Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances you own. It runs 24/7 to keep your food fresh. It’s a relatively low-maintenance appliance so it’s easy to take for granted that it’s working properly so long as you feel cold air every time you look inside. You might go years before having your refrigerator serviced. However, there may come a time when you have to replace your refrigerator earlier than expected. It’s fairly obvious when your refrigerator has stopped working altogether but hanging on to your old refrigerator could be costing you more than it’s worth.

Continue reading to learn six signs that you may need a new refrigerator.

The Refrigerator Is Too Old

Similar to other types of appliances, refrigerators may eventually need to be replaced. Refrigerators certainly last longer than most appliances, sometimes as long as 20 years. Over time, however, a refrigerator can wear down and lose efficiency. Older appliances often use more electricity to do the same job as their newer counterparts. While in contrast, newer refrigerators sold today have been built with the latest energy saving technology. You can use this energy calculator to determine just how much money your old refrigerator is costing you.

An old refrigerator is subject to an array of problems, such as leaking water, an overflowing ice tray, or fans not working properly to maintain a cool temperature. While it’s often possible to repair your refrigerator, an extensive repair bill could cost nearly as much as a new refrigerator. Replacement parts can also be harder to find for older models. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it might be time to think about replacing it.

The Refrigerator Is Producing Too Much Noise

It’s normal to hear subtle noises from your refrigerator. You may hear a gentle humming or the fan blowing when you open the door. However, if you start hearing loud or continuous noise, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. Any new or unusual noises should be investigated. Common noises a malfunctioning refrigerator can make include:

  • Buzzing
  • Vibrating
  • Scraping
  • Grinding
  • Rattling
  • Clicking
  • Knocking

It’s important to know what type of problem each sound indicates. Each of these noises are usually the result of a different issue. For example, hearing a knocking or scraping sound may be the result of some form of obstruction. A loud buzzing or vibrating may be due to the ice maker not working or the refrigerator working too hard.

But there’s no need to spend your day watching DIY videos to try to figure out why your refrigerator is making noise. Experienced repair technicians can often diagnose and fix the problem quickly.

The Inside Is Frozen

One problem that warrants immediate attention is when the inside of the refrigerator starts to look like a second freezer. While this might not sound problematic, the purpose of a refrigerator is to keep perishable foods cool and fresh, but not frozen. It can be an unpleasant surprise to pour a glass of milk and find a mix of icicles. You may find your refrigerator is cooling unevenly and completely freezing food on one side.

To store food safely, the optimal internal temperature for your refrigerator is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything colder than than could cause your beverages to freeze and vegetables to wilt. If you open your refrigerator and find ice surrounding the walls, the temperature control setting may be faulty or the seal around the door may be leaking. This can cause significant damage if it’s not taken care of immediately. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be remedied.

Your Food Is Continuously Rotting

While it’s normal to experience the occasional case of rotten produce, having food regularly rot before its expiration date is not. If you’re constantly finding yourself throwing out food that spoils too soon, this could be the result of a malfunctioning refrigerator. Not only are you wasting food, but you’re also losing money on both the grocery order and utility bills to run the faulty appliance. Getting a new refrigerator can quickly help solve this problem.

There Is an Abundance of Condensation

Condensation, or excess moisture, is just as problematic as ice covering the walls. It is also a common problem that is relatively easy to fix. If water appears to be leaking from the bottom of your refrigerator, this could be the result of a drainage problem. Routine maintenance and cleaning can solve a simple drain blockage.

Condensation appearing inside the refrigerator means that the refrigerator isn’t cooling the way it should be. It could be caused by simple mistakes like storing food while it’s still hot or leaving the refrigerator door open for too long. If you’re routinely seeing condensation in the refrigerator, there could be a mechanical failure in need of repair. Excess moisture can not only leak into the internal components of the refrigerator, it is also a breeding ground for mold.

The Refrigerator’s Motor Is Overloading

It is perfectly normal to feel some warmth coming from the back of your refrigerator. However, there’s a difference between feeling warmth and actual heat If this is the problem you’re dealing with, it means the refrigerator’s motor is becoming too hot and the evaporator coils aren’t working.

In fact, most refrigerators these days have insulation in the back to prevent the heat from seeping into the unit itself. This problem is most common among refrigerators that are too old, but newer refrigerators can be repaired. But even with a new refrigerator, if you’re constantly spending money on repairs, you’re better off just getting a new refrigerator.

Experts in refrigerator repair services say you should call a technician who has the training and experience to be able to quickly diagnose the problem. Instead of going back and forth from Home Depot as you try and fail to find the right parts, they’ll be able to take care of the issue quickly.