Jeff Flowers on March 16, 2015 38 Comments Your refrigerator is one of those household appliances you usually don’t have much trouble with. The lifespan of a quality fridge can last for many years, which is why it’s hard to tell when you need to call a repair technician and when you need to start looking into buying a new fridge. However, before your fridge completely gives out, it will usually give you a few indications that’s it’s wearing out. Let’s take a look at nine of the most obvious signs that you may need a new refrigerator in the near future. 1. Excessive Condensation If your fridge looks as though it’s sweating in the middle of a heat wave, the problem might be that it’s not cooling properly. If you notice this, you should immediately analyze the rubber sealing around the door to see if there are any water droplets or signs of mildew or mold. Depending on how bad the sealing may be, you could potentially fix it on your own. You may also notice signs of condensation inside your fridge as well. If so, this typically means your temperature setting isn’t operating as it should. If the problem persists long enough, there’s a good chance the inaccurate temperature will start ruining your food. 2. The Motor’s Running Hot Feeling a warmer temperature change whenever you put your hand to the back of your refrigerator is not uncommon. However, feeling excessive amounts of heat is an obvious sign that something is not right within your fridge. The coils in the back of your fridge are insulated, which should keep you from feeling too much heat. If you notice this in your refrigerator, it would be wise to call a repair technician to inspect your coils. Depending on the situation and the problem at hand, replacing the coils could be an option for you to consider. However, if you have an old fridge, especially one that’s showing other signs it’s fading, it may be a better investment to buy a new fridge, then to continue repairing a less-efficient one on its last legs. 3. Your Food Is Rapidly Spoiling Another indisputable sign that your fridge is about to breakdown, is when you notice your food start to smell and/or spoil days before it normally would. Or, if you put a six-pack of beer in the fridge, and notice that it’s taking longer than usual to get cold. A fridge that takes longer to cool your food or is unable to maintain the temperatures it is supposed to, is using more energy than it should. A gross waste of energy, really. This not only means you’re spending more on your energy bills than you should, but you’re also wasting money on any food you have to throw out due to your faltering refrigerator. 4. Your Freezer Has Become a Winter Wonderland One of the most common signs you may notice, is that your freezer is starting to resemble an iceberg. While you obviously want a freezer to keep your food in its intended frozen state, it’s not normal for you to have to chisel ice off just so you can reach your bag of peas. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is defrost the freezer. Once you have done this, plug it back in and monitor how it acts. If the problem continues to arise, then it may be time to consider getting a new refrigerator. Since many newer units have an automatic defrosting feature, this problem is becoming less common. But nonetheless, it’s a problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as you possible no matter how old or new your fridge is. Another possible solution to consider, is to buy an extra freezer to store your frozen necessities. Not only will this solve your continual iceberg problem, but it can save you lots of money in the long run. 5. Your Fridge Is More Than 10 Years Old A refrigerator can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. The older your unit is, the more it may cost to repair it. Eventually the cost of repairs will start to outweigh the cost of a replacement. If your fridge is over ten years old and in need of constant repairs, it’s not a bad idea for you to start saving up and shopping around for a new one. This is an obvious sign that its life expectancy is coming to an end and may give out at any time. You may think you’re needlessly spending money, but if you consider the cost-savings of buying a more energy-efficient fridge, as well as how much you won’t spend on repairs, you’ll quickly realize that this is a wise investment. 6. You Have a Side-by-Side Fridge The style of fridge you have can also play a big part in spotting signs that it’s time to replace it. If your side-by-side refrigerator is older than five years old and in need of constant repairs, it’s time to consider buying a new one. It’s best that bottom freezers be replaced after seven years and faulty top freezers be repaired if they are more than seven years old. 7. Your Fridge Isn’t Energy Efficient If your energy bills have been looking a bit higher lately and you’re still using the same amount of power from month to month, inefficient appliances may be the root of your problem. New Energy Star fridges are more energy efficient than older fridges. Not only is a more energy efficient refrigerator better for your wallet, it’s better for the environment as well. As you’re considering new fridges, pay attention to the specific type of fridge and the features in which they offer. Manual defrost fridges don’t use as much energy as automatic defrost units if they’re maintained well. A fridge with a freezer on top usually uses less energy than a fridge with a freezer on the bottom. 8. You Notice a Good Deal on a Fridge If your current fridge is older than ten years old and you’ve got the money to afford a new fridge you see available at a good price, you should at least consider buying it. Assuming, of course, that you’ve already done the proper research and compared similar models. This may seem as though you’re throwing away good money, but remember the older your fridge gets the more repairs can cost, the less energy-efficient they are to run and the more of an inconvenience it may become. Rather than wait for your fridge to inevitably break down at the most inopportune moment and leave you at the mercy of a salesman, take advantage of a good deal when you see one. There may not be any sales or specials going on when you finally do need to replace your fridge. If you like, you can sell your current fridge for a super cheap price to recoup some of the money you spent on your new unit. Just make sure you’re honest about how old the fridge is. At the very least you may be able to sell some of the parts that are still in working order. When all else fails, at least make an effort to recycle your old fridge. This is incredibly important to do, yet many people don’t even know that it’s possible to do so. Many old refrigerators, freezers and other kitchen appliances contain materials that should be disposed of properly and not just simply tossed aside in a landfill. 9. You Can Hear Your Fridge Running No, this isn’t a prank phone call from the 90’s, but if you can indeed hear your fridge running, then it’s time to call out a technician to see what the issue may be. While fridges typically aren’t the quietest appliances, you shouldn’t really notice any noise while it’s running. An ongoing buzz or hum can be problematic if either noise persists long after you re-plug your refrigerator in or open the doors. If the excessive noise continues after a technician comes out, you only have two options. Buy a new one or try to catch it before it runs away. Takeaways: In the end if you’re unable to decide whether you should keep repairing your refrigerator for a few years longer or go ahead and buy a new one, consult a reputable and trustworthy technician. It would also be wise to check to see if your fridge is under warranty or has an extended service plan. While this is unlikely, especially for older units, it’s still worth checking into. Just remember, no matter if you have a mini-fridge or a larger fridge with a freezer, at some point, continuing to repair an aging fridge is going to cost you significantly more than just simply replacing it.