Buying a new fridge is sometimes an urgent task if your old one has broken down and you have nowhere to keep your milk. But if you've been coping with a poor-performing fridge for a while or it's simply time to upgrade, there are many bargains to be found as retailers clear stock towards Christmas and the end of the year (not to mention the bargains you can pick up in the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales).
In any case, it's important to do your research and check our reviews before you buy. Here are five good reasons to hit the shops or start searching for deals online.
1. If your fridge is more than 10 years old
The average life expectancy for a mid-range fridge is around nine years. Fridges are getting more and more energy efficient over time and the MEPS (minimum energy performance standards) have become more strict, so an old fridge is costing you a lot more to run than a new one. Old or faulty seals will also add to running costs.
If you've noticed your power bills creeping up, it might be time to upgrade. Check out our guide to buying a new fridge.
2. Your food is spoiling quickly
Throwing out spoiled food is not only costly for your household budget, it could be a sign of poor temperature regulation and a badly performing fridge.
The problem might be a faulty thermostat or a damaged door seal, which are worth repairing and might not mean you need a whole new fridge.
But CHOICE household goods expert, Ashley Iredale, says: "The cooling performance of an older fridge can be partially restored by replacing worn seals. But if your fridge is more than six years old and suffers a major fault (like compressor failure), it's worth replacing."
3. It's very, very noisy
It's reasonable to expect a certain level of noise coming from your fridge. Our fridge experts describe the noise of a healthy fridge as "a continuous hum, like a relatively quiet motor, and much quieter than vacuum cleaner".
But if you're struggling to hear your favourite TV show over the sounds from the kitchen, there could be something wrong with the compressor.
Other noises can be caused by the automatic defrost, which can sound quite loud even in a healthy fridge (so don't be alarmed by the odd pop, crack or gurgle).
If you think your fridge is too loud, or you notice any changes in the sounds your fridge is making, it's a good idea to investigate and possibly upgrade.
4. Your family's needs have changed
If you used to keep nothing but takeaways and wine in your (tiny) fridge, but you now have a couple of kids with plenty of family meals on the go, you might need to upgrade to a more spacious model. Or, perhaps the kids have left home and you don't need all the space you used to?Or maybe you're redesigning your kitchen and it's time for a new look.
Whatever the case, if you're buying a new fridge, make sure you measure up properly and ensure it will fit within your cabinetry.
5. You love a fancy feature
Fridges these days can be pretty high tech – is it time you had an ice-maker, a special compartment for your wine and kimchi, or a fridge with a touchscreen in your life? We won't judge. Check out the top five advances in fridge technology and get shopping!