How Long Does It Take a refrigerator to get cold?

How Long Does It Take a refrigerator to get cold?

We all have been through the situation when we accidentally left the fridge door open, or the power went out.

By the time we became aware, the food had started giving off a nasty smell.

So you might have thought, how soon your fridge will get cold again to prevent further wastage?

Refrigerators can take about 2 to 24 hours to reach the ideal cooling temperature of 40°F.

The precise cooling time depends on such factors as the size, type, brand, and condition of the fridge.

Mini fridges get cold quicker, having an average cooling time of 4 hours.

Now that you have an overall idea of refrigerators’ time to cool.

Let us get into more details regarding the factors that impact cooling time, issues that hinder effective cooling, and some tips to speed up the cooling process.

Factors affecting the cooling time

an image of temperature control panel of  refrigerator

Some factors that determine a refrigerator’s cooling time are given below.

Related Reading: The Coldest Part Of A Refrigerator – Read More.

1. Size of the refrigerator

While this is not a fixed rule, a larger refrigerator typically takes more time to get cold.

Mini-fridges usually take only four hours to cool, while most bigger fridges require around 24 hours.

For standard fridges, the cooling time ranges from 2 to 24 hours.

2. Brand

A great deal depends on the brand of your fridge; as for the same type of fridge, the cooling time may vary from brand to brand.

It is best to read the installation guide for accurate information on the cooling time of your fridge.

And to check the reviews by people who have used the same model of the same brand.

The critical point is that the cooling time changes significantly across brands.

For example, while Whirlpool refrigerators take nearly 24 hours to get cold, Samsung models only need 2 hours. 

3. Room temperature

The refrigerator will burn out if you keep your fridge in a hot area, like an outdoor kitchen or garage.

It will overwork itself by constantly running to maintain the cool temperature, so it has to work harder for too long.

If the fridge is in your garage, you may want to invest in vents, fans, or maybe an air conditioner to help keep your fridge cool.

4. Refrigerator’s age and condition

Old refrigerators take longer to cool down since they are less efficient than newer models.

Dirty and blocked coils can increase the cooling times.

The condition of your fridge also matters.

If some parts are not working fine, the fridge will not cool as fast.

The key components to check are the thermostat, damaged door seal, blocked air vents, condenser fan, or even a faulty compressor.

5. Empty space

A fully stocked fridge works better since there is lesser room for warm air, and it is easier for the refrigerator to maintain a cool temperature.

However, it is best if you don’t put anything in the fridge when it is cooling for the first time.

6. How frequently is the fridge door open

Each time the fridge door is opened, its cooling time extends by a few more minutes.

So, you cannot expect your fridge and the food inside to cool quickly.

If you open the fridge door now and again to check if the pudding you had put inside a few minutes ago is cold yet.

Issues causing insufficient cooling

Not enough cooling means your food will go bad faster, which leads to wastage or worse – food poisoning.

So what are the reasons your refrigerator is not reaching sufficient cooling levels?

Related Reading: The Best Refrigerator Thermometer – Read More.

Defective Thermostat

The thermostat controls the voltage going into the compressor and evaporator/condenser fan motors.

The refrigeration system will not work if the thermostat controlling the temperature is defective.

Malfunctioning Evaporator Fan Motor

If the evaporator fan stops running, it will not blow the cold air into the refrigerator compartment.

So your freezer may still get cold, but your refrigerator will not.

Try manually turning the evaporator fan blade; if it doesn’t spin freely, you may need to replace the fan motor.

Dirty Condenser fins

Condenser coils are usually mounted behind or beneath the refrigerator.

When the condenser coils are clogged or dirty, they do not release the heat effectively.

Therefore, your fridge becomes less efficient over time as debris accumulates on the condenser fins.

Faulty Gaskets

The rubber seals or gaskets lining the edge of your refrigerator door serve to keep the warm air out and cold air in.

If the gaskets have leaks, your refrigerator’s cooling efficiency will be much reduced.

Compressor Fault

The compressor is the pump responsible for compressing and circulating the refrigerant fluid throughout the condenser coils.

If the compressor is not working, the refrigerant will not absorb heat from the compartments, and consequently, your fridge will not get cold.

Fast Cooling Tips

an image of refrigerator

Here’s how you can make your refrigerator get cold faster.

  • Keep your fridge away from the wall to ensure good airflow.
  • Keep the condenser coils clean.
  • Maintain the right room temperature by using AC or a ventilation system.
  • Put ice in the fridge to help it cool faster.
  • Don’t open the door too often or for too long.
  • Don’t put hot food inside.

How long does it take a refrigerator to get cold – FAQs

1. How long does it take for a new fridge to cool?

Depending on its type and brand, it can take between 2 and 24 hours for a new fridge to get cold.

2. How long does it take for a fridge to get cold after a power outage?

An average-sized, fully-loaded fridge can take about one hour to get cold after a power outage of fewer than two hours.

3. How long a fridge takes to get cold again if its door is left open?

If the door was left open overnight, it might take 24 hours to get cold again.

Related Reading: How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Refrigerator – Find More.

Final Word

By and large, refrigerators require around 12 hours to get cold.

However, depending on the brand, the cooling times may vary from 2 to 24 hours.

Check the installation manual for specific information on your fridge.