How Long to Freezers Last?

Woman's arm reaching into freezer and grabbing a carton of ice cream.

On average, the life expectancy of a refrigerator-freezer or chest freezer is 16 years. Freezers typically last anywhere from 12 to 20 years. Along with gas and electric ranges, freezers tend to be the longest-lasting kitchen appliances.

But that’s not a guarantee! Many factors influence how long freezers last, including maintenance and environmental factors. If you learn about proper freezer care, you can make sure yours keeps its cool for a long time.

We have care tips below and more important details about freezer lifespan.

Estimating the Life Expectancy of Your Refrigerator-Freezer or Freezer

If the average life of a freezer is 16 years, what does that say about the freezer in your home? Is your freezer one of the “average” ones, or will it break sooner than most?

It usually depends on these factors:

  • Quality. Upscale or luxury freezer models typically last longer than units without top-of-the-line parts. Additionally, mini freezers might not last as long as full-size home freezers or refrigerator-freezers.
  • Maintenance. The 16-year average life of a freezer only holds true for freezers that were properly maintained. (We provide some maintenance tips for you below!)
  • Repairs. Some appliance repair services use aftermarket parts or take other “shortcuts” that don’t solve a freezer problem long term. The simplest solution? Hire your local Mr. Appliance!
  • Usage. If used incorrectly, a freezer will wear out faster. Clear obstructions from the freezer vents, keep it between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and avoid overfilling the appliance.
  • Environment. If you have a freezer in the garage, outside, or even next to a sunny window, it’s more likely that your unit will have a shorter lifespan. Keep your freezer out of extreme temperatures and humidity.

Interested in the average lifespan of other household appliances? We have an Appliance Life Expectancy Chart and guide.

How to Treat Your Freezer Right

Your freezer keeps your ice cream cold. Do you really want to neglect this dear appliance?

The first thing to remember: Never ignore signs of a failing freezer, such as a slow ice maker or a weird noise. Reach out to reliable experts like those at your local Mr. Appliance®. If preferred, you can schedule service online at a time that works best for you.

Here’s how to help your freezer help you:

  • Always wipe up spills in the freezer immediately.
  • Defrost and deep-clean the freezer every six to eight months with dish soap and water. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or acid-based products.
  • Keep the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, unless otherwise specified in manufacturer instructions.
  • Inspect condenser coil, thermometer calibration, and wiring condition every year.
  • For even more maintenance tips, including steps for commercial freezers, consult our Freezer Maintenance Checklist.

Just as the life expectancy of a refrigerator-freezer or chest freezer is dependent, in part, on maintenance, so is optimal energy efficiency. A great side benefit of following the above guidelines is saving money on your monthly electric bill. This is especially important if your freezer is quite old—because it has probably been a bit inefficient since day one. Check out our other appliance-related tips for saving energy at home.

Do You Know Your Freezer’s History?

If you personally bought your freezer, it’s easier to predict how long it will last because you know its full history. If you moved into a new place that already had the freezer in it, you might know how old the appliance is, but it’s hard to guess if it was abused or well maintained. Either way, you can simply focus on caring for the appliance and calling a reliable pro for freezer repair when needed.

If you want to find out how old your freezer is, look for the sticker or plate that shows the model and serial number. (This is probably on the back of the appliance.) This area should tell you what the manufacture date is. If not, look up the brand name, model, and serial number online.

Mr. Appliance’s Freezer Services

Whether we’re giving advice like this or repairing your freezer, Mr. Appliance is glad to help keep your home comfortable, efficient, and safe. The next time you need appliance repair or maintenance services, let your local Mr. Appliance team know or conveniently schedule service online.