10 signs that it’s time to replace your fridge

January 28th, 2014

Appliance Talk Fridges & Freezers Humour

There comes a time in the life of every kitchen when that fridge has just got to go.

Maybe it needs replacing.  Maybe you want an upgrade.  Either way, the fridge you’ve got just isn’t cutting the mustard… or cooling it properly, for that matter.

Here are some of the warning signs to look out for:

It’s really old

retro fridge

If your fridge remembers the 80s (or earlier), then its definitely worth thinking of replacing it.  Even if it has been meticulously maintained and still runs like a charm, older fridges still tend to be energy-guzzlers and may be a contributor to your hefty power bills.

Speaking of which…

Your power bills are skyrocketing

Your “Old Reliable” rumbling fridge could be costing you more than it’s really worth by hogging all the energy.  In such a case, your best bet is probably to pick out something new, taking into account its number of Energy Stars.

Energy efficient fridges

Though to be fair, those bills may not be solely the fridge’s fault.  You may need to use your common sense to determine if it’s the fridge that’s the energy guzzler, or your seven Plasma TVs.

Speaking of which…

It’s noisy

I’ve known people that actually like noisy fridges – their mighty hum (or in one case from my own personal experience, a house-shaking rumble) shows that they’re definitely working and that your tasty food and refreshing drinks are safe and sound.


But when dogs start barking and car alarms go off whenever the compressor cycles on, you may have a problem.

It runs constantly

Yes, we all know the joke.  “Is your refrigerator running?  Well you’d better go catch it!”  HAR HAR HAR.

happy fridge

The theory behind a traditional fridge motor is that when the thermostat drops below a certain temperature, the motor runs the compressor until the fridge cools down, whereupon the motor shuts back off.

If your motor runs all the time at full blast, then it’s not doing its job, and it’s using way more energy than required.

We’d recommend the Samsung Digital Inverter Motor, which maintains the temperature by speeding up and slowing down as required, rather than slamming on or off, which helps use less energy and reduce wear and tear.

The seals are going/gone

Ever gone to open your fridge and found that it took no effort?  As in, there was no suction or seal to muscle open in order to access the frosty interior?

fridge seal

That’s a problem, friends.  A tight fridge door seal keeps the cool air in and the warm air out.  Even if the compressor dies, a tightly-sealed fridge can function effectively as an esky for a short while – keep it closed, and the food inside should still stay cooler and fresher than if it were sitting on the kitchen bench (though you probably shouldn’t risk it for very long with perishables).

You can test your fridge’s door seal by taking a piece of paper and closing the fridge door on it.  If it falls out, then the seals are shot and you should start looking for the warranty card…

It’s too small/big

People have needs that change as they grow and mature.  If the fridge you bought as a newlywed is groaning under the weight of all the food needed to feed your 2.3 children, you’ll need something a little bigger.

The same principle applies when you change your diet, whether for medical or personal reasons.  Some foods take up more room than others and may get great use out of specialised storage sections (such as fresh veggies in the crisper or adjustable mid-drawer), and necessitate a bigger fridge to accommodate them comfortably.

giant beer fridge

And if you suddenly find that your fridge is too big (such as the example above), perhaps when your nest has been emptied, there’s not much point in paying upkeep on a fridge that’s half empty all the time.  There’s no shame in trading it in for something a bit smaller that runs more efficiently.

You want to try new features


Newer fridges have a lot of cool features, that are both useful and fun to play with.  Cooling drawers with adjustable climate settings can provide a home for various favourites, while door-in-door designs are great for parties and entertaining, providing immediate access to cheeky drinkies.

Speaking of parties and entertaining, fridges that include ice and water dispensers are totes awesome, and pretty convenient for everyday life, too.  That said, these features do tend to use a bit more energy when compared to a regular fridge.

The fridge is hot

This is the opposite of what fridges are meant to do – if the inside of your fridge is warm, then something is definitely wrong.

It’s also not great when the outside of your fridge starts heating up as well.

back of fridge

All electronics generate a small amount of heat as part of their operation, and this includes the motor at the rear of the fridge.  If it starts to get uncomfortably hot around the back of the fridge, it may be worth investigating if something is wrong.

The food is going off

Even if it’s only the food found in a single section of a fridge, food that’s going off well before it’s due to do so could be a sign of a defective fridge with uneven cooling.

Hazmat team with fridge

If everything in your fridge is going off unreasonably early, it may be worth considering a replacement before you need to keep the number of the local hazmat team handy.

You need to manually clean and defrost it a lot

Firstly, manual defrosting isn’t something that really needs to be done very much any more. Most new freezers are designed to be frost-free, and will only start to resemble Antarctica if they are REALLY neglected.  Upgrading to a new freezer should mean you won’t need to do that anymore.

frosty freezer

Secondly, while all fridges need a bit of a clean every so often, if you find that you’re regularly scrubbing grots, mould and mildew out of the back corners, something may be wrong.  Or you may need to change your mess making habits.  Whatevs.  A fridge with antibacterial coating on its interior can be an immense help when preventing a build-up of nasties.

If any of the above signs apply to you, Appliances Online has a wide selection of fridges available, in sizes and styles to suit all kinds of Aussie households! And what’s more you’ll have the option of getting our team of delivery drivers to handle the removal of your old fridge for you!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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