A good fridge freezer should last at least ten years without having to resort to any serious level of maintenance, however, in practice, this is not always the case. Many factors affect the length of time a fridge freezer may last, and they can break in any number of ways.
Therefore it is more accurate to say that a good fridge freezer could last at least ten years so long as it is not mistreated.
In practice, fridge freezers tend to last for a good few years before showing signs of concerning wear and tear. This can be anything from 5-10 years with the correct treatment and care. To extend the longevity of your fridge freezer look at replacing worn parts and having it serviced.
Parts of a fridge freezer that most commonly tend to fail are replaceable, but people are put off by the price of repairs; even when the price is less than a replacement fridge freezer, it seems that psychologically people prefer to spend a little bit more for a brand new fridge to get value for money.
Can You Replace Parts Of A Fridge Freezer?
Like any electronic device fridge freezers are made from replaceable components. Some are easier to replace than others, and as long as you bear safety in mind, can be replaced yourself (think internal light bulbs, shelves, compartments etc.
Other parts are far more complicated and require professional installation.
As a general rule of thumb, it isn’t worth replacing complicated parts of a fridge freezer that is over ten years old as other parts are likely to start failing from that part onwards; there is little point in buying and installing one spare part only for another to fail shortly afterwards.
You should think very carefully before spending a large amount of money on having a new part installed. Consider the age of the fridge freezer, and its overall condition. You should be asking yourself whether you are throwing good money at a bad problem, and whether you are going to need to replace the fridge freezer in the near future anyway.
If you are certain that you want to replace a faulty part to lengthen the life of the fridge freezer, then make sure you understand fully what the problem is before you try to fix it.
The five most commonly replaced parts of a fridge freezer are the thermistor, condenser fan motor, evaporator fan motor, water inlet valve, and the relay overload protector (OLP) set. All of these parts are essential to ensuring a fridge freezer works the way it should.
The thermistor detects the temperature in the fridge, allowing for the system to make changes to maintain the correct temperature range. Without this your fridge freezer will either be too warm or too cold. The condenser fan draws air over a cooled coil to lower the temperature, and it is the motor for this that often fails.
This usually results in a cold spot in the fridge freezer, but no regulation throughout the rest. The evaporator fan is part of the system that regulates the temperature of the fridge. A sign that this isn’t working is when the freezer remains the right temperature, but the fridge is too warm.
The water inlet valve is only relevant to fridge freezers with water dispensers or ice makers. If this starts to leak the chances are you have a broken or irregular inlet valve. The relay OLP prevents power from being mismanaged by the fridge freezer. If this breaks the main ways to fix it is to buy and have fitted a new compressor or to completely replace the fridge.
Surprisingly this issue is just as common in newer models of fridge freezers as older ones.
All of the parts mentioned above require more than a basic knowledge to install, although if you are fairly practical at DIY projects you should be able to follow some online tutorials to fix or install them. For any electrical issue it is strongly recommended that you seek professional help with installation.
For more prosaic problems, such as broken shelves, broken draws, or damaged fixtures, buying parts and fitting them yourself should be fairly simple. Most of these items can be bought directly from the manufacturer or from other online retailers, and are usually a simple matter of sliding the old part out and reversing the process with the new part.
Ultimately then you can definitely replace parts of a fridge freezer, whether through simple self-installation or through the use of a professional installer. The value in doing so is vastly increased when the fridge freezer is newer, and it is more difficult to justify in a fridge freezer that is more than ten years old.
How To Care For A Fridge Freezer To Make It Last Longer
There are a few simple things that you can do to make your fridge freezer last longer than if you don’t. Cleaning the coils on the back of the fridge freezer will help, as will regularly checking the temperature; if it feels too cold or too warm then adjust the thermostat.
Even simpler, you can prolong the life of your fridge freezer by ensuring all food in the fridge is covered (prevents nasty bacteria from being spread around the fridge internal compartments), checking the gasket, making sure the door is always closed when not in use, changing filters, and making sure it is kept level at all times will all help to keep the fridge freezer going.
It is also advisable that you only move a fridge freezer when you absolutely have to, as moving it around too much risks damaging the more fragile components. Not only that, tilting or laying the fridge on a side in transit should never happen, as this will potentially break the fridge freezer immediately.
This is due to the oil in the compressor, which is held in place by gravity; tilting this too far for too long will damage the fridge freezer.
Does Using A Fridge Freezer Daily Damage The Lifespan?
Using a fridge freezer daily is unlikely to cause damage to the device itself. In fact, they are more efficient if they are kept running for a prolonged period of time, as turning them off and on again uses a lot of power to bring the fridge freezer to the right temperature.
There is no scientific or technical reason why the steel insert of an Instant Pot would be damaged through regular storage in the fridge (filled with ingredients or not). Steel can be taken down to far lower temperatures than those achieved in a fridge. It is perfectly safe to leave the steel insert in a freezer for any length of time if you so chose, although there is little reason to do so.