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Longevity of appliances depends on how well you take care of them. Well-maintained appliances often last more than 20 years.  But many appliances last less than 20 years because not everyone pampers their appliances with regular maintenance and cleaning.

What is the expected lifetime of a refrigerator?

Refrigerators typically last an average of 12 to 15 years, but you can extend the life of your fridge, with proper care. The biggest thing you can do is to clean dust off the condenser coils yearly. Cleaning the condenser coils helps the compressor work more efficiently, so the refrigerator lasts longer.

How do I take good care of a refrigerator?

Follow these additional tips to extend your refrigerator’s life:

  • Leave space on the sides, back and top of the refrigerator for ventilation. Your owner;s manual says how much space to leave, but figure on about 1/2 inch  on each side and 1 inch of behind and on top of the refrigerator. Good air circulation, the compressor works more efficiently and lasts longer.
  • Don’t stack items on top of the fridge, so air flows freely across the top of the refrigerator.
  • Clean dust from the bottom front grille regularly. Dust on the grille can block air flow through the condenser coils and around the compressor.
  • Don’t store food right in front of air vents inside the refrigerator and freezer. Cold air needs to move freely; otherwise your compressor has to worker harder and longer to keep your food at the right temperature. Check your fridge’s owner’s manual for the location of air vents if you’re unaware of their locations.
  • Because moisture from uncovered foods can cause frost buildup on the evaporator fins, cover or wrap all foods in the refrigerator. Frost buildup  interferes with air circulation ins the refrigerator.
  • Check the gaskets regularly for cracks or damage that will let in moist, warm air that makes the refrigerator compressor  run longer to cool the refrigerator—shortening the life of the refrigerator. Replace any damaged door gasket immediately.

Get a professional to check the fridge once a year

Following these tips goes a long way to maximizing the life of your refrigerator. It’s also a smart idea to have a trained appliance repair technician do preventive maintenance on the refrigerator once a year. A tech can check to make sure all the refrigerators components are working like they should and can catch problems early.