Are you worried you have a broken refrigerator? Here are 5 tell-tale signs something has gone awry.
Do you suspect you’re dealing with a broken refrigerator? Before doing anything else, you should make sure that is actually the case.
See, refrigerators are some of the most reliable household appliances out there. As a general rule, a quality fridge will last for many years.
On the flip side, this also means it can be hard to tell when it’s not performing at its most efficient.
Fortunately, a refrigerator will always exhibit some warning signs before giving out. Here are 5 of the most common indicators that you may need a new fridge soon.
1. High Electric Bill
Have your energy bills seemed a bit higher lately? If you’re still using the same amounts of power throughout your home, this could point to a problem with inefficient appliances.
Of course, your refrigerator is one of the prime suspects here. If the fridge needs to work harder to operate, it’s likely compensating for a mechanical issue.
These issues include anything from a broken evaporator fan motor to a faulty thermostat.
2. Excessive Heat
When you put your hand near the back of your fridge, you’ll be able to reach its condenser coils.
Note, some fridges have their coils on the bottom and can be accessed by removing a plastic grill directly beneath the doors.
These coils should be warm to the touch — but not hot.
If the coils are producing excessive amounts of heat, you should inspect them. Any appliance tech can check these for you if the coils continue to be hot after cleaning and allowing to cool.
Depending on what’s going on specifically, you may need to replace the coils. Most often though, the coils just need a thorough, detailed cleaning.
Dust, grease, pet hair and the like can accumulate over the coils. The evaporator fan then cannot cool them, and the warm coils become partially insulated causing excessive heat to build up.
3. Frost Build-Up
Has your freezer started to resemble a winter wonderland? Sure, the whole point of a freezer is to keep food in a frozen state.
That said, it’s not normal to have to chisel ice off you bag of frozen broccoli.
Of course, most modern units come with a useful defrosting feature. If you can’t count on that, you’ll have to defrost the freezer yourself.
If this issue continues to occur, it may be time to consider getting a new refrigerator.
4. Spoiling Food
Having your food spoil days before it should is another sign that your fridge is close to breaking down. Milk not lasting as long is a common tell-tale sign.
The same goes for beer or soda taking longer than usual to get cold.
If your fridge needs more time to cool your food, that means it can’t maintain the right temperatures.
As we’ve mentioned, that leads to higher energy bills. You’re also wasting money on spoiling food you’ll have to throw away.
5. Excessive Condensation
Is the outside of your refrigerator getting condensation?
Inspect the rubber seal around the door for water droplets or signs of mold and mildew. If the sealing is only mildly damaged, you should be able to fix it on your own.
It’s possible that you’ll note signs of condensation inside the fridge as well. This is an early indicator that there’s something wrong with the temperature setting.
If this goes on, you may start dealing with the issue of food going bad again.
How to Fix a Broken Refrigerator
These 5 warning signs all have one thing in common: you should fix them as soon as possible.
Not sure whether you should keep repairing your broken refrigerator or buy a new one? Your best bet would be to consult a reputable technician.
Check out more about appliance troubleshooting and repair for information on other appliances.