or as needed. This small task can improve the performance of the appliance.

Inspect and replace seals:

Your refrigerator’s rubber gaskets or door seals can wear down over time, enabling cold air to escape and warm air to enter. Inspect these seals on a regular basis for cracks, tears, or gaps.

Keep it Clean:

Clean the interior of the refrigerator on a regular basis, including the shelves, drawers, and walls. To clean spills and remove food remains, use a mixture of mild dish washer soap and warm water. To avoid odours and mould growth, properly rinse and dry. For more detailed instructions read our guide on how to clean refrigerator.

Keep Proper Temperature:

Monitor the temperature within the refrigerator and freezer sections using a refrigerator thermometer. The fridge should be set between 35°F and 38°F (1.7°C – 3.3°C), and the freezer at 0°F (-17.8°C) for optimal food preservation.

Organization and Rotation:

Organize your refrigerator to allow for adequate airflow and to avoid overloading, knowing how to organize refrigerator can restrict ventilation and limit performance. Check for expired things on a regular basis and discard them. Consider moving older items to the front to ensure they are seen.


I hope I have answered all your questions regarding How long does a refrigerator last.

By following the tips and insights provided in this guide, you can extend the life of your refrigerator and ensure it continues to serve your household for years to come. For more in-depth information and personalized advice, consult your refrigerator’s user manual and reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support. 

Looking for best refrigerator? Find it on our guide best undercounter refrigerator.


When should you replace your refrigerator?

If your refrigerator is over 15 years old, troublesome frequently or if energy bills suddenly rise sharply then replace it. Newer models with advanced features may also entice an upgrade.

What is the average life expectancy of a refrigerator?

The average lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 18 years. However, factors like usage, maintenance, and brand quality can influence this range.

Is it worth repairing a 10-year-old refrigerator?

If repairs are relatively minor and the appliance has been well maintained, it might be worthwhile. However, significant problems or frequent breakdowns may indicate it’s time for a replacement.

How do I know if my fridge is dying?

Some signs are strange noises, inconsistent cooling operation, frequent breakdowns and condensation problems. If they continue to exist despite repairs, this could be a sign that your fridge is on its last legs.

What is the typical lifespan of a refrigerator?

A refrigerator generally has a life of 10 to 18 years. But real longevity ultimately depends on factors such as brand, maintenance, and use. Performing maintenance regularly, repairing faults promptly, and attending to wear easily overlooked signs can let the appliance live as long a life as possible.

shahzoon naz

shahzoon naz

Shahzoon Naz is a freelance Content Writer. He spends most of his time in the kitchen, you will see him in the kitchen and every time cooking something new and tasty.

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