How long does a refrigerator last | A Thorough Guide

how long does a refrigerator last

Usually, a well-maintained refrigerator lasts 10-20 years. However, if you take good care of its maintenance it can prolong to survive for even 30 years.

In this article, I will discuss How long does a refrigerator last and what tips you should consider to prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator.

Table of contents

  • Refrigerator longevity
  • Warnings you should look for your refrigerator.
  • Tips for proper maintenance
  • Conclusion
  • FAQS

Refrigerator longevity

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.

A well-maintained conventional household refrigerator can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. This lifespan, however, might vary greatly depending upon various factors, including the brand, model, usage patterns, maintenance practices, and environmental conditions.

Some high-quality or commercial-grade refrigerators may even outlast this lifespan, operating efficiently for 20 years or more.

There are smaller, cheap fridges like compact or mini fridges that will last between 5 and 12 years.  

Warnings you should look for your refrigerator

Recognising 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.

Tips for proper maintenance

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.


By following these guidelines, you can keep your refrigerator functioning efficiently, save electricity, and keep your food fresh for longer periods of time. For info on undercounter refrigerator check our guide on best undercounter refrigerator.

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


How long does a refrigerator last

The life expectancy of a refrigerator is between 10 and 20 years, though this might vary depending on a number of factors. The brand, model, usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions all influence how long a refrigerator lasts. With infrequent repairs, well-maintained conventional residential refrigerators can often reach the upper end of this range, if not beyond. High-end or commercial-grade refrigerators may survive even longer since they are manufactured with more durable components. Compact or tiny fridges, on the other hand, often have a shorter lifespan, ranging from 5 to 12 years.

Do various refrigerator brands have significantly varied lifespans?

Yes, there can be variations in How long does a refrigerator last, because of brands and models. Some popular companies are regarded for manufacturing more robust and long-lasting refrigerators, so before making a purchase, consider brand reputation.

Can I extend the life of my refrigerator with regular maintenance even if it is an older model?

Yes, regular maintenance can considerably increase the lifespan of an older refrigerator. Cleaning coils, inspecting and replacing seals, and resolving minor faults can extend the life of an ageing appliance.

How can I tell whether my refrigerator is nearing the end of its life?

Frequent breakdowns, variable temperature regulation, heavy condensation or frost, and odd noises are also common symptoms. If you have these problems on a regular basis, it may be time to replace your refrigerator.

Will newer, more energy-efficient freezers outlast older models?

While more energy-efficient models can be just as robust as older models, their lifespan can vary. Some complex features and electronics may necessitate more upkeep or be more prone to failure over time. Many contemporary versions, on the other hand, are designed to be dependable and efficient.

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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