how long does it take a fridge to get cold

How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold?

Let’s discuss how long it takes for a refrigerator to reach the proper level of cooling and how to determine when it’s safe to store your goods.

One of the most important kitchen appliances in our home is probably the refrigerator. It guarantees the safety of the goods and offers suitable storage conditions for our food.

However, have you ever considered what would happen to your food if you forgot to close the fridge door or if the power went out? How long will it take the refrigerator to become cold again so that waste is avoided?

A fridge gets cold over a period of time which is influenced by a number of factors. The FDA recommends that food be kept at a temperature of 40°F, which takes a full-size refrigerator 12 hours to reach on average.

We’ll go over each of those factors in detail and explain what you can do to hasten the cooling process and get your fridge as cold as possible.

How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold?

Do you need your brand-new fridge to cool down right away? Exists any meat or fish in your refrigerator or freezer that needs to be put there? If that is the case, you undoubtedly want to hasten the cooling process in your refrigerator. But how long should it cool for, and what will speed up cooling? To learn more, see the section below.

Type of RefrigeratorTypical Cooling Time
Minifridge4 hours
Standard Refrigerator3 to 24 hours
Freezer12 to 24 hours

I recognize that waiting 24 hours for a fridge to cool down can be a hassle. That’s especially the case if you’ve got a tray’s worth of freezer food (not to mention all-important ice cream) that you must chill pronto. What can you do, then, to prevent your perishable goods from going bad?

In your new refrigerator, the chilling process can be sped up. That tub of ice cream that is melting should no longer require you to consume it all at once. Perhaps we’ll still carry it out.

how long does it take a fridge to get cold

Factors That Impact How Long Refrigerators Take to Cool

The time it takes for your refrigerator to cool will depend on a number of factors. These include the refrigerator’s capacity, room temperature, age, condition, whether or not it is stocked, and how frequently the door is opened.

Let’s examine each variable’s specifics in more detail.


How big or small is the refrigerator? To put it another way, does it hold several cubic feet of goods or is it a smaller version, holding only a few items, designed for a small space like a studio apartment or college dorm?

Due to the smaller amount of space that needs to be cooled and the shorter cooling time, smaller refrigerators typically cool more quickly than larger ones.

Storage Area Temperature

Where do you keep the refrigerator? In the summer, a place like a garage will take longer for the refrigerator to cool than an interior space with good air conditioning that is much cooler.

Outside Temperature

You should take the weather into account if a new refrigerator is being delivered to you by a delivery truck. When compared to a refrigerator delivered to you in the height of summer, one that was delivered to you in the dead of winter will take less time to cool.

Age and Condition

How old is your refrigerator, and what condition is it in? As opposed to, say, a refrigerator that is 20 years old, more recent refrigerators are made to be more efficient, so they will probably cool down faster.

Is the refrigerator functioning flawlessly, or is it sputtering along? How well it functions affects how quickly the refrigerator’s interior is cooled.

how long does it take a fridge to get cold

Empty Vs Stocked

When a refrigerator is filled with already-cooled food items, the temperature of the food items helps to lower the refrigerator’s internal temperature, allowing it to cool more quickly than when it is completely empty.

How Often the Door is Opened

Keep the refrigerator door closed if you want it to remain cool or cool more quickly. When the door is opened, cool air can escape and warm air can fill the void. Keep the door closed whenever you can while cooling your refrigerator.

Distance from the Wall

It will also affect how quickly your refrigerator cools and how far it is placed from the wall.

It will take longer for the refrigerator to cool if it is pressed up against the wall than if it is pulled a few inches away from the wall and given enough space for proper air circulation to circulate all the way around the refrigerator.

How to Speed Up the Cooling Time?

Check out the suggestions for accelerating chilling below.

Keep the Fridge a Few Inches from the Wall

Where can I find your new refrigerator?

It will be harder for it to stay cool if one of its sides is pressed up against a wall. Some of the heat that your refrigerator generates will be distributed if you keep it a few inches away from a wall. In addition, better airflow behind it will result from this.

Put Ice in the Freezer

If your fridge is stocked with cold food, it will cool down faster. So, if your freezer is starting to look a little bare, add some ice trays. The freezer will cool more quickly if there is ice inside of it. Additionally, you’ll have an abundance of ice for use the next time a heatwave strikes. It’s a win-win!

Don’t Open the Doors

how long does it take a fridge to get cold

Are you tempted to occasionally open your fridge door just to feel how cool it is getting? It’s fascinating to observe what occurs inside your new fridge’s closed doors. If you want your refrigerator to cool down quickly, though, you must repress the urge.

Obviously, you wouldn’t crank up your air conditioning and start driving with the windows down. Your car would never be able to cool. Your fridge uses the same idea. Keep the door closed, just as you would with your car’s windows, to make it cooler more quickly.

Keep the Kitchen Cool

Is it a hot summer day? Your refrigerator will have to work harder to maintain its cool temperatures if it is hot inside. Keep the kitchen cool if a warm front is coming your way on the day your refrigerator is delivered. Until the fridge has finished cooling down, keep the air conditioning on in the kitchen.

Cool Food Down before Putting It in the Fridge

You should cool everything that goes in your fridge so that it chills quickly. Do you intend to refrigerate the piping-hot dinner leftovers? Make sure they cool off on the counter before putting them in the refrigerator.

Why Your Fridge Doesn’t Get Cold?

You might be concerned about opening your fridge one day and finding it isn’t cold if you keep it stocked with all of your favorite foods. How does a situation like this occur?

Your fridge may stop getting cold because of the lack of electricity. If your refrigerator suddenly stops functioning, see if there is power in the house.

Next, check if the plug of the fridge is plugged properly into the electrical outlet. You must contact a professional if there are any problems with the refrigerator’s electricity or power consumption.

Aside from the problems with the electricity, one of the technical parts of the fridge may have malfunctioned.

For instance, if the fans malfunction, your refrigerator might not be able to cool down. The fridge may not be able to cool properly if the door seal is damaged.

how long does it take a fridge to get cold

We advise taking good care of your refrigerator to avert such issues and to quickly address them when they do arise. Additionally, seek advice from a local expert who can assist you if your refrigerator should develop a problem.

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 temperature range ensures the food in the refrigerator is safe.

But how can you tell if the refrigerator is cold enough to keep food cold? It’s very helpful when refrigerators have displays that show the temperature inside the unit.

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 is useful not just when your refrigerator is plugged in and you are waiting for it to get cold.

This tool can also be used to regularly check the temperature inside your refrigerator to ensure it is operating properly. The best course of action if neither of you has a thermometer would be to patiently wait a few hours to ensure that the refrigerator has gotten cold enough.

Tips for Keeping Food Cold Without a Working Fridge

Everybody has encountered a power outage and perhaps a refrigerator that isn’t functional for some reason. Whatever the circumstances, you might at some point need to figure out how to keep food cold without a refrigerator that is working. Here are some ideas.

how long does it take a fridge to get cold
  • Don’t Open the Door. Keeping the freezer and refrigerator doors closed is the best thing you can do. The hot air will be kept outside and the cold air inside thanks to this. Additionally, the food will remain fresher for longer.
  • Use Ice. When using ice to keep your food cold, think about using chunks or cubes. To help keep food cold, if you have a little extra room, put it in a container and put it right inside. Once the ice has melted, replace it.
  • Use the Freezer. Consider transferring as much food as you can from the refrigerator to the freezer if your refrigerator has a freezer that is still operational. Cold food helps to insulate itself and maintain its coldness when it is combined.

Conclusion: Happy Refrigerating!

It can seem incredibly tedious to wait for wet paint to dry as it does for a new refrigerator to cool. It could take up to 24 hours for your refrigerator to reach the ideal temperature, depending on the model.

Never put food in the refrigerator before it has reached 40°F, no matter what. Turn on the air conditioning and keep the refrigerator a few inches away from the wall to hasten the cooling process. Most importantly, exercise patience and close the door.

You can feel ready and prepared to set up your new appliance now that you are aware of the cooling times, temperatures, and other factors that affect a fridge’s cooling.


How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold After Plugging It In?

How long does a fridge take to cool down after being plugged in? A refrigerator typically needs 12 to 24 hours to cool down and reach the recommended 40°F storage temperature for food safety.

How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold After Power Outage?

The refrigerator typically takes 12 hours to reach the FDA-recommended temperature of 40F once the power is back on.

Will An Empty Fridge Get Cold?

The nearby food gets colder because it absorbs the cold air. The refrigerator works very hard (and costs you money) when it is too empty just to cool a few items. You may find your empty refrigerator not cold enough, or you could find delicate items (i.e., lettuce) freezing.

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