Refrigerators are now seen as one of the most essential home appliances. They preserve food, allow you to store leftovers and generally make life much easier.
But whether you are looking into buying a new fridge or have some concerns about your current model, there is a lot to know about them and there are probably some things you’ve always wondered. From how long you should expect one to last, to what all of those noises and clinks are and how best to get the most out of the magic, there are so many bases to cover.
These are the most popular questions regarding fridges asked online, which will hopefully help you out if you’re facing any issues or have always wondered just how they do their job.
How long does a fridge last?
This depends on a lot of factors. While appliances are now being made with technology and design aspects which vastly improve the way they run compared to those of years gone by, all of those extra components also means there are more things to go wrong.
Issues could vary from general compressor and thermometer issues, to broken lights, water dispensers and warning alarms. It also depends on how well you treat it and regularly maintain/clean the unit.
But in general, fridges have one of the longest life expectancies of all kitchen appliances. You should expect your refrigerator to last 13+ years.
Which setting is the coldest on a fridge?
Some models vary, but this is the general rule. The higher the number, the colder the temperature usually is.
So if your dial goes from 1-5, set it on 3 and assess how things go before moving it. If 1-7 or 1-9, it is still a good idea to place it halfway and make some fine adjustments as necessary. Bear in mind that just because your last fridge lived on setting 3 doesn’t mean a new model would be the same.
Why is my refrigerator buzzing?
That will probably be the compressor, which is what keeps the unit cold. So really, if you’re fridge is buzzing, it is actually a positive thing! At least you know everything is likely ticking over nicely.
But of course, it can get annoying, especially if you live in an open plan space. Also, if your fridge has got considerably louder or the noise has changed, it could be a sign it is being overworked or even that it is on its way out. So you may want to look for a fridge with a Quiet Mark if you want to purchase a new one, and are concerned.
If you aren’t concerned and everything seems to be working fine still, to soundproof your fridge, place it on a soft mat. Anti-vibration pads can also be popped under the corners of the fridge. This will reduce the noise of the vibrating unit interacting with the floor surface. You can also tighten any loose parts, especially doors and handles.
Why does my refrigerator click?
A click could be one of several things. If yours makes ice or water for a dispenser, it is probably this being created and fed through to the tank. If not, it may be the sound of the compressor working hard to keep everything cool.
Check the coil on the back is not dirty, and that it is on the right setting for the temperature required.
What is the ideal temperature for a fridge?
The ideal refrigerator temperature is 1.6°C. Anything above 4.4°C is seen as a danger zone, and creeping down to 0°C could freeze your food.
Why is my fridge not cold?
Firstly, ensure it really isn’t cold. Sometimes, it may feel a bit warm to you but is still perfectly fine. Stick a thermometer in there if you don’t have a temperature display, and even if you do have one, it could be worth a double-check.
Then check your fridge is on the right temperature setting (as explained above). Try making it cooler by moving the dial to a higher number and see how it goes for a day or two.
Clean the coils on the back of the unit to improve the efficiency of the condenser, ensure it isn’t too close to a wall or kitchen unit (which could reduce air flow), and keep other appliances which could get warm away from it, such as ovens and washing machines.
It could also depend on how much food is in there. Try to keep it well stocked, as this doesn’t just reduce the air flow of warm air which gets in there after the door is opened, but if there are loads of cold items in there they are more likely to keep each other cool too. Yet don’t stuff it too full, as this will reduce cold air flow. Getting the balance right is essential, which is why capacity matters.
Bear in mind that if it has just been stocked or you have taken out a lot of food, you will have to wait for the temperature to adjust. And also read below about how different areas of a fridge have varying temperatures.
Why is my fridge freezing my food?
If it is basically the opposite of the question above, it probably means it is turned up too high. 0°C is freezing point, so it should be above 1°C.
Also note that the temperature inside a fridge can vary. The lower down you go, the colder it will be as heat rises, which is why salad crisping drawers are near the bottom. If food is pushed to the back it will also be colder as that’s where the compressor is. Food in the door is usually warmer, which is why it is a good place for butter, eggs and sauce bottles.
But if this is a sudden issue, it could be a sign that the compressor is working too hard and going into overdrive. Check the coils are clean. It may also be working too hard if the fridge door is not sealing properly so is letting in some warm air, so check the seal and suction and replace if looking a bit loose or it is cracked.
Why is my fridge dripping water inside?
If there is water on the inside of your fridge rather than the outside, the good news is that it is usually less of a concern. It is still a pain, though.
Dripping water could be because you have recently lowered the temperature to stop it freezing food, so this excess cold water has to go somewhere as the unit ‘defrosts’. But if it is pooling, there may be an issue. Water can usually drain away through a water defrost drain, which looks like a small hole in the bottom of the unit, so check this is not blocked periodically.
A blocked drain could be anything from food stored over the hole to something wedged into it. Check the user manual to see if there is any solutions in there first. Try using a thin, long tool such as a pipe cleaner to budge it, or empty the fridge, cut the power and pour a bit of hot water in there if the problem persists. This is a good guide.
This water drips into a pan and evaporated eventually, so you may also want to gain access to the pan to see if it needs emptied if possible.