Mini refrigerators have a fairly long lifespan, its good operation time depends on many different factors. If you are curious how long mini fridges can last, this article will answer it for you. In addition, we will give you the factors that affect the life of your refrigerator and when you should replace it with a new fridge.
Refrigerator parts-Which is the most important?
Mini refrigerators are divided into two main parts: the refrigerator frame and the cooling system. These two parts are put together to give the mini fridge perfect structure and proper operation.
Mini fridge frames are parts and details of the mini fridge in the normal state that we can easily see. Precisely, they are the frame, the door, and the compartments and shelves of the mini fridge. The refrigerator frame has the leading role of keeping the internal cooling environment sealed, preserving food, and protecting components and equipment in the refrigeration system.
The cooling system plays the most crucial role in the mini refrigerator structure. The refrigeration system includes components such as compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve, refrigerant. As follows:
Usually, mini refrigerators will have 1 or 2 pistons. Its working mechanism is based on a conversion from rotary motion to reciprocating motion of the piston. The compressor’s job is to suck the liquid-vapor in the indoor unit, balance the appropriate pressure level or push the vapor through the condenser.
The condenser is responsible for exchanging heat between the condensing refrigerant and the cooling medium. The device helps to remove the temperature of the condensing medium from the outside environment. Because of this feature, it is often installed at the ejectors of the compressor and filter dryer before connecting to the capillary. The material used when designing the indoor unit is usually iron or copper for better heat conduction.
The evaporator helps heat exchange between the refrigerant and the medium cooled efficiently. It works according to the heat from the cold environment to supply the refrigerant. The evaporator is installed behind the capillary, throttle, or compressor.
The refrigerant pressure passing through the throttle valve will be adjusted to reduce the temperature to the appropriate level.
Refrigerant is a particular type of liquid solution used in refrigeration systems. It helps create cold temperatures and is very volatile at about minus 32 degrees Celsius.
Further reading: Best Mini Fridges for College
How long do mini fridges last?
Mini refrigerators are very useful for your home and room, especially when you need a compact device but valuable enough to be used for a long time.
Many people wonder when buying a mini fridge is how long the mini-fridge lasts. This is a difficult question to answer because all mini fridges are not made according to a specific mold; they have differences in size, design, quality, or even construction.
It would be not easy if you wanted to put them into a standard, an expected number of lifespans. However, if you need an approximate number, experts have announced that usually, mini refrigerators will have a lifespan of 6 to 14 years. This is the average lifespan of quality and reputable refrigerators.
You should not choose a mini fridge that is too cheap because it will quickly fail and take time to repair again and again. However, if you select a too expensive mini fridge, you should consider carefully whether it’s truly necessary.
Another piece of advice is that you should buy a mini fridge from reputable stores or manufacturers with strict warranties to avoid possible risks with your mini fridge.
Factors affecting the life and durability of the mini fridges
Condenser coils are dusty
When using a mini refrigerator, you need to remember to clean the condenser coils at least every six months periodically.
If not cleaned, these coils will quickly absorb dirt and accumulate more and more over time, making the refrigerator lose its cooling effect, which in the long run will cause the fridge to be damaged.
Therefore, you should clean it regularly using a duster and hose attachment on the vacuum cleaner to avoid unwanted situations.
The condenser coils are located under the refrigerator, behind the plate or tray. In some models of mini fridges, they may be found at the back of the appliance.
The fridge door seals are dirty or damaged
The seals on the refrigerator door are the part that keeps cold air from escaping. They also accumulate dirt and reduce their ability to perform their duties. Therefore, users need to pay attention to cleaning the mini fridge door seals with warm water or soap.
You regularly pay attention to whether your mini refrigerator door gasket is torn or broken or not to replace it in time. Alternatively, you can use vaseline to lubricate them, prevent tearing, and keep them elastic and flexible.
The vents are dirty
The vents inside the mini fridge have a role in helping circulate cold air evenly throughout the device. When using a mini refrigerator, these vents are prone to get stuck in food, liquid, or even dirt inside, affecting the ability to distribute cool air evenly inside the refrigerator.
You should regularly check these vents and use a warm wet cloth to wipe when detecting blockages to avoid prolonged problems leading to damage to the mini refrigerator.
The mini fridge is not leveled and doesn’t have enough space
Suppose the place where you place the refrigerator has an unstable surface. In that case, the internal components of the mini refrigerator are accessible to strain and damage, resulting in a shortened service life. Pay attention to adjusting the legs of the mini fridge until it is entirely flat.
Don’t forget to give your mini fridge enough space to avoid impacting the internal components. In particular, do not place heavy objects on top of the mini fridge.
You may also like: How to Choose the Best Beverage Mini Fridge for Home Use?
Signs that your mini fridge has serious problem
You need to think of replacing the refrigerator with a new one in the case of experiencing the following signs:
The food inside the mini fridge goes bad quickly
One of the most important roles of a refrigerator is to keep food cool and stay fresher longer. If you notice food spoiling faster than usual, or it takes longer to cool food or drinks, there may be a problem with the refrigerator. This means that the refrigerator will probably have to consume more electricity than it normally needs, and you have to pay more on the electricity bill.
Refrigerator is hotter than usual
Normally, if you put our hands on the side of the refrigerator, you will often feel some heat. Don’t worry, this is very normal because the ventilation system of the fan is working.
Most refrigerators are designed to insulate the coils. If you feel excessive heat or your fridge is getting hotter than usual, it is not normal. Your refrigerator has problem.
Further reading: Why Are the Side Walls of the Refrigerator very Hot?
Mini fridge has condensation or frost
When you notice the condensation or frost on the food and the edges of the refrigerator, it is very likely that your refrigerator is having a problem.
So, you need to check if the fridge is completely closed or not? Is the refrigerator opened often or left opened for too long? Do you put hot food inside the refrigerator? Is the rubber rim around the refrigerator door work properly?
Normally, the refrigerator will be able to balance the temperature in the refrigerator between hot and cold.
After checking the above signs, and you find nothing wrong, it means that your refrigerator is malfunctioning.
Refrigerator is making unusually loud and constant noise
If your fridge is always loud, it’s possible that motor is being overworked. The motor helps to regulate the internal temperature of the fridge. It can make noise when it’s running. But it’s not necessary to constantly run at full speed. When the refrigerator’s motor is running non-stop, it may be due to a layer of snow forming, so you will need to defrost by emptying the refrigerator and opening the door.
After fixing, if the motor does not stop running, the fridge should be checked as it may have problem.
Further reading: Mini Fridge Making Popping Noise: Why? and How to Fix it?
Fridge is too old and gives poor performance
Most refrigerators are designed to last between 6 to 14 years. If your mini fridge has been used for too long or over ten years old, you should replace it. It sounds wasteful at first, but you can both save money on electricity bills and protect the health of your family members by buying a new refrigerator.
If you want to own a new and more modern mini fridge. Perhaps you initially bought a refrigerator with a relatively small capacity because you thought it was suitable for family use. However, then the number of family members increases, the old refrigerator no longer has enough capacity. At that time, you should buy a new refrigerator with a more suitable capacity, ensuring food will be stored safely.
Repair vs replace
Once you noticed some of the above signs, it means that your refrigerator is dying, and it may need to replace or repaired. To decide between repairing or replacing, you should consider the following factors:
Is the fridge under warranty?
If yes, contact the manufacturer or retailer to fix it.
How old is the mini fridge?
Normally, mini fridges worth repairing if they are 3 years old or less.
For other full-size refrigerators, the side-by-side fridges can be five years old, and the bottom-freezer fridges are no more than seven years.
Which will cost more, replacing or repairing?
You should compare the cost. After getting the information, you can make the right decision. Search for cost of repairing the old fridge and the cost of a new fridge which is trendy, meet your needs. If the cost of repairing is more than 50% of the cost of a new fridge, consider replacing the fridge.
You may feel worried when spending a large amount of money for a new fridge, but the newer models are usually designed to be more energy efficient and equipped with many outstanding features. It’s worth your investment.
You may look at the Ultimate guide to choose a mini fridge, if continue using a mini fridge.
If you want to find a new fridge for a large family, refer to Which refrigerator is best for a family of 4 or 5 people or best smart fridge if you are looking for a modern fridge.
Tips to increase the lifespan of a mini fridge
To use a fridge effectively as well as increase its lifespan and save electricity, you need to note the following things.
For a newly bought refrigerator
You should let it rest for 2 hours before plugging. Because the fridge has traveled a long distance, it is easy to cause an electric shock if you plug it in and use it right away. Also, limit moving the new refrigerator. The surface of the refrigerator must be firm and flat so that the refrigerator is stable during use.
Do not put food or anything in the fridge immediately. If the fridge is suddenly overloaded to cool a large amount of food, it can be damaged. And your food will be affected by smell from plastic inside the fridge.
Place the refrigerator in a well-ventilated place, away from heat sources
Make sure to put your refrigerator in a place which is away from heat sources, away from direct sunlight or next to other heat and light generating devices. The refrigerator placed in an area with high temperature cannot operate smoothly. At the same time, the motor has to work too hard to cool the inside, which greatly affects the life of the device.
Use a separate power supply for the refrigerator
The power source is an important factor that makes the fridge to operate efficiently and avoid damage due to unstable electricity. The correct use of the power source also helps to protect the electrical system, avoiding fire and explosion caused by electrical short.
Practice good habits
You should clean the refrigerator properly every week to remove the stains, potential bacteria inside and outside the fridge.
When cleaning, you should turn off the power and take out all the food. Then, use a soft cloth to gently wipe the inside of the refrigerator. Avoid using any sharp object to scrape, pry snow and dirt in the refrigerator so as not to damage the indoor unit.
Limit opening the refrigerator for too long
You may have a habit of opening the refrigerator, drinking water or enjoying food for e few minutes. However, this action will allow warm air from outside to enter the refrigerator, thereby affecting the cooling ability, the refrigerator has to work harder than usual to ensure the temperature at the right level.
Keep food sealed and covered in the refrigerator
Users often have the habit of keeping leftovers in the refrigerator. It seems simple, but if you don’t properly store it, your food is very easy to spoil. It also affects the lifespan of the fridge.
When storing foods, you need to put them in an airtight container or use food wrap. In this way, you will be able to retain the moisture of the food and it will last longer.
You may also like: What are the Best Food Storage Containers for Fridge?
Do not leave the refrigerator empty
Although filling up with food will make the refrigerator work harder, the reverse is not necessarily true. The cold temperature in the refrigerator depends largely on the amount of food you store; cold foods will actually help each other keep cold better.
If you don’t have much food to store, add more water bottles to fill up the wasted space in the refrigerator.
To sum up
Mini fridges are becoming more and more useful. Although the average lifespan of a mini fridge is about 6-14 years, the way we use and store it will determine whether the refrigerator will last long or deteriorate quickly.
Hope the article has provided information about how to use and maintain your mini fridge properly.
Signs a Refrigerator is Dying, howards.com, Retrieved on Mar. 20, 2022