How Long Do Refrigerators Last Consumer Reports

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How long do refrigerators last consumer reports – With “How Long Do Refrigerators Last? Consumer Reports Reveals the Truth” at the forefront, this piece embarks on an intriguing journey into the realm of refrigerator longevity. Join us as we delve into the factors that influence a refrigerator’s lifespan, uncover the common causes of failure, and provide expert tips on extending its functionality.

Discover the secrets to maintaining and caring for your refrigerator, maximizing its energy efficiency, and ensuring its proper disposal.

Consumer Reports, the trusted source for unbiased product evaluations, has conducted extensive research to provide valuable insights into the lifespan of refrigerators. Their findings, coupled with expert advice, will empower you to make informed decisions about your refrigerator’s maintenance and replacement.

Refrigerator Lifespan Overview

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Refrigerators are essential kitchen appliances that play a crucial role in preserving food and keeping it fresh. Understanding the lifespan of your refrigerator can help you plan for its replacement and avoid unexpected breakdowns. According to Consumer Reports, the average lifespan of a refrigerator is between 10 and 13 years.

However, several factors can affect the lifespan of a refrigerator, including the brand, model, and usage patterns.

Brand and Model

The brand and model of the refrigerator can significantly impact its lifespan. Some brands and models are known for their durability and reliability, while others may be more prone to breakdowns. When choosing a refrigerator, it’s essential to research different brands and models to find one that fits your needs and has a good track record of performance.

Common Causes of Refrigerator Failure

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Refrigerators are an essential part of our modern lives, but they can also be a source of frustration when they break down. By understanding the most common causes of refrigerator failure, you can take steps to prevent them and extend the life of your appliance.

Compressor Issues

The compressor is the heart of your refrigerator, and it is responsible for circulating the refrigerant that cools the unit. If the compressor fails, your refrigerator will not be able to cool properly. There are several things that can cause compressor failure, including:

  • Overheating
  • Electrical problems
  • Mechanical wear and tear

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the fluid that circulates through the refrigerator’s cooling system. If there is a leak in the refrigerant line, the refrigerator will not be able to cool properly. Refrigerant leaks can be caused by:

  • Physical damage to the refrigerant line
  • Corrosion
  • Loose fittings

Thermostat Malfunctions

The thermostat controls the temperature of the refrigerator. If the thermostat malfunctions, the refrigerator may not be able to maintain a consistent temperature, which can lead to food spoilage. Thermostat malfunctions can be caused by:

  • Electrical problems
  • Mechanical wear and tear
  • Dirt and debris

Signs of a Failing Refrigerator

As your refrigerator ages, it may start to show signs that it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. These signs can include:

  • Unusual noises:A failing refrigerator may start to make strange noises, such as humming, buzzing, or rattling. These noises can be caused by a variety of problems, including a failing compressor or a loose fan.
  • Increased energy consumption:A failing refrigerator may also start to consume more energy than usual. This is because the compressor has to work harder to keep the refrigerator cool.
  • Frost or ice buildup:A failing refrigerator may also start to develop frost or ice buildup on the coils or inside the refrigerator. This can be caused by a variety of problems, including a failing defrost system or a clogged drain.
  • Leaking water:A failing refrigerator may also start to leak water. This can be caused by a variety of problems, including a cracked evaporator coil or a leaking drain pan.
  • Food spoilage:A failing refrigerator may also start to cause food to spoil more quickly. This is because the refrigerator is not able to keep the food cold enough.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have your refrigerator inspected by a qualified technician. The technician will be able to diagnose the problem and determine if repairs are necessary.

Maintenance and Care for Refrigerators

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Regular maintenance and proper care are crucial to prolonging the lifespan of your refrigerator. By following simple cleaning, defrosting, and troubleshooting techniques, you can keep your appliance running efficiently and effectively for years to come.


  • Clean the exterior of the refrigerator regularly with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals.
  • Wipe down the interior of the refrigerator every few months with a baking soda solution (1 tablespoon baking soda per 1 liter of water). This helps eliminate odors and keeps the interior fresh.
  • Clean the door gaskets with a damp cloth and mild detergent to ensure a tight seal.


  • Defrost manual-defrost refrigerators regularly to prevent ice buildup on the coils. This can be done by turning off the refrigerator, removing all food items, and leaving the door open for several hours.
  • For automatic-defrost refrigerators, ensure the defrost system is working properly by checking the drain hole for any clogs.

Troubleshooting Minor Issues, How long do refrigerators last consumer reports

  • If your refrigerator is not cooling properly, check if the thermostat is set correctly. You may also need to clean the condenser coils, which are located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator.
  • If your refrigerator is making unusual noises, check for any loose or broken parts. You may also need to lubricate the fan motor.
  • If your refrigerator is leaking water, check for any cracks or damage to the water lines or ice maker.

Energy Efficiency and Refrigerators

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Refrigerators are one of the most energy-consuming appliances in our homes. The average refrigerator uses about 200 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is about 7% of the total electricity used in a typical home.Energy-efficient refrigerators can save you money on your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact.

The most energy-efficient refrigerators use about 40% less energy than conventional models. This can save you up to $50 per year on your energy bills.

Energy Star Label

The Energy Star label is a government-backed program that helps consumers identify energy-efficient products. Refrigerators that meet the Energy Star criteria use at least 10% less energy than conventional models.When shopping for a new refrigerator, look for the Energy Star label.

You can also check the refrigerator’s EnergyGuide label to see how much energy it uses.

Other Factors Affecting Energy Efficiency

In addition to the Energy Star label, there are other factors that can affect the energy efficiency of a refrigerator. These factors include:


Larger refrigerators use more energy than smaller refrigerators.


Refrigerators with features like ice makers and water dispensers use more energy than refrigerators without these features.


Refrigerators that are located in warm areas use more energy than refrigerators that are located in cool areas.By considering these factors, you can choose an energy-efficient refrigerator that will save you money and help you reduce your environmental impact.

Disposal and Recycling of Refrigerators: How Long Do Refrigerators Last Consumer Reports

Properly disposing of old or broken refrigerators is crucial for environmental protection. Refrigerators contain harmful refrigerants and other components that must be handled responsibly.

Recycling refrigerants and other components ensures they are not released into the atmosphere, where they can contribute to climate change and ozone depletion.

Contact a Certified Appliance Recycling Program

Locate a certified appliance recycling program in your area through resources like the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program. These programs have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely remove and dispose of refrigerants and other hazardous materials.

Contact Your Local Waste Management Service

In some areas, local waste management services offer refrigerator recycling or disposal services. Contact your local service provider to inquire about their procedures and any fees associated with disposal.

Utilize Scrap Metal Dealers

Scrap metal dealers may accept old refrigerators for recycling. However, ensure they are certified to handle hazardous materials and properly dispose of refrigerants.