How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold?

How long does it take for a new fridge to get cold? How soon will it get cold after a power outage? We know the answers!

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How Long Does It Take a Fridge to Get Cold

If you have recently bought a new fridge, or your household has recently experienced a power outage, you are probably asking yourself the same question now: how long does it take for a fridge to get cold enough to hold food?

This question may seem to be useless, however, this is not right.

If you know how much time it takes your new refrigerator until it is cold enough for holding food and drinks, you can define how soon you will be able to place all the goodies in it after you plugged the kitchen appliance in.

Respectively, you will know how much time you will need for keeping the food and drinks safe until the fridge is cold enough to place them there.

So today we decided to investigate this issue more closely and figure out how much time a regular fridge usually needs for getting cold enough for you to keep your foods there.

We will also tell you about the possible reasons why your fridge may not be able to get cold, and finally, you will learn what factors may influence the time needed for cooling the appliance properly.

Related: How Long Can Food Last In The Freezer Without Power?

How Long Does It Take For a Fridge to Get Cold?

So how long does it take a new fridge to get cold after plugging it in, you may be wondering? Well, if we are talking about a new fridge that has been recently bought and plugged in in your kitchen, you need to reckon on a period of time from two to twenty-four hours.

Such a varied timeframe may sound somewhat frustrating for you, we know, but you need to consider that too many factors influence the time your new fridge needs for cooling properly so that you could store food in it.

If you need to know the exact timeframe, we recommend you check the manual that comes along with the fridge. As an option, you can usually do this online on the manufacturer’s website.

Like this, using the page search function, you will easily check the expected cooling time without skimming the rest of the manual to find it!

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you are checking the manual for the right brand, make, and model of your refrigerator!

And in case you want to know what can influence the cooling time of your new kitchen appliance, we suggest you check out the list of possible factors we have prepared for you right below.

How Long Does It Take a New Refrigerator to Get Cold Once It’s Plugged In?

If you have ever bought a new fridge, then you definitely asked yourself how long for the new fridge to get cold. Typically, a new appliance has to work for 80-90 percent of the time. As you probably know, every fridge has a compressor that needs to run for a long time.

This is because the majority of the energy is consumed on the compressor cycle, not for running it!

Thus, you have to keep your fridge for at least two to four hours and only then place all the food and stuff inside.

But still, make sure that it is the right temperature in it! For a new refrigerator, you will have to wait for at least twenty-four hours to complete it.
And here are the things that may affect or determine the running time of your refrigerator:

  • Blocked air vent
  • Amount of foodstuffs inside the fridge.
  • Weather climate(hot and humid)
  • Dirty or damaged door.
  • Door opening intervals.

But except for this issue, there is another one. All of you know that fridges need to be defrosted from time to time to extend their lifespan and make sure that the appliance will keep on working properly.

But owners tend to ask how much time they need to keep their fridges running after the defrosting is complete and before they can load their fridges with food and drinks again!

How Long Does It Take a Refrigerator to Get Cold After Defrosting
Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

How Long Does It Take a Refrigerator to Get Cold After Defrosting?

We all know that fridges need to be defrosted from time to time.

It prevents ice from accumulating in the freezer and on the inner walls of the appliance.

But here is the question: how much time does your fridge need to get properly cold again after you defrost and wash it?

Well, in general, any fridge will require the same amount of time which is eight hours.

This amount of time is more than enough for the full cooling. But if you need to put your food back in faster, it is fine if you start loading your fridge after about four hours already.

Only try not to stuff it up to the top – leave some empty space to let the device cool a bit more. And then finish loading it with food.

Factors That Influence Your Fridge Cooling Time

So as we have already mentioned above, there are several factors that can have quite a significant impact on the time needed for a new fridge to cool enough for being able to host your food and drinks.

When being aware of each and every one of them, you will be able to better understand why your fridge may get cold faster or slower.

Factors That Influence Your Fridge Cooling Time
Credits: DAPA Images, via

Related: How to Make Groceries Always Fresh Using…Only the Fridge

Its Size And Type

You might not be aware of this fact, but the size of a fridge can impact the cooling time greatly. For example, mini fridges need way less time for cooling in comparison to their full-size “relatives”.

The reason is obvious and very simple: the smaller the fridge, the less space it has that needs to be cooled. Thus, the cooling time is also shorter.

As for the fridges with bottom freezers, they seem to take the longest to cool properly. However, it is not a strict rule, so always be flexible and ready for certain time fluctuations!

But the general rule of thumb is that bigger fridges take longer to cool whilst smaller ones get cold faster.

Its Size And Type
Credits: Eshma, via

Related: Can You Refrigerate Bananas?

Delivery Of the Fridge

This factor is often the one that people skip, but the way your fridge was delivered also plays a great role in how fast it gets cold assuming you get it hooked up immediately, of course!

See, think about the temperature inside of the delivery truck as well as your outdoor climate.

In case your new fridge was delivered on a hot and sunny summer day, it will take longer for it to cool completely than if it is delivered in winter when there is snow on the ground!

Also, fridges that were turned on their side for any period of time will need to sit upright for that same amount of time! If you are unsure or you know that your fridge was on its side for more than twenty four hours, wait a full twenty four hours before you plug it in!

Delivery Of the Fridge
Credits: Vera_Petrunina, via

The Temperature Of Your Home

How warm or how cold it is in your house or apartment also matters when it comes to the time your new fridge will need for cooling properly. Just like we mentioned above, fridges tend to take more time for cooling when they are in hot environments.

So if there is a heatwave in your area and you don’t have air conditioning, you should expect your fridge to take more time to cool.

On the other hand, if it is winter outside and you have your windows open, the new fridge should cool a little bit faster.

How to make your refrigerator colderHow to make your refrigerator colder

Brand, Make, And Model Of the Fridge

This might surprise you a lot, but the brand, make, and model of your new fridge all play a great part in its cooling time! For example, some brands (such as Samsung) are well known and appreciated for their quick cooling times.

On the other hand, other brands may take up to twenty four hours to reach forty degrees Fahrenheit (that’s the recommended temperature for fridges in case you didn’t know)!

In case you are the owner of a fridge-and-freezer combo, the freezer section of your kitchen appliance will most likely take more time to cool since it needs to reach zero degrees Fahrenheit to be able to safely store your food!

This is why, if you are going to buy a new fridge, we recommend you do a small research and learn more about the certain models on your list. read reviews or even look up the manuals for each model in order to find out how much time each of them needs for cooling.

And although it is only a one-time waiting period, doing such preparatory work is important, especially if you have a large amount of food that you don’t want to get spoiled and that needs to be refrigerated! Because otherwise, it will cost you quite a lot of money.

And by the way, cooling time might also be important to you if you tend to move frequently from one house to another.

Brand, Make, And Model Of the Fridge
Credits: MileA, via

Is It New Or Used?

If you want to figure out how much time your fridge will need for cooling completely, consider taking into account whether it is new or old.

See, if you are buying your kitchen appliance brand new, it will most likely take less time to cool in comparison to the fridge that has already been in use.

Unfortunately, the more use the fridge gets, the less effective it is likely to be.

As appliances age, they often tend to lose their efficiency partially or almost completely.

Is It New Or Used

Do You Keep the Door Closed?

Finally, even such a seemingly miniscule factor as a properly closed door of your fridge can influence its cooling time! Whether or not you keep it closed will affect the time needed for the appliance to get properly cool.

The reason for this can easily be explained though.

When we open the door of the fridge, we let cool air out. So if you leave the door open, you will have a cooling system that’s initially meant for a small space working to cool your entire kitchen!

When being aware of all these factors and nuances, you will be able to figure out how soon your fridge will get cold, and whether you should consider more time if the appliance has already been in use before.

Do You Keep the Door Closed
Credits: Choreograph, via

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

If your house tends to experience power outages often enough, you might be wondering: how long does it take for a fridge to get cold again when the power is back? Generally speaking, the time your fridge needs for restoring its coolness depends on the same factors we have mentioned above:

  • size
  • age
  • brand
  • make
  • model

And of course, it matters a lot how long the power was out. But always keep in mind that, if your fridge has not cooled within a few days, you should consider repairs!

How Long Does It Take to Get a Fridge Cold After Power Outage
Credits: Monkey Business Images, via

And since even a small power outage is always a huge pain for all the household, especially because nobody wants to lose a fridge full of food, we want to share a few handy and easy tips and tricks with you.

With their help, you will be able to easily bring your fridge back to life after the power outage and get it cool again.

  1. Keep the door closed as much as possible to keep the cold air in.
  2. Clean your fridge coils regularly.
  3. Keep your fridge a couple of inches from the wall to allow for proper airflow.
  4. make sure that your fridge is plugged into an outlet that provides adequate voltage!
  5. Place ice inside the fridge.
  6. Try to keep your kitchen as cool as possible.

As an alternative solution, you can ask your neighbor or a friend to keep a part of your food until the power is restored in your home.

On the other hand, if your home goes through power outages frequently and for a long time, consider buying a generator if it’s within your budget!

This may even save you money in the long run, since you will not be wasting cash on spoiled food!

How Long Does It Take to Get a Fridge Cold After Power Outage (2)
Credits: pixelshot, via

How Much Time Shall You Wait to Put Food In a New Fridge?

When we buy a new fridge or turn it back on after an extended power outage, the very first thing we think of is how long we shall wait until the food can be safely returned into the refrigerator.

If we put it back too early when the fridge is not properly cooled, the goodies will spoil. But if we keep the food out too long, it may degrade as well! So where is the solution?

The right answer is: you should wait to stock your new fridge until the temperature has cooled to forty degrees Fahrenheit. That’s because this is the recommended temperature for storing food in the fridge.

How Much Time Shall You Wait to Put Food In a New Fridge
Credits: Monkey Business Images, via

Also, you need to keep in mind that many foods need to be stored out of the so-called “danger zone” which is defined as 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Among such foods, we can name the following:

  • meat
  • eggs
  • dairy foods
  • fresh foods after cutting or peeling
  • cooked veggies, beans, rice, and pasta
  • sauces
  • sprouts

Also, consider that all the dishes that contain these ingredients are also within the risk range!

This is why, if your fridge does not measure temperature on its own, you need to check it yourself.

Use a glass of water and a thermometer for that. Simply place the thermometer into the glass of water, then put it in the middle of your fridge, and wait for the temperature to reach 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Much Time Shall You Wait to Put Food In a New Fridge (2)
Credits: JackF, via

My New Fridge Is Not Cold. What’s the Problem?

People often complain that their new fridges do not get cold at all or they don’t get cold enough after being plugged in.

Let’s agree, this is one of the most frustrating things that could happen: to buy such a massive appliance just to find out that it’s not working as it should be! Luckily, we know several possible reasons why this is happening.

My New Fridge Is Not Cold. What’s the Problem
Credits: Elnur, via

Improper Set-Up

The very first thing you should check if you notice that your new fridge does not get cool is that it was set-up properly. First of all, make sure it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Next, read the instructions in the appliance’s manual to make sure everything was done correctly. If you are still unsure, it’s ok if you unplug the fridge and start it over again.

You should also consider checking and see what the temperature control in the fridge is set to an appropriate temperature, and adjust it as needed.

Improper Set Up
Credits: AAUB, via

Improper Delivery

There is also a chance that your fridge was delivered improperly in case you notice it’s not cooling as it should be. Of course, it is also possible that your fridge might have been already broken due to the rough handling during transport.

However, we tend to believe that the reason might be that the appliance was simply delivered on its side. In this case, oil from the compressor could leak into the cooling lines which might prevent the appliance from proper cooling.

To fix this issue, the fridge must be placed upright for the same amount of time it spent on its side. Only then you can run it since the oil will already be drained back to the compressor.

Improper Delivery

You Are Opening the Door!

The last but not least reason is that you keep leaving the door of your fridge open! We know, it’s very tempting to keep checking how much your fridge has cooled, but constant opening and closing the door lets the cool air out!

So be patient, close that door tightly, and just wait the required amount of time until your fridge gets properly cooled. Also, you can check back every five to eight hours, that’s fine.

You Are Opening the Door!

Now you know in detail what to do to get your new fridge cool once you plug it in. Also, you learned the possible reasons why it might not cool properly. With that in mind, installing a new refrigerator will be super easy for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long does it take a soda to get cold in the fridge?

About45 minutes.

⭐ How long does it take for a fridge to get cold after being left open?

between 4 and 6 hours.

⭐ How long does it take for a rv fridge to get cold?

It takes 24 hours.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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