51.5 million homes in the U.S use a refrigerator, so it's safe to say some of those fridges are looking a little old. Whether you moved into a place that already had a refrigerator installed, or purchased one age ago it may be time to look into a new refrigerator for your home.
It's important to remember that there are a number of reasons why a refrigerator may need to be replaced. Time is a major factor, as the motor of a refrigerator can eventually turn bad.
There's some merit to why your parent's always told you to "shut the refrigerator door". The longer the doors of the fridge remain open, the harder it needs to work to return the temperature back to where it's intended to be.
Sometimes, it's simply a manufacturing problem. The adage "you get what you pay for" tend to be true, especially when dealing with home appliances. Cheaper refrigerator units tend not to last as long.
How Do I Know if It's Time for a New Refrigerator?
If you're like most homeowners, you're not looking to spend the extra money unless it's absolutely necessary. Still, when it comes to something like your fridge, how can you tell when it's time to say goodbye?
The good news is if your fridge needs to be replaced it's probably giving you some major red flags. Trust us when we say, you do not want to ignore these warning signs!
Holding on to your fridge longer than you need to can spike your electric bill and damage your food. This means wasted money that likely outweighs the price of a new refrigerator anyway.
If you're not sure what signs to be on the lookout for, fear not! We've put together our list of 7 telltale signs that it's time for a new refrigerator.
Read on to get started.
1. It's Parts Have Been Discontinued
Not only are discontinued parts a sign that your refrigerator is outdated, but it also means the manufacturers have decided that it's model isn't worth continued production.
So what does this mean for you? For one, it could mean that something within the fridge malfunctions often.
Discontinued parts can also mean that the design simply isn't adapted to the needs of consumers today. Even if you choose to hold on to your refrigerator, if it needs maintenance in the future parts will only become more expensive and difficult to find as time goes on.
The good news is if your appliance is still under warranty, you may be able to have it replaced or receive a refund.
2. You can Hear it Before You See It
While your fridge may be providing the ambient noise you need to sleep at night, it's not actually supposed to be doing that. That house shaking rumbling coming from your fridge is actually a sign that it's working too hard and is likely consuming too much energy.
Contrary to popular belief, the sound of your fridge isn't an indicator that it's working. Just because you can hear it, doesn't mean that the cooling mechanisms within the fridge are doing what they were designed to do.
Not to mention, the majority of people would rather have a refrigerator that stays silent. Consider this way, you would be alarmed if your car made too much noise, the same goes for your little buddy holding all of your delicious food and drinks.
When it comes to your fridge, opt for silence.
3. Your Electric Bill is on the Rise
Just because you can't hear your fridge rumbling doesn't mean it isn't using more energy than it should be.
Another tell-tale sign? Your electric bill.
If your energy bill is on the rise despite taking energy efficient steps like switching out old light bulbs and unplugging unused appliances, then your fridge may be to blame.
It's been reported that older fridges use 1400 kWh a year, while newer energy efficient models use only 350 kWh a year. This could mean decreasing the energy usage of your fridge by up to 75%.
4. It's Constantly Running
Is your refrigerator running? No really, is it? All the time? While it may sound like a bad joke, a constantly running refrigerator is actually a major red flag that it's time for a new computer.
The reason why is pretty straightforward, your refrigerator is designed to hold the cold in which doesn't require constantly generating more cold air. In fact, if the motor is constantly running it's using way more energy than what is actually required.
Your refrigerator should be cooling off to its required temperature and then shutting off, kind of like your air conditioner that stops blowing once it reaches a certain temperature.
If it's not, you're putting your food at major risk for frost burn which is putting your hard earned dollars straight down the drain.
5. Its Seals Are Gone
Ever notice the plastic lining on the inside of your fridges doors? Those are there for a reason. The seals of your refrigerator are there to create a suction effect when your fridge opens and closes. This is to seal your refrigerator in a way that keeps the cool air in.
Unfortunately, if your seals have worn off over time and you're feeling little or no resistance when opening your fridge door, then you're likely letting cold air escape. This problem is even greater if there always seems to be someone looking into the fridge at home. Without the right seal, your food could be sitting at room temperature even in the fridge.
The problem still exists if your fridge seals are there but are noticeably worn down. The seals must be in good shape in order to create the suction effect that keeps your food fresh.
While you can always go to a store to purchase new seals and install them yourself, consider worn seals a major sign that your refrigerator has passed its turning point. If the unit is old enough to have its seals missing or damaged, then it's likely other parts of the refrigerator are also damaged.
6. It's Not Size Appropriate
Sometimes it's time for a new refrigerator, not because your current one isn't performing correctly, but simply because it isn't the right fit. Your refrigerator may be too big for your kitchen and could be cutting into some much-needed space, or perhaps it's too small to fit the needs of a growing family.
Either way, you want to be sure that your fridge is matching what you and your family needs.
It's important to keep in mind that the larger the refrigerator the more energy is being used. If your refrigerator has ample space leftover, you are likely paying more than you need to on your electric bill.
7. You Find Yourself Defrosting Manually
Its normal to have to clean your freezer from time to time, however, if you find that you're manually defrosting your freezer often then consider a sign that it's time to upgrade your freezer.
This problem typically arises when a freezer is outdated and doesn't feature control items that allow you to set the temperature.
This also means...you guessed it, you're using too much electricity. If your freezer is working hard enough to look like Antartica inside save time, money and energy by upgrading your unit.
*Bonus Reason: It's Time for New Features*
Another great reason to look into buying a new refrigerator?
All the bells and whistles that come with newer models! From fridges that monitor their temperatures to units that beep to remind you to close the door, there's never been a better time to upgrade.
Smart refrigerator units even feature touchscreen interfaces that are able to connect to the internet through your Wi-Fi. These refrigerators also include internal cameras that can keep track of which foods you have at home, as well as user-controlled cooling apps.
If the sound of controlling your fridge from your smartphone is appealing to you, you're not alone. Many homeowners are now buying fridges that can connect with other home devices like speakers, tv's, and even your dishwasher.
The great news is, many of these features can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you use and can even keep your food fresher for longer. This means you should consider your new fridge as an investment that can save you money in the long run.
Where to Find Your New Refrigerator
If you find that you relate to one or more of the signs above than its time to start shopping for your new refrigerator. It's important to find a refrigerator that provides lasting value.
It's always wise to compare the costs of different models. Some models may come with a higher price tag that is based more on design than functionality. Do your homework and see which refrigerator matches the unique needs of your home.
That's why we suggest looking into our variety of refrigerators with names that you can trust. If you're renovating your entire kitchen, it's even more important to plan ahead to ensure that all of your appliances go together.