Refrigerators have become an essential appliance in every home. The good thing is, you need not worry about them malfunctioning in the first few years, as they last for a good 8 to 10 years. However, if your fridge is more than 10 years old, you need to be prepared for investing in a new refrigerator. But how do you know that your fridge is wearing out?
We list down some signs to help you understand if it’s time to buy a new refrigerator…
Your refrigerator is no more cooling
This is one of the most common problems people face with refrigerators. Cooling issues usually arise when the condenser coil (located either in the back or at the bottom of the unit depending on the model) is dirty. Condenser coil releases heat from inside the refrigerator and tends to get sticky and dirty over time. It easily attracts dust and cobwebs. If the coils are left dirty, the refrigerator has to work harder to release the heat.
To avoid this, we recommend you clean the condenser coil once a year using a vacuum or a long brush used at home for dusting. These are easily available on Amazon.in or at most general/hardware stores. If cleaning the condenser coil doesn’t help, you could check the thermostat setting once. It’s possible that the thermostat has been set too low. The numbers on the dial indicate power levels, so the higher the number, the colder the refrigerator is. If there is still no cooling, you may need help from an expert.
Freezer has turned noisy
If your freezer has suddenly turned noisy, there could be an issue with the evaporator fan motor. When the evaporator fan motor located behind the freezer fails, it often generates a lot of noise. This noise tends to get louder every time you open the refrigerator door. In that case, you may have to replace the motor. Another way to confirm that the evaporator fan motor has failed is when the fridge turns warmer than usual and ice takes longer than usual to form.
As far as loud noise from the refrigerator is concerned, it could be due to the condenser fan, located at the back. This usually happens when there is dust or lint stuck between the fan blades. To fix this issue, first unplug the refrigerator and clean the fan blades using a soft brush. If you do not find any dust or debris buildup, you may have to replace the motor, as the noise is an indication of a faulty motor. You may face this issue only if the fridge is very old.
Freezer is no more defrosting
Depending on the size, defrosting the refrigerator and freezer can take a few hours. To defrost, you need to unplug the refrigerator and keep the fridge door open to allow the ice to melt on its own. However, this method may take anywhere between 3 to 6 hours to defrost the appliance completely. Until then you need to be prepared to store your food in a cool place. Wondering why is it important to defrost? When ice builds up on the evaporator, the airflow in the refrigerator is interrupted to the point that the fridge space can no longer get cool.
The defrost system melts that ice so that proper airflow is maintained and the food remains fresh. If the freezer is not defrosting, it’s possible that the defrost control board has failed. In this case, the moisture in the air will turn into frost and the refrigerator will not go into the defrost cycle. This will not only reduce its efficiency but also increase your electricity bill. So it’s important that you get it checked from a professional. However, some new freezer models now have a self-defrosting feature, so you need not worry about defrosting.
There is water leakage under the fridge
If you have been noticing constant water leakage under your refrigerator, it could be due to mold growth or an issue in the rubber sealing around the door. This could also be due to leakage from the refrigerator which is a cause of concern. In either case, make sure you call an expert home to check the problem and get the issue resolved at the earliest.
Clogged drain tubes from self-defrosting refrigerators are often the most common reason for leaks from the bottom of the refrigerator. Fixing the clog can actually help fixing the leak. A tube or channel usually directs the melted water into a tray at the bottom of the refrigerator. We recommend taking an experts help to check the drain tube to determine if it is clogged or frozen. If the drain tube is frozen, thaw the ice and flush the drain tube with hot water to ensure that it is clear of debris. This should mostly solve the problem.
If your fridge is more than 10 years old and you’ve been facing these issues more often, its definitely time to invest in a new refrigerator. But before you decide on buying one, here are some things to look for when buying a fridge. And while you are deciding which one to purchase, do not forget to get an extended warranty plan for your refrigerator to give it a longer life. Click here for more information on the extended warranty plan.
(Illustrations by Mohd. Danish)