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12 Innocent Refrigerator Lifespan Mistakes You’re Making Without Realizing It

Avoid ruining your appliance by not making these refrigerator lifespan mistakes!

Could there be some common pitfalls that might be silently undermining the longevity of your refrigerator?

The American House has decided to shed some light on the subtle refrigerator lifespan mistakes that many of us unknowingly make, jeopardizing the durability and efficiency of our trusty kitchen appliance.

Your refrigerator, a silent hero in the heart of your home, deserves more attention than it usually receives. From neglecting maintenance routines to temperature mishaps, these missteps can collectively take a toll on its lifespan.

By recognizing and correcting the following 12 refrigerator lifespan mistakes, you’ll not only extend the life of your appliance but also enhance its performance, saving you both potential food spoilage headaches and money.

Refrigerator Lifespan Mistake
Photo by Daniel Krason at Shutterstock

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You’re not changing the water filter often enough

If you have the type of refrigerator that makes ice, with the dispenser either on your door or within the freezer, the water filter is vital to keeping this part of your fridge in excellent condition. A broken, old, or dislodged water filter can create many concerns for your fridge.

At best, your ice dispenser cracks. At worst, your fridge overworks itself to an early demise, and you’re stuck footing the bill for a new one.

Luckily, you can likely detect this problem early on because your ice cubes will start coming out smaller, oddly shaped, or not at all. So remember this the next time you’re filling up your water bottle.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You’re blocking the vents

All refrigerators include vents in order to receive proper air circulation. If you block these vents with containers, food items, or any other objects, it can disrupt the cooling process and make your fridge much less efficient, ultimately making it break down.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You ignore strange noises or constant running

If you begin to notice that your refrigerator is constantly running or louder than usual, do something about it immediately. Some fixes are easy enough for you to do yourself, or they might even be inexpensive enough for you to hire a professional.

But if that’s not the case, letting your fridge work itself harder than necessary is an excellent way to place an earlier expiration date on it.

Depending on how long you’ve had your fridge, you might want to decide not to fix it and invest in a new, cost-efficient, and more energy-efficient alternative.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: Adjusting temperature settings too often

Frequently changing the temperature settings on your fridge can cause the compressor on it to work harder and wear out faster. We recommend setting your desired temperature and avoiding any frequent adjustments.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: It’s too full

Let’s be honest. We’ve all been guilty of playing a few games of Tetris with our fridge after we get home from grocery shopping. But be careful when storing and stocking up.

While this isn’t a massive issue with newer models, some older versions have less protected fan blades. You might even see the fan blades in your fridge or freezer.

Cramming your food into this trusted appliance to the point of applying unnecessary pressure on this small part can affect its fit and shape among related parts of your fridge, risking a crack.

Counterproductive fridges mean overworked fridges, eventually leading to a refrigerator that doesn’t work. To avoid cramming everything into your fridge, do a deep clean of the contents every once in a while and get rid of the clutter.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: Not closing it properly

If the door seals on your fridge are damaged or aren’t sealing correctly, warm air can get through, forcing the compressor to work harder to preserve the desired temperature.

Refrigerator Lifespan Mistake
Photo by Creative Caliph at Shutterstock

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You aren’t cleaning the internal mechanics

If the defrost drain on your fridge is frozen or clogged with debris, the water dripping off the coils will flood the drain trough and leak into the bottom of your refrigerator, experts told The American House.

Not only can this overwork your refrigerator, meaning a shorter lifespan, but it ultimately causes your fridge and freezer to leak water all over the kitchen floor.

Leaking water is a tell-tale sign that you should get any appliance checked out. It’s also a sign that you might be shortening the life of your washer and dryer.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: Setting hot food inside

Placing warm or hot food in the fridge before letting it cool forces it to work harder to cool down, which can strain the compressor and reduce its lifespan.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: Your freezer temperature is set too high

In the best-case scenario, the temperature in your freezer should be set to somewhere between zero and five degrees Fahrenheit. The wrong temperature can highly impact the longevity of your ice maker and the safety of the food you’re eating.

A temperature that’s higher than 15 degrees Fahrenheit can also cause the defrost thermostat to stop working, which, in turn, will make your refrigerator put in some extra work and shorten its life.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: Ignoring the energy efficiency

Older models of refrigerators tend to be less energy-efficient. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient version not only saves on your electric bill but it can also prolong the lifespan of your fridge.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You’re not cleaning the coils

According to experts, over 70% of service calls regarding fridge maintenance can be eliminated by cleaning the coils once a year. But we recommend upping that to twice a year if you have any furry friends, like an adorable but extra-fluffy pup or cat.

Residue on the coils can prevent your fridge from properly dissipating heat, which means your compressor must work harder and longer than it was designed to. That makes your refrigerator use more energy and shortens its lifespan.

Refrigerator lifespan mistake: You’re not cleaning the fridge itself

A lot of debris from extra food, sticky spills, and other familiar food accidents that build up on the gasket of the refrigerator’s door for too long can tear or break the seal of your refrigerator door. This ultimately causes leaks, allowing the cold air to escape.

This makes properly cleaning your refrigerator all the more critical. To keep your fridge in tip-top shape for as long as possible, wipe down the door edges often.

And since you’re already wiping down your fridge, check if you’ve organized your fridge the right way to keep the ingredients fresher longer and avoid food poisoning.

And to avoid leaving any scratch marks, you might be interested in this 12 pack of Microfiber Cleaning Cloths from Amazon.

Refrigerator Lifespan Mistake
Photo by Andrey_Popov at Shutterstock

Takeaway

Most of us just throw out appliances when they stop working, thanks to the reduced price of appliances nowadays. But most will continue humming along for years with just a little TLC. So try to repair the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.

To maximize the lifespan of your refrigerator, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper use, and be mindful of your usage habits.

The most important thing to know is when a fridge issue can be fixed or whether it requires replacing altogether. If it’s over ten years old and has a more significant problem wrong with it, like a burned-out motor, it can be more complicated and expensive to fix.

We hope you found these refrigerator lifespan mistakes informative. Be sure to let our readers know if you know of any refrigerator cleaning hacks in the comments section below.

But don’t leave just yet, if you liked this post, The American House also recommends you read: 16 Quick Home Cleaning Tips Pros Use in Under an Hour

Ralph

Content Writer

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