“Is your refrigerator running?”
“Well, you better bet off the phone and go catch it!”
Although this ridiculous joke might be good for a prank call, when you really have a problem with your fridge, there’s nothing funny about it.
With the cost to buy a new refrigerator running between $900 and $8,000, the decision regarding whether to repair or replace your broken appliance is an important one.
Here are the most important things to consider.
Repair or Replace? Troubleshooting the Most Common Refrigerator Problems
The decision to repair or replace your refrigerator really depends on what’s going on with it. Let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot some of the most common refrigerator issues.
1. The Back of Your Fridge Feels Hot
Your refrigerator’s motor is located in the back, so it’s normal for this area to feel a little warmer than the rest of the fridge. If it’s radiating a lot of heat, however, you might have a problem with the motor.
If your refrigerator is less than six or eight years old, consider calling a repair person for an estimate. It’s usually not worth it to try to repair the motor on a fridge older than that. The repair will probably cost you a couple of hundred dollars and there’s a good chance you’ll need to replace the fridge soon anyway.
2. Your Fridge Is Making a Lot of Noise
Most refrigerators make a quiet humming sound which is perfectly normal. Loud buzzing or other noises, however, are a sign that your motor might be struggling.
Sometimes simply unplugging the fridge, letting it rest for a few minutes, and plugging it back in will take care of the noise. If you try this and it doesn’t work, it’s a good sign that you’ll be looking for a replacement refrigerator soon.
3. Your Fridge Isn’t Making Enough Noise
A completely silent refrigerator is also not a good sign. If you notice that it’s really quiet and your food is warmer than usual, you might have a problem with your compressor.
First, unplug your refrigerator, let it rest for a moment, then plug it back in. If this doesn’t help, check to make sure your homes circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Unfortunately, if you’re still experiencing the problem, you’ll need to call a Refrigerator repair company or start looking for a new refrigerator.
4. You’re Dealing with Excess Condensation
Where you find the condensation makes a big difference in how serious this problem is. If the outside of your refrigerator is “sweating,” then it’s likely that the seal is broken, warped, or damaged. It’s easy to fix this on your own.
If the condensation is on the inside of the refrigerator, it’s a sign that your fridge is struggling to maintain a cold-enough internal temperature. This will result in food spoilage, so it’s time to start thinking about buying a new fridge.
5. Your Food Keeps Spoiling
If you’re finding that your most perishable foods, like milk, cheese, and meat are spoiling before the expiration date, your refrigerator might not be staying cold enough. Before you panic, check the internal dial and make sure the temperature is set correctly.
If that’s not the problem, there’s a good chance it’s time to start considering a replacement.
You’ll want to take care of this as soon as you can. Food stored at improper temperatures can cause food poisoning and will also take a big chunk out of your grocery budget.
6. You Have a Ton of Frost in Your Freezer
It’s normal for your freezer to have some frost inside. You can usually fix this by turning it off and letting it defrost.
If you have mountains of frost built up in your freezer, it’s not running efficiently. This usually happens when a freezer is old and outdated. In this case, you’re best off purchasing a new, energy-efficient model with a frost-free freezer.
7. Your Utility Bills Are Creeping Up
When your refrigerator is outdated, it will start using excess energy as it tries to maintain an appropriate temperature. If you think this might be an issue, pick up an energy monitor that you can plug in between the wall and your refrigerator. If it turns out that your fridge is what’s causing the problem, time to buy a new model.
8. Your Repair Costs Are Adding Up
If you find yourself constantly calling your repair company, the bills will start piling up. This is a good sign that your fridge is reaching the end of its life, and you’re far better off spending your money on a new one.
Today’s refrigerators are much more energy-efficient and come with advanced features that you’re sure to love. Cut your losses now and you’ll find yourself ahead of the game in the long run.
9. Your Refrigerator Is More Than 10 Years Old
There’s always a chance that your refrigerator could last longer than 10 years, but when you start to near that decade mark, it’s definitely time to get ready for a replacement.
Technology advances so quickly that even if a 10-year-old appliance seems to be working fine, it will be seriously outdated. Considering the huge gains you’ll make in efficiency and performance, the money you’ll spend to buy a new refrigerator is well worth the investment.
Find More Great Tips for Keeping Up Your Home!
Hopefully, you’ve found this information valuable and have a solid understanding of how to decide whether to repair or replace your malfunctioning refrigerator. Whether your own your home or are renting, it can seem like there’s always something that needs to be taken care of. We can help!
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