How often should a refrigerator run

How often should a refrigerator run


Refrigerators are an important part of our life, and it is vital to know their working. Refrigerators have different working times, and with time, they have evolved to be more efficient and energy saving. The refrigerator run time is the crucial part to check if your fridge is working fine or not. But the main question that arrives is that how often should a refrigerator run?

Refrigerator’s run time helps to determine their energy consumption and hidden abnormalities in it. So every person needs to know its run time to find out the early flaws in their fridge and to fix them that will prevent corrosive problems in the later stage. So let’s see how often a refrigerator should run smoothly on an average time scale.

Explanations of how often should a refrigerator run typically

There are different scales of measuring the running time of a refrigerator. It all basically depends on its whole cooling process. There are certain chemicals called refrigerants inside the fridge which have a lower boiling point. These circulate inside the entire refrigerator, which helps cool it down and thus, maintains your refrigerator temperature.

The technical and refrigerator experts say that the standard run time of a refrigerator is almost 30 minutes. It means that if you are not opening your refrigerator constantly and its door is closed for a long time, its compressor will turn on and start its operation after every thirty minutes.

In other scenarios, you have a big family or are constantly opening or closing your fridge. Your refrigerator run will always occur with short time intervals to maintain the refrigerator’s internal temperature if you do this.

The running time also depends on the surrounding environment. If you live in a place with high humidity and sunny days where elevated temperatures are present, there are more chances that the running time interval will decrease to chill the refrigerator constantly.

How does a refrigerator run?

We often think that refrigerators are complex, and we cannot understand their functioning. But in reality, its procedure is pretty simple to apprehend. To appreciate its run time, it is also critical to know about its working.

Refrigerators work by compressing and expanding refrigerants (gases with low boiling points). The compressor is the heart of the fridge. It compresses the refrigerants and controls their flow in the whole system. It then goes into the coils, where its liquid form is maintained. After passing through the coils, it enters the expansion valves, where it is again turned into gases. This state change absorbs all the excessive heat and cools down the refrigerator.

So this is the simple science behind the constant cooling of the refrigerators. We understood from this procedure that there are two important parts of the fridge: compressor and refrigerants. They play a significant role in its work. Any malfunctions in either of these parts will increase the run time that we will discuss later.

Run time of a new refrigerator or before shutting it down:

Under certain circumstances, the run time of the refrigerator varies according to the situation. Let’s talk about a newly bought refrigerator as it is brand new and has not been used before. After installing it in your home, it needs to reach a chilling ambient temperature to keep your food in. To do this, the running time can reach up to 24 hours to generate cooling as quickly as possible.

In the second scenario, like when you want to put your refrigerator in a defrosting cycle to clean it, it’s running time should be at least four to eight hours before starting the defrost cycle. This is majorly dependent on the door opening frequency and surrounding heat levels. So after defrosting the whole fridge, make sure to check and reset the defrost timer or else it will increase its run time.

Reasons constantly increasing the run time of the refrigerators

Till now, we are sure that the refrigerator’s run time is pretty much dependent on external factors as compared to internal ones. If your refrigerator ever alters its running time, there could be the following factors behind this alteration

  • Door opening frequency highly affects its run time. The more you open your door, the elevated the run time will become.
  • Harmed refrigerator gasket (which seals the fridge door and retains the fridge’s cooling) increases the run time by letting the cool air out in the environment.
  • The warm environment of the surrounding refrigerator. This increases the working and this running time.
  • Blocked vents of the refrigerator will automatically increase its run time. Overrunning will cause tears and extreme damage.
  • Dusty and blocked condensers as well as coils.
  • Putting hot food in the fridge will increase the temperature inside the refrigerator, thus increasing the running time to cool it down.
  • Overfilling your refrigeration will alter the ideal temperature inside the fridge.
  • Constantly opened internal lights.

Ways to maintain and solve your refrigerator’s running

After going through all the factors affecting the refrigerator’s running, it will become easy to maintain. Although it is not a hard thing to keep a fridge as it requires minimal care. But with minimal work comes up close supervision through which you can prevent the damage before even happening.

So here are some simple tips for managing and maintaining your refrigerator for its smooth, usual run.

  • Do not open the fridge door frequently. Try to keep it close as much as possible to retain the chilly inner environment.
  • Do not put hot food directly inside the refrigerator. First, let it cool down at room temperature, and then place it inside for long-term preservation.
  • Check the refrigerator baskets frequently several times a month to see if there is any damage or not. If the gasket is injured, replace it as soon as possible.
  • Please do not block the air vents by putting food in front of it.
  • Clean the condenser’s coils to retain the uniform flow of the gases. Do it at least once a year thoroughly.
  • Make sure that the fridge light turned off while closing the door.
  • If your refrigerator is having a long run time, check and correct its defrosting timer. A damaged defrost regulator will continuously increase its running time that will also increase energy consumption.
  • Do not overfill your fridge. Only keep its 3/4 part occupied. Space will produce less heat. This, thus, will decrease the run time.

If we see these precautions from a practical point of view, we can come to a clear conclusion that this minor care that doesn’t even requires a ton of labor that can increase the life of a refrigerator surprisingly to a new level.  


Refrigerators have become a part of our life in the absence of which we cannot live. It helps to preserve our food as well as gives us chilled beverages to drink. The invention and addition of the refrigerator have made our lives much more accessible and more straightforward. But with it comes basic knowledge of refrigerators that everyone should know.

We discussed how often should a refrigerator run normally and under different situations, including a newly installed fridge and a defrosting mode. The average run cycle is one in every thirty minutes whole for other conditions, and they were longer.

Also, we got enlightened with the cooling mechanisms of the fridge that made everything easier to understand. Moreover, certain malfunctions can elevate the runtime, and we also found ways to solve these problems. We hope that this article solved your question regarding refrigerator run. Thanks for reading this article and we hope to see you soon.

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