Other than cleaning or changing the water filter, you don’t really have to do much to keep your refrigerator running. However, just because they don’t require tons of constant maintenance, that doesn’t mean your fridge is meant to last forever. If you moved into your home ages ago, or you’ve noticed some less-than-stellar performance lately, it may finally be time to re-examine the focal point of your kitchen.
But don’t worry, you won’t have to go it alone. And contrary to popular belief, buying a new refrigerator doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Below you’ll learn how to tell when you may need to replace your refrigerator. And more importantly, if you do need to find a replacement, we’ve added some affordable options for you to consider.
How Old Is It?
On average, a standard refrigerator reportedly only lasts up to 14 years. Think about how long you’ve had your fridge. If it was there when you moved in, you may not even know how old it is.
Even if your fridge is still functioning, make sure it hasn’t exceeded its intended lifespan. Since you use it on a daily basis, you shouldn’t settle for a device that could give out on you at any moment.
Reg. Price: $359.99
There are plenty of budget-friendly refrigerators around, like this crisp white Insignia top-freezer silhouette that’s available for less than $360. In addition, Best Buy offers a price-match guarantee, so be sure to shop around before you buy.
The 50/50 Rule
If you’ve been thinking about repairing your broken fridge instead of buying a new one, many experts note that you should consider both the age of the appliance and the cost of the repair.
If your refrigerator is more than halfway through its lifetime and if the repair is going to cost more than 50% of the price to replace it, then it’s typically best to buy a new unit.
Sale Price With Buy More, Save More: $1,649 | Reg. Price: $1,799
Right now you can get this Whirpool Side-By-Side Refrigerator for $150 off thanks to the Buy More, Save More event at Lowe’s.
Is Your Fridge Still Meeting Your Needs?
Has your family grown and do you now need more storage? Or are you simply interested in upgrading to a smart kitchen that more easily meets your needs?
The good thing is, there are plenty of refrigerators out there with tons of impressive features. Make your dream list, do your research and see what’s worth your purchase.
Sale Price: $1,978 | Reg. Price: $2,199
Home Depot currently has this Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator for more than $200 off. This smart refrigerator includes innovative designs, such as a family hub system that can play music and create digital bulletin boards right on the fridge door.
Your Freezer Is Too Frozen
Yes, a freezer can be too frozen. It’s an issue that needs immediate attention, as it leads to freezer burn that can affect the quality of your food. All in all, ice buildup typically means you have a faulty door seal or hinges that are letting in outside air. Depending on the age of the unit, this could mean it’s time for a new one.
Sale Price: $1,898 | Reg. Price: $2,299
To completely eliminate this problem in the future, consider LG’s InstaView Smart Wi-Fi refrigerator. Not only does the smart device alert you when a fridge door has been left open, it comes with a cold saver panel that reduces cold air loss to extend the freshness of food.
Listen To It — Literally
Is your refrigerator keeping you up at night? Rattling, humming, buzzing, clicking or sounds similar to these are not good signs. Sometimes it means your fan motor has lost lubrication and needs replacing. Either way, who would want anything that makes this much noise around the house anyway?
Sale Price: $752.62 | Reg. Price: $799
Who says you have to have a plain black or white refrigerator? If you need a replacement, snag a standout Chambers fridge that comes in eye-catching colors like wine red and light blue.
How High Is Your Electricity Bill?
Refrigerators are always plugged in and could be the culprit of a higher energy bill. Outdated refrigerators will require more electricity to run them than newer models. When you consider the savings you could get on your energy bill each year, the cost of a new fridge may be worth it.
Sale Price: $2,114.10 | Reg. Price: $2,349
This Frigidaire’s French Door Refrigerator is currently on sale and features Energy Saver Plus technology that allows the fridge to automatically go into energy-saving mode if it hasn’t been opened in 24 hours.
You Could Get Rewarded To Give Up Your Old Fridge
Finally, if you clearly need to replace your refrigerator because it has stopped working, know that many states have recycle programs that give people cash for old appliances.
Depending on where you’re from, you could get up to $70 for an old or non-working refrigerator. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s easy money that you can put toward a new fridge.
Reg. Price: $1,899
Sale prices aren’t the only thing to look out for. Don’t forget that plenty of companies offer flexible payment options. For this discounted GE French Door Refrigerator, Home Depot provides 12-month financing at the suggested price of only $159/month.
Once you decide on the right refrigerator for your home, set a Deal Alert to make sure you don’t miss the next sale. You can also find a variety of currently available deals on our Refrigerator and Freezer Deals page.