No one can live without their refrigerator. It’s the backbone of your kitchen. The average fridge lasts up to 12 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Yours may break down ahead of its time, or it may be long overdue for a replacement. In either case, finding out that you suddenly need an expensive new appliance can be a source of panic as you realize you don’t have enough to cover one outright. First, don’t worry. You can protect your food and use some workarounds until you’re able to get a new refrigerator. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough on what to do when your fridge stops working as well as some suggestions on features to look for in a newer model.

Determine the Cost of a New Fridge

There are many options on the market when it comes to high-tech refrigerators. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll likely be surprised at how modern the models are these days after using an older one for years. Many refrigerators these days have features you never would have imagined including touchscreens and built-in coffee makers. You should take time and choose a style and features that appeal to you, but don’t feel pressured to buy the most extensive model hoping it’ll last longer. Paying for your new fridge can be done in pinch by applying for a personal loan online. Private lenders can give you approval in a matter of minutes, and you can have access to funds now when you need them most.

Keep the Door Closed as Much as Possible

When a fridge stops running, food inside is still cold. You can expect it to stay good for up to four hours. Do prevent goods from spoiling ahead of time, don’t open the door for anything unless it’s absolutely essential. You should throw out any type of meat, eggs and dairy products after four hours to prevent food poisoning.

Make Sure It’s Not a Power Problem

Check your other kitchen appliances, and then head over to your circuit breaker to ensure the outlet your fridge runs on simply hasn’t shut off. In some cases, you might not realize that the power is the problem and rush to buy a new appliance you don’t really need. If you suspect there’s a hardware issue, then call a fridge repair near you and ask for them to come by and take a look. Many offer free quotes, so you can assess how much you’ll likely have to pay beforehand.

Compensate for Any Losses

It’s frustrating to lose groceries to a broken fridge, but you can hopefully get the majority of your goods preserved by packing them into a cooler until your new fridge arrives. Many vendors offer same day delivery, installation and disposal of your old fridge. Make sure not to skimp out on the additional charge of these services; refrigerators typically cannot be left for regular trash pick-up. Disposing of them safely is important for the environment, and not following the law can result in hefty penalties.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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