Fridges. The enticing household appliance that we head to for late-night snacking, keeps our food fresh and keeps any good kitchen running. We rely on our fridges to ensure food lasts and to store future meals. So, what happens when they reach the end of their lifespan? When they are no longer functional and sit taking up space in your kitchen or pantry? If your fridge is broken or in the worst-case scenario, has reached the end of its lifespan, our handy guide can help answer your questions on what to do.
Paying for a new fridge can hit your bank balance hard. There are, however, warning signs to look out for that your fridge may be on the way out. Knowing these can allow you to look into repairs or save up for a new one.
Your fridge is supposed to keep your food fresh, so when it stops doing so, this could be a sign of wear and tear. Lookout for food not lasting until its expiry date as a major sign of this.
Issues with the freezer are another sign to be wary of. It sounds odd, but your freezer can get too cold. This then encourages a build-up of frost which can cause damage to the door seal, allowing warm air to enter.
Finally, if you’re seeing your electricity bill skyrocket, your fridge’s motor may be working harder than it needs to. Not only can this cost you a pretty penny, but it can result in overheating which can be a fire hazard.
Can your fridge be repaired?
With the cost of living at an all time high, it can be a struggle when a household item breaks, often leading to large amounts of money being spent on a new one.
Sometimes we may decide to look for a used appliance to replace a broken one. While there are certainly bargains out there, used items may also be quite far along in their lifespan, meaning they too could fail sooner rather than later. That’s without adding the cost of multiple sets of spoiled food.
Before you decide to call up your local waste removal service, check to see if your fridge can be repaired first. If your fridge is under five years old, there is a good chance that repairs can be made. This not only gives you a few more years of use and a little more money in your pocket but also encourages sustainability too.
But it’s a personal choice, all manufacturers offer a legal warranty with a new fridge purchase and some will even offer an extended warranty on top of this whereas its rare for repairs to be guaranteed so you could be incurring another repair bill sooner rather than later.
Are broken fridges dangerous?
We don’t often think about how dangerous our appliances can be. When not maintained properly, fridges can become a health and safety issue.
Modern fridges come with many handy features, but they also rely on insulation to stay cool. This insulation is highly flammable and can release toxic gasses in the case of a fire. With fridge fires often leading to loss of possessions and in some cases loss of life, it is vital that you ensure your broken fridge is safely stored or disposed of.
Another issue is where you store your broken appliance. Often, we want unused items to be out of the way, leaving them outside or in the garage. If you have children or vulnerable adults in your care, ensure you secure the fridge so there is no risk of them accessing the back where the most dangerous components are housed.
How to dispose of your broken or unused fridge?
There are a variety of different ways to get rid of a broken fridge. The first one you may consider is your local recycling facility. Some local sites take these items free of charge if you are a resident but most will charge a small fee. This is the same with your local tip, although there is no guarantee that they will recycle it.
There is also the consideration of getting it down there, make sure you have a friend or family member to help you lift it as one person is not advised to lift a fridge alone.
If you don’t want to or don’t have the means to lift your fridge there are a few options left:
First, your local council will be able to arrange a pickup for your item. This handy service is great if you have plenty of time and can move the item to the roadside at the front of your property. However, response times can often be slow up to weeks on end, meaning your item may be with you for longer than anticipated and will need to be stored inside to avoid complaints from your neighbors.
The second option is your local waste collection service. Companies such as LITTA are aware of the dangers of a broken fridge and will often be able to provide same-day pickup. If you don’t want to move it yourself they will also collect it from inside the property when they arrive. They then dispose of your fridge safely and ensure sustainability by recycling it for you.