The fridge is perhaps one of the most vital kitchen appliances we have around the house. It provides proper storage conditions for our food and ensures the safety of the products.
But, have you ever thought about what will happen to your food if you accidentally leave the fridge door open or if the power goes out? How long will it take for the fridge to get cold again to prevent wastage?
How long does it take for a fridge to get cold? Fridges can take 2-24 hours to get cold. The exact cooling time depends on such factors as the type, size, age, and condition of the fridge. Some manufacturers provide information on how long each specific model takes to cool when you first plug it in.
This article includes information on the cooling time of fridges in various circumstances, what factors it depends on, tips for speeding up the process, and a lot more!
Why Your Fridge Doesn’t Get Cold
If you are someone that has a fridge fully stocked with your favorite products, you might be worried about opening up your fridge one day and realizing it’s not cold! How does something like this happen?
Your fridge may stop getting cold because of the lack of electricity. If you notice that your fridge isn’t working, check if there is power in the house.
Next, check if the plug of the fridge is plugged properly into the electrical outlet. If there are any issues with the electricity and power intake of the fridge, you will need to call a specialist.
Aside from the problems with the electricity, one of the technical parts of the fridge may have malfunctioned.
For example, your fridge may not get cold as a result of the fans not working. A damaged door seal may also prevent the fridge from cooling properly.
To avoid such problems and to solve them quickly when they come up, we recommend taking good care of your fridge. Also, consult with a specialist in the area that can help you in case there is something wrong with your fridge.
What Factors Impact The Cooling Time Of A Fridge?
There is no point in looking for an exact answer for the cooling time of your fridge as it depends on many factors.
How long the fridge takes to get cold largely depends on its size. While there isn’t a time chart that is fully accurate and applies to all fridges, one thing is certain. Bigger fridges can take up to 24 hours to get cold.
How long you will have to wait for your refrigeration appliance to get cold also depends on its type.
Mini fridges typically take around 4 hours to cool while freezers need 12-24 hours to reach the needed temperature. The cooling time range for standard fridges is between 2-24 hours.
The Temperature Of The Room
Before you plug in the fridge to get it cold, it would be helpful to read the user manual that comes with the fridge to find out what is the ideal temperature of the room the fridge should be kept in.
The hotter the room, the longer the cooling time of the fridge. Additionally, if you put your fridge in the garage or any hot room in your house, make sure you turn on the air conditioning or get some fans.
If the temperature of the room is always high, the fridge will break down as a result of overrunning itself.
Another measure you can take to ensure it is not too hot for the fridge in your kitchen is to install it somewhere where direct sunlight doesn’t hit it.
Where The Fridge Was Stored
You may be surprised to learn that the cooling time of the fridge is also affected by the conditions was kept in before it was delivered to your house.
For example, a refrigerator that has spent hours in a hot truck will take quite a long time to cool.
Age And Condition
A new refrigerator will obviously work more efficiently compared to an old one. Old refrigerators take longer to cool. Part of the reason why this happens is that they have dusty and dirty coils.
In addition to the age of the fridge, consider the condition of the fridge. If the main parts of the fridge, such as the thermostat and condenser fan aren’t working, you can’t expect it to get cold quickly.
How Often You Open The Fridge Door
Every time you open the door of the fridge you extend its cooling time by a few more minutes. So, don’t expect your fridge to cool quickly if all you do is open the fridge door to see how things are going.
Empty Vs Full
If you are cooling your fridge for the first time, make sure it is empty.
In general, though, a full fridge works better and maintains a cold temperature easier as the more products there are in the fridge the less room it has for warm air.
Lastly, a lot depends on the brand of your fridge. The cooling time for the same type of fridges may vary from brand to brand.
It is always good to check the instructions for accurate information on the cooling time of the fridge as well as read reviews by people who have experience with the same model by the same brand.
How Do You Know When The Fridge Is Cold Enough To Store Food?
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the temperature inside the fridge should be 40°F.
The freezer temperature, on the other hand, should be as low as 0°F. This is the temperature range that provides the safety of the food inside the fridge.
But how do you know when the fridge is cold enough to store food?
Some refrigerators come with displays that show the temperature inside the fridge which is very helpful.
If your fridge doesn’t have this feature, you may need to purchase a fridge thermometer to check the temperature inside the refrigerator and the freezer.
A fridge thermometer comes in handy not only when you have just plugged your fridge and are waiting for it to get cold.
You can also use this tool to consistently monitor the temperature inside your fridge to see if it is working properly.
If you don’t have a thermometer either, your best bet would be to wait patiently for a few hours to make sure the fridge has got cold enough.
How Long Does A New Fridge Take To Cool?
If you have bought a new fridge, you should plug it in and wait for it to attain its full functionality before you load it with products.
The average cooling time for new fridges is 12 hours. However, it may range from 2-24 depending on the brand, type, size of the fridge, and a few other factors.
Putting food into a fridge that is not cold enough puts you at a higher risk of food poisoning.
We recommend planning your purchases a few days prior to having a new fridge delivered to your place. This way you will bring the food waste to a minimum if the fridge takes too long to get cold.
How Long Should A New Fridge Run When Plugged In?
The compressor, which is the heart and the most important technical part of any fridge, runs around 90 percent of the time if a fridge is new. It works in cycles.
As you plug in the fridge, the compressor cycle takes most of the energy. Less energy is used on running the compressor. This is why you should wait for at least 2 hours before you start loading the new fridge with food.
In general, the run time of a fridge depends on not only its age but such factors as hot and humid weather, the condition of the door gasket, blocked air vent, as well as how much food there is in the fridge.
How Long Does It Take For A Fridge To Get Cold After A Power Outage?
Whenever the power goes out, we recommend you keep the door of your fridge closed. If you don’t open the door, the fridge will keep the food cold for around 4 hours.
A full freezer, on the other hand, will keep the food cold for around 2 days. If the freezer is only half-packed with food, it will keep them cold for 1 day.
When the power is restored, check the temperature inside the fridge and the condition of the food that has been inside. How long the fridge will take to get cold again depends on how long it has been missing power.
If the outrage didn’t last longer than 4 hours, the fridge will get cold within 1 hour. But if the power is gone for too long and the fridge has got fully warm, it may take multiple hours for it to get cold again.
Fridge Door Left Open: How Long Will It Take It To Get Cold Again?
No matter how attentive you are, leaving the fridge door open is something everyone does from time to time.
Some people close the door as soon as they notice they have left it open and go about their day. Others, however, get seriously concerned about their fridge and the food in it.
The truth is, depending on how long you have left the door open, the food in the fridge will start to get warm. Items that are easily perishable may even begin to spoil.
Thus, if you ever leave the fridge door open, get rid of the foods that are sensitive to warm temperatures. Additionally, closely examine things like dairy products before eating them.
Leaving the fridge door open also causes moisture to form in the fridge. This happens as a result of the cold air of the fridge mixing with the warmth that penetrates it from the outside.
So, what should you do if something like this happens?
First off, close the fridge as soon as you see it has been open. Next, wait until the fridge gets cold again while trying not to open the fridge door often.
It takes a fridge longer to get cold after the door has been left open. This is because it has to defrost and clean itself before the cooling process starts again.
You may have to wait around 24 hours until the fridge gets cold again.
Tips For Speeding Up The Cooling Process Of The Fridge
Now you know that it may take your fridge a few long hours to get cold. But what if you have a lot of food that is about to spoil as a result of being left at room temperature?
Luckily, there are a few tips to help you speed up the process. Here is what you can do to make your fridge cool faster.
Keep The Fridge Away From The Wall
Ensuring there is airflow around the fridge is one of the best ways to speed up its cooling process.
When working to get cold, your fridge disperses heat. If you put it too close to the wall, the heat created by the fridge itself will affect it and slow down the cooling time.
Don’t Open The Door
You may be impatient for your fridge to get cold so that you can finally start putting your groceries away. However, opening the door often to check the temperature inside the fridge won’t help the situation.
On the contrary, every time you open the door, the warm air that gets in will decrease the temperature inside.
Keep The Room Cool
Turn on the air conditioning to help your fridge cool faster. If it is too hot in the room, the fridge will take many hours to get cold.
Put Ice In The Freezer
Another easy method to make your fridge cool faster is to put ice in the freezer. You can put ice in the refrigerator too. But check on it from time to time to make sure it hasn’t fully melted.
Keep The Coils Clean
If your fridge isn’t new, make sure its coils are clean. With time, the fridge coils get clogged with dust and dirt.
And when the coils are clogged, your fridge needs to work harder and longer in order to get cool. It is best to clean the coils of the fridge twice a year.
Don’t Store Warm Food In The Fridge
As soon as you start to put some food into the fridge, make sure they are completely cooled down. If you put hot or warm leftovers into the fridge, the temperature inside will rise.
Plug In The Fridge Properly
If you want your fridge to get cold faster, don’t plug it into a power strip along with other kitchen appliances.
The fridge should always have its own outlet. Additionally, the voltage rating should suit the fridge’s rating plate to avoid any fire hazards.