Is It Better To Repair Or Replace Your Broken Refrigerator?

Blog author image
Mark Jardine
June 05, 2024
Home appliances
Blog post image
Refrigerators are essential for keeping food fresh and safe to eat. Unfortunately, they can also be a source of foodborne illness if they're not serviced regularly or properly maintained. Each year, there are an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States alone. That's one in every six people! And while most cases are mild, some can be life-threatening.
In addition, a malfunctioning fridge may not only be a waste of money to throw out all that food, but it's also really inconvenient to go without a refrigerator for even a day or two. So when it comes to refrigerator problems, most homeowners are confronted with whether to fix or replace the item.
Relax, as we're here to help! Our team of experienced and highly skilled fridge technicians here at Home Alliance will come to your rescue whenever you consider repairing or replacing a new fridge. We offer the following information to help you make that decision easier.

First Thing First

Perhaps there is a straightforward solution to the problem that you can test on your own:
  1. Check that the fridge is completely plugged in. (It may appear easy, yet it occurs.)
  2. Check the breaker to ensure it has not been tripped.
  3. Examine the coils. Vacuum them if they're clogged with hair and dust.
  4. If the ice maker or water dispenser isn't working properly, consider changing the water filter.
  5. Check to see if anything in the fridge is obstructing the air ducts.
  6. Check to see whether the ice maker was accidentally switched off.
However, whenever you've gone through the checklist above and still have issues, you should contact a licensed home appliance repair specialist to determine the best option: repair or replace your valuable kitchen appliance.

6 Ways to Know When To Repair Your Refrigerator

Here are several signs that your refrigerator needs to be repaired:
  • Inconsistent Temperature
The refrigerator's temperature should be below 40°F and 0°F in the freezer. If the unit isn't cooling adequately, it might be a thermostat, coil, air flow, or vent issue. A refrigerant leak might also be the source of the problem.
  • Unusual Noise or Sounds
Noises coming from the rear of the refrigerator might indicate a problem with the condenser fan, compressor, or defrost timer. A faulty fan may be causing noise inside the refrigerator. A rattling drain pan might be the noise source if it's coming from the bottom.
  • Damaged or Broken Seal
Cool air will escape if the door is not securely sealed, and the refrigerator will run inefficiently. Food rotting is also a worry. A specialist can fix door seals without replacing the complete device.
  • Malfunctioning Water/Ice Maker
If your refrigerator isn't distributing water or creating ice, the parts involved with these systems can be fixed or replaced, restoring your refrigerator to its previous state.
  • Dirty/Filthy Condenser Coils
If everything else appears to be working except the fridge not cooling, you have a problem with the condenser coils. Your refrigerator's performance will suffer if the condenser coils in your system are dirty, as they will have to work more than normal to evacuate heat from within the device.
  • Broken Fan Motor
If your refrigerator is still not cooling, the problem might be with the condenser fan motor. A damaged fan increases the probability of your kitchen appliance overheating and failing to cool since it draws air to cool the condenser coils.

4 Common Signs You Need to Replace Your Refrigerator

First and foremost, determine if it is worthwhile to repair the equipment. If it is very old, requires frequent servicing or the cost of maintenance (now or in the future) is close to or greater than the cost of a newer, more efficient model, replacement is a preferable alternative. Keep an eye out for these indications to determine whether it's time to replace your refrigerator:
  • Hot Back Panel
Because of the engine's location, the back of a refrigerator is normally warmer than the sides or the front. If the back exterior surface creates a lot of heat, the motor may run too hot. A professional should fix any refrigerator under six or eight years old (particularly if it is still under warranty).
If the appliance is more than ten years old, it is typically best to replace it. After all, fixing a faulty motor can cost hundreds of dollars, and you'll almost certainly need a new refrigerator.
  • Excessive Condensation
Excessive condensation indicates that the cooling capacity of your refrigerator is insufficient. If the dampness is only on the exterior, check the door seal; you can easily repair a faulty one. Suppose the seal seems to be in excellent shape or condensation forms on the refrigerator's interior. In that case, the device's internal temperature isn't low enough to keep food from spoiling, and it's time to replace it.
  • Utility Bills Are Skyrocketing
You may also notice that you've been seeing a lot of your normal appliance repair guy in recent weeks or months and an increase in your utility costs. Regular repairs can be inconvenient and time-consuming, even if you have a home warranty plan. Sometimes, it may be prudent to purchase a full fridge replacement.
  • 10 Years or Older
While some refrigerators can survive more than a decade, older ones use a lot of energy, which results in a higher electric bill. When shopping for a new refrigerator, check for the ENERGY STAR label since these models consume around 9% less energy than the government standard.
Considering purchasing a new fridge? Looking for a refrigerator new for sale? Then contact us here at Home Alliance, as we can recommend the best place to buy a refrigerator and the most affordable refrigerator price in town.

BONUS: Tips to Extend Your Refrigerator's Lifespan

Dealing with a broken fridge is unpleasant, and repair or replacement costs may be stressful. To prevent a premature failure and keep your appliance working efficiently, do the following:
  • Maintain a clean refrigerator coil around the bottom or back of your appliance. Vacuum the coils on the bottom or back of your appliance to keep your refrigerator working smoothly and save you money.
  • Limit how many times you open the doors. When you open the doors, the temperature inside rises several degrees, requiring the compressor to work harder to keep the food cold.
  • Avoid stuffing the fridge. The compressor must work harder to keep items cool and fresh as you store more food and beverages. Air needs to circulate food for optimal operation, so space goods slightly apart on shelves. Also, be certain that food does not obstruct internal air vents.
  • Clean the door gaskets to ensure adequate sealing. The accumulation of sticky foods on the gasket forces you to pull harder to open the door, which might eventually rip the gasket. Regularly wiping gaskets with warm water will save you money on repair expenses and power.
  • Lastly, contact a specialist as soon as you discover even the tiniest problem. If you don't act fast, all your food will go bad, and you'll have to replace it. The longer you wait to repair your fridge, the more expensive the repairs will be. Hiring a technician for fridge repairs is the best way to solve any problem quickly and efficiently.

What to do with your broken fridge when you consider replacing it with a new one?

Have you ever had a broken appliance like a fridge and didn't know what to do with it? Most people take it to the dump, but that's not the best solution, as it will end up in a landfill, which will take up space and release harmful toxins into the environment if not recycled properly. Aside from dumping your old appliances and refrigerators, it is also against the law in some states. Appliance recycling is the best way to get rid of your old fridge!
Great news! LADWP provides a free fridge program and encourages its clients to recycle their old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers safely and ecologically responsibly. Learn more about their refrigerator program here: LADWP Recycling Program. They also offer a great rebate for recycling your old fridge!

Who should I call for refrigerator repair and replacement?

Who to call for appliance repair near me? Look no further than Home Alliance! We have been in the service for years, committed to getting every service job done right the first time. Whether you have a warm fridge, a noisy refrigerator, or a leaky one, we can fix it! No matter the brand of your fridge, such as Viking, Sub-Zero, or others, wherever you are in the region, we have you covered! We have ample years of service repairs in the industry, so expect us to have seen almost all possible fridge problems and can fix them right the first time.
So, contact our friendly customer support team to get a free refrigerator estimate, and we guarantee to have your faulty fridge repaired or install a new one perfectly without breaking the bank! Book our services now.