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Should I repair or replace my fridge?

Should I repair or replace my fridge?
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Wondering whether it’s worth repairing your fridge? We’ve got some advice to help you decide

A broken fridge opens you up to the risks associated with food spoilage – so it’s a key home appliance. If your fridge is not working you’ll want a same-day resolution, particularly if you’ve just done a food shop.

What are some common fridge-freezer problems?

According to Checkatrade, the commonest issues with UK fridges are:

  • leaks
  • food getting frozen when it shouldn’t
  • temperature is outside the 2.5C to 4.4C range in the fridge
  • temperature is outside the -19C to -17C in the freezer
  • ice build-up in the freezer
  • unusual noises
How long do fridges and freezers last?

Fridge-freezers over ten years old are likely to be due for replacement. If your fridge, as well as being broken, does not really suit your lifestyle any more, it’s worth replacing rather than repairing. Refrigeration technology moves on all the time. Switching to a newer fridge could reduce your energy bills as newer appliances can be more energy efficient and they may have features that will make your life easier, too.

Modern fridges may have:

  • frost-free freezer
  • holiday mode
  • fridge fan
  • adjustable door racks and bottle grips
  • freezing trays
  • castors for easy moving
  • door open alarms
  • control panel outside the fridge

There are even fridges with smart features that you can control from your phone. Consumer guide Which? has a useful article explaining the latest fridge-freezer features.

When should I replace my fridge?

As a rule of thumb, if a repair to an appliance costs more than half what it would to replace it, opt to replace. But if your fridge is bespoke or built in; or a very expensive model, then that cost threshold rises somewhat.

What will my fridge repair cost?

The best way to get a cost for your fridge repair is to get a quote from three local appliance repair services. Call up or use a form on their website to make an enquiry about fridge repairs. The information you will need to provide includes:

  • the problem you are having with your fridge or freezer
  • make and model of your appliance
  • age of your appliance

It’s worth asking how soon the engineer can get to you, too, as in some areas there is a shortage of qualified fridge-freezer repairers. Same-day is a huge bonus, particularly if your weekly food shop is at risk of spoiling.

Can I DIY a fridge repair?

There are some fridge maintenance tasks that you can take on yourself. Check your fridge’s instruction book to see what needs doing and how often. As a rule:

  • clean the compressor coils round the back of your fridge every six months
  • change the filter on your ice maker and water dispenser every six months, or quarterly if frequently used
  • check the temperatures are within the right range with a fridge-freezer thermometer
Do fridges need servicing?

Fridges are not an appliance that is routinely serviced by an engineer; but it’s worth keeping an eye on the basic maintenance tasks.

Do I need to insure a fridge if I’m keeping it in self-storage?

A switched-off fridge kept in your storage unit will be covered by your self-storage insurance, as described in our article on storing fridges. Get a quote from Store and Insure today to see if you can save money on your self-storage insurance.

We hope these points have made it easier for you to decide whether to repair or replace your fridge-freezer.


Question and Answer


Can I put a fridge on its back in my storage unit?

It is not a good idea to store a fridge on its back or on its front. Domestic appliances are best stored in their intended position.


What is the best way to clean a fridge before storage?

To clean a fridge or freezer for storage, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a non-abrasive, non-scented cleaning product and be sure to dry your fridge before it goes into storage.