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7 Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Refrigerator

By Goedekershomelife @goedekers

Refrigerators will happily hum along until, one day, they just don't. When a fridge breaks down with little warning, it can spoil all the food inside and leave you scrambling for a replacement.

7 Signs it’s Time to Buy a New Refrigerator

If you're lucky, you can sometimes spot a few tell-tale signs that your refrigerator is starting to make its exit from the world. By recognizing these signs of refrigerator failure, you can carefully plan your next move and find the best refrigerator at a price that won't give you too much sticker shock.

Sign #1: Your Refrigerator Is Making Strange Noises

Is your refrigerator making noise other than a gentle hum and the occasional knocking or gurgling sound? Although it's perfectly normal for refrigerators to make noise to optimize their performance, ongoing noises may indicate that your refrigerator is in trouble.

If you've tried trouble-shooting your refrigerator and still can't identify the source of the noise, call up your repair technician. Once you know what the problem is, you can decide whether or not it's worth it to pay for repairs or simply get a new fridge.

Sign #2: Your Freezer Is Coated in Frost

Frost buildup in your freezer is a sign that you have an older refrigerator model (most new models are frost-free). While frost buildup is par-for-the-course in older refrigerators, you may want to think about upgrading your fridge if defrosting it has becoming a quarterly occurrence.

7 Signs it’s Time to Buy a New Refrigerator

When frost builds up in the freezer, it can lead to freezer-burned food, odors, and other problems. If it's happening more frequently, it's a clear sign that your old refrigerator could use an upgrade.

Sign #3: Your Food Is Spoiling

Is your food going bad even when it hasn't reached its expiration date? The problem could be that your outdated refrigerator can no longer keep food at its optimal temperature (around 35 degrees).

Check the temperature settings on your fridge to make sure that they are set correctly. If nothing seems amiss, it's a sign that you should start searching for a new refrigerator.

Sign #4: You Have a Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Nothing ages your kitchen more than a side-by-side refrigerator. Not only is this type of fridge outdated style-wise, it could also be costing you a hefty amount in repairs.

According to a 2011 Consumer Reports survey, side-by-side refrigerators with ice makers are more than twice as likely to need repairs compared to top- and bottom-freezer refrigerators. They recommend repairing your side-by-side refrigerator for the first five years of its life. After that, you're likely just throwing away money that could be going toward that new french door refrigerator you've always wanted.

Sign #5: It's Older Than 10 Years

If you have a refrigerator that is older than a decade, there are several reasons why you may want to start looking for a new fridge sooner rather than later. First, it doesn't make sense to funnel any more money into repairs when your fridge is well past its prime.

7 Signs it’s Time to Buy a New Refrigerator

Another reason is your energy bill. While you may be proud that the refrigerator you bought in the 90s is still going strong, it could be costing you more than $100 annually compared to an ENERGY STAR refrigerator.

Sign #6: It's Running Hot

It's not necessarily unusual for refrigerators to run hot. This can happen when it's an abnormally hot day or you've been opening the refrigerator more than usual, which causes the fridge to work harder to keep a cool, internal temperature.

If your refrigerator runs hot for more than 24 hours, then contact your repair person. There could be a problem with your evaporator fan motor or your temperature control. If the cost to repair the problem is extensive and your refrigerator is creeping up in age, you're likely better off buying a new one.

Sign #7: Excess Condensation

Do you notice water trickling down the interior of your fridge? Condensation in refrigerators will often collect near the back because this is the coldest point of the refrigerator.

This may be a normal occurrence for your fridge, especially if you have moisture-heavy foods or your kids are opening the fridge door frequently. However, it can also indicate that your fridge isn't cooling properly.

The problem may be your refrigerator door gasket (the rubber seal), which can cause excess condensation when it's not airtight. While you can replace the door gasket on your own, you may decide that it's more trouble than it's worth.

A Smarter Way to Upgrade Your Fridge

When you don't see your refrigerator's breakdown coming, it can make replacing it all that much more difficult and expensive. Keeping an eye out for these warning signs can help you recognize when it's time to start browsing new refrigerator models for your family. By doing so, you can take advantage of the best deals on refrigerators and find a model that checks off every box.

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