Refrigerator tips: how to help your fridge live longer

Refrigerator tips: how to help your fridge live longer
(Image credit: Samsung)

Keeping your refrigerator running in optimal conditions will make it more energy-efficient and cost-effective, and can also extend its lifespan. This guidance changes slightly from the best side-by-side refrigerators to best french door refrigerators, but the basic principles are still the same. The trick to keeping your fridge healthy is making it as easy as possible to maintain a regular temperature. This saves your refrigerator the energy and strain required to constantly adjust the temperature of fridge freezers. Some newer refrigerators, such as the LG LSXS26366S and Samsung RH22H9010SG, come with door-in-door or food showcase technology which is designed to let you access essentials without opening the entirety of your fridge and letting out the cold. 

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Keep it at the optimum temperature 

Running your refrigerator at its ideal temperature will keep your food fresh for as long as possible, without causing unnecessary energy expenses. 

Often, your refrigerator won’t indicate its exact temperature. Smarter, WiFi compatible models make it easier to check up on your running temperature, but there are other ways to check. To check the temperature of your refrigerator, leave a glass of water in there for around 24 hours. Then, simply check the temperature of your water using a regular or digital thermometer

French door fridge

(Image credit: iStock)

There are many things which can disrupt the temperature of your refrigerator or freezer. For one, you should allow food and leftovers to fully cool before placing them in the refrigerator, as this can increase its overall temperature. You should also never leave your refrigerator door open unnecessarily. On the other hand, placing frozen food in the refrigerator to defrost can add a cold boost to the food you’re storing. 

Ensure seals are working properly

Your refrigerator seals work to keep the cold inside of your fridge without escaping. You should check the entire parameter of the refrigerator door by putting your fingers within the folds of the seal and checking for faults. 

There’s an easy way to check if seals are loose. Simply grab a dollar bill or a piece of paper and place it in your refrigerator door as you close it. If your seals are working well, you will feel resistance when pulling out the note. Do this around the entire lining of your refrigerator to test for any weak spots. If you find any weaknesses, consider replacing the seal.  

It’s all about the organization 

Empty fridges are harder to keep cool because your refrigerator will have to work harder to circulate cold air. Try and keep your refrigerator three quarters full - this means there’s still plenty of room for air to circulate, but cold food will help to insulate your refrigerator and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep it cool.

(Image credit: Samsung)

Having a well-organized fridge freezer can also help you to keep temperatures regulated. Spending minutes rooting around in a cluttered fridge can leave the door open for longer than it needs to be and allow cold air to escape. Having sections for meat, vegetables, preserves, and liquids clearly defined will make it easier to unpack groceries and find what you’re looking for.

Appropriate placement 

Know where to place your refrigerator. If you put it near warm spots such as ovens or water heaters, it will have to work overtime to stay cool. One of the most important parts of refrigerator placement is leaving appropriate space behind it. Leaving two to four inches behind your refrigerator allows room for condenser coils to remove heat efficiently. 

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Top Ten Reviews. She also works on our sister sites: Real Homes, Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, and Livingetc. As Head of Reviews, Millie is on a mission to make sure that we are reviewing all of the latest and greatest products for you and your home, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or an inflatable hot tub.