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Refrigerator Maintenance: Optimal Functioning and Troubleshoot

Refrigerator Maintenance, The number one kitchen appliance in the modern-day home is a refrigerator. It works around the clock to preserve food. Thus, it is not magic but a convenience to rely on daily. 

Most fridge owners are used to the fridges tripping on and off after some time, which is normal and why they pay less attention. Contrary to this opinion, a regular check on the appliance is vital for optimal functioning. 

Therefore, understanding how a refrigerator functions is crucial for how you care for and maintain it, detect the red flags, and when to consult an expert if the need arises. 

How long should a fridge run? Why is it running constantly? Join me to get comprehensive answers to these questions and more on the appliance’s functionality.

Refrigerator Runs Every 20 Minutes: 4 Reasons Why

Refrigerator Maintenance

Below are the potential causes of a refrigerator running every 20 minutes or increasing temperatures.

Broken Seal

The drop in minutes from the standard set times of 30-40 minutes may be due to a broken seal that leads to a cooling split out. The refrigerator’s broken seal makes its temperatures fluctuate, which may result in harmful food and also ruin the fridge’s energy efficacy.

Solution- It would be best if you test the seal to check on the damaged spot. If any, replace the complete seal to avoid the issue from recurring in the future.

Cramped Room

The location of the refrigerator is of significance for it affects its cycles. For instance, when the fridge is too near too many walls, it gets cramped, which means it will heat up often, causing damage to its internal temperatures.

Solution- Move the fridge to a place not surrounded by two or more walls and if it is not possible, move it up to keep at least a 6” gap between the walls and the equipment.

Malfunctioning Thermometer

The thermometer is in charge of reading the internal temperatures of the fridge. If it fails to function, it is a sign that the thermometer is broken. Failure to record the right temperatures can cause more harm than good to your appliance.

Solution- Try to reset the thermometer or readjust the setting (for newer appliances). It is best to install a separate thermometer to confirm the internal temperatures to achieve a durable solution.

Too Much Hot Food

A lot of hot food in the fridge’s compartment causes fluctuation of temperatures impacting how the fridge runs. The steam from the food increases the internal temperatures making the fridge regulate its temperatures to cool the food. 

Checking on the appliance when food has cooled or been removed is wiser.

Solution- Be patient and let the food cool down to establish if the problems persist. If not, the issue would be due to something else.

How Long Should a Refrigerator Run?

 Refrigerator Maintenance query isn’t straightforward because of several factors, including the appliance’s model. A refrigerator’s duration before shutting off is a dilemma for many people. Consequently, you don’t wish for your food to go stale.

However, there is a general rule of a fridge running for about 4-8 hours before shutting off to ensure proper food cooling and keeping it fresh while maintaining steady temperatures. The standard set time it should run is 30 minutes in each cycle, but only if the door remains closed.

As a result, a refrigerator can run for 12 hours daily, within which it would complete a minimum of five cycles. The appliance is designed to remain powered 80%-90% of the time, and so is its compressor.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to note that an estimated run time for a fridge is not fixed because it is affected by different factors, the fridge’s model and size. Even so, there are times the appliance begins to overdo it, like running in intervals of 20 minutes.

What Is The Refrigerator Cycle, And Factors Affecting Its Functioning?

The time a fridge takes to cool down and heat up again is called a “Cycle.” It happens in about 12 hours based on the fridge’s use. During this moment, the compressor will turn off and on to keep the internal temperatures stable.

Knowing your fridge’s cycle is crucial for its proper maintenance and to also cut on energy costs. It will help you steer ahead on a plan that will see efficient use of your appliance, like an unnecessary door opening to retain the cold air inside.

Therefore, the fridge cycles result from the appliance’s attempts to regulate the differing temperatures. Regardless of the estimated time cycle runs, there is still a variance in frequency depending on the fridge type and the elements below.

The door opening frequency

The air inside your refrigerator is cooler than the external air. Although when you open the door to remove an item, the external air seeps into the inner compartment and saturates the air inside, shifting the inner temperatures and triggering the compressor to initiate another cycle to cool the air.

The more frequent the door is opened, the more the appliance runs into cycles and vice versa.

Empty Refrigerator

A fridge uses more power to cool the air when it is empty than when it is packed. When the fridge is empty, there is room for cold air to escape at any chance given, causing it to enter into more cycles to keep the low and steady temperatures.

Food retains the colder air in a packed fridge, allowing minimal air to escape, translating to less frequent cycles.

Warm Surroundings

Refrigerator Maintenance

A refrigerator will constantly work to keep the temperatures low in hot and humid areas leading to more cycles. Direct sunlight exposure drastically increases the number of cycles, and the fridge uses more power.

Interior Light 

Have you ever wondered why the interior light turns off whenever you shut the door? Well, this is because it is the source of heat. 

Suppose, for any reason; the light fails to go off despite the door remaining closed. In that case, the heat begins to mount up, forcing the device to go into more cycles to regulate the temperatures, eventually affecting the cycle frequency.

Obstructed Air Vents

Even though a full fridge retains cold air, it may block the air vents when the equipment’s contents are cramped. Such a scenario makes the air inside warm, causing the compressor to go through many cycles to cool the air.

A refrigerator is important in every home for it preserves food, but on the other hand, it is mostly taken for granted. Many fridge owners don’t even understand how it works or its care. Therefore, you may assume that all is well because you’re used to hearing it tripping from time to time. 

Contrary to the belief, a refrigerator running every 20 minutes is alarming and needs your attention. The thermometer’s malfunctioning, the seal is broken, or the fridge’s location is near the wall. Manage these issues using the details herein to keep your make it last longer and retain Refrigerator Maintenance efficiency for days ahead.