How Long Does It Take A Fridge To Get Cold?

Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by E.Pery

Refrigerators are not designed to cool down to the ideal temperature as soon as they are plugged in. Your refrigerator will take several hours to cool down before it is safe for you to keep your foodstuffs.

However, the cooling time is the same whether the fridge is new or you just got your power back on. What makes the difference between how long refrigerators A and B get cold is their model, type, and how full they are.

So, exactly how long does it take a fridge to get cold? Is there a way to speed up the process? Let’s get right into it!

How Long Does It Take A Fridge To Get Cold?
How Long Does It Take A Fridge To Get Cold?

How long does it take for a refrigerator to cool?

Typically, a refrigerator takes about 3 to 24 hours to attain the ideal temperature. However, a frost-free refrigerator often takes between 4 to 6 hours.

The ideal temperature for storing food in the refrigerator is 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer. Therefore, it would be best to wait until the fridge reaches this temperature before storing your food. Cooling the refrigerator first draws heat from the metals, insulation, drawers, and shelves.

Some refrigerators come with a digital led display that shows the temperature at which the fridge is running. If yours doesn’t, you can install a specialist fridge thermometer inside your fridge.

How long should the new fridge run after the first plugin?

A new refrigerator takes up to 24 to cool to the ideal temperature for storing food. Research also shows that a new fridge needs to run for 80-90 percent of the time for the refrigerator to work effectively.

After that, the fridge will take between 4 to 6 hours to cool after the plugin if,

  • The air vents are clear from blockage
  • The refrigerator is three-quarters full
  • The climate or weather is cool
  • The door seals properly
  • The door is kept closed during the cooling process.

How long does it take for a fridge freezer to get cold after defrosting?

After defrosting the fridge, it can take up to 48 hours for the temperature to return to normal. The rate at which this happens depends on:

The size of your fridge/freezer – if it’s large, it will take longer than a smaller one

How much frost there is – if there is a lot of ice in the back wall of your fridge/freezer, it will take longer than if there was very little

The temperature outside – if it’s warm outside, it will take longer than if the weather is colder

Refrigerator cooling times by brand and type

The cooling time for refrigerators varies across brands. Some brands take longer to cool than others. For example, Samsung fridges need only 2 hours to cool down to the ideal temperature after a blackout, while Whirlpool fridges need a whopping 24 hours before they can be restocked.

The type of refrigerator also determines how long you will wait before you restock your refrigerator. Let’s look at the cooling times for some of the most popular styles and brands of fridges.

Note that the quoted time is the same whether you are installing a new fridge or you just plugged it in after a power outage.

Mini Fridges

  • Galanz- 4 hours
  • Frigidaire- 4 hours
  • Magic Che- 4 hours

Bottom Freezers

  • LG Electronics- 2-3 hours
  • Whirlpool- 24 hours
  • GE- 24 hours
  • Samsung- 2 hours

Top Freezers

  • Magic chef- 4 hours
  • Frigidaire- 8 hours
  • Whirlpool- 24 hours

Side-by-side Refrigerators

  • Samsung- 2 hours
  • Frigidaire- 8-12 hours
  • Whirlpool- 24 hours

French Door Refrigerators

  • Samsung- 2 hours
  • LG Electronics2-3 hours
  • GE- 24 hours

How long does it take for a new LG refrigerator to get cold?

LG refrigerators are designed to be energy efficient. As a result, they may take longer to cool than other refrigerators on the market.

If you’re buying a new LG refrigerator, you may have noticed that it takes longer for the interior temperature to reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) from room temperature than other brands.

The reason for this is that LG uses a compressor that operates at a lower wattage than competitors, which means it doesn’t use as much electricity. By keeping costs down, LG can offer its products at competitive prices.

While there’s nothing wrong with this design philosophy, some consumers may find it frustrating if they don’t realize what’s happening before purchasing their new fridge. It’s also important to keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily an issue with your refrigerator — it’s just how all LG fridges work because of how they were designed.

How long does it take for a Samsung refrigerator to get cold?

The answer to this question depends on how much food you put in the refrigerator, if you have the door open and how often you use it.

In general, a properly working Samsung refrigerator will take about 2 hours to cool down after being switched on.

If you turn off your refrigerator before it gets cold enough, it can take up to 2 hours longer.

How long does a new Frigidaire refrigerator take to cool?

In the first few days, the refrigerator will take longer to reach its final temperature. This is normal and should not be a cause for concern.

The compressor and thermostat are adjusting themselves to the new environment they’re in. After this process is complete, you’ll find that your refrigerator operates at the temperature settings you have set.

How long does it take for a Whirlpool refrigerator to get cold?

When you first turn on your Whirlpool refrigerator, it will take at least 24 hours to get completely cold. This is because the compressor has to cycle on and off several times before the temperature stabilizes.

During this time, you should not open the door for long periods of time or you risk losing the cold air that is needed. If you do need to open the door during this process, make sure that it stays closed as much as possible. Also remember that if you have packed your refrigerator with food, it will take longer for it to get cold than if it were empty.

Once your Whirlpool refrigerator has reached its target temperature (which is usually between 35ºF and 39ºF), it should stay there without needing any more cycling on and off by the compressor. Once this happens, you can safely leave the door open for longer periods of time without risking warm air entering or cold air escaping from inside.

6 factors that impact how long it takes refrigerators to get cold

Several factors determine how long it takes a refrigerator to get cold. These factors include:

  1. Size of the refrigerator
  2. The temperature of the storage area
  3. The temperature of the room
  4. Age and condition of the refrigerator
  5. Whether the fridge is empty or stocked
  6. How often the fridge is open

1. The size of the refrigerator

Larger refrigerators take longer to cool compared to small refrigerators. For example, while mini-fridges take only four hours to cool, larger appliances such as French doors and side-by-side take up to 24 hours to cool.

Check our Best French Door Refrigerator Deals
Check our Best Side-by-Side Refrigerator Deals

However, this is not a universal rule. Some manufacturers such as Samsung and LG produce large appliances that take between 2 to 4 hours to cool to a safe temperature.

2. The temperature of the storage area

The storage area considerably determines the time it takes for a refrigerator to cool down. If a fridge were stored somewhere cool, the time it would take to cool down would be much lesser if the storage temperature was higher.

Read our article: What Temperature Should A Refrigerator Be?

If the refrigerator were transported using a warm truck on a hot day, the starting temperature would be warmer, and so it will take a bit longer to reach 40 degrees F.

3. The temperature of the room

The temperature of the fridge’s room also determines how long it will take to cool down.

Storing your fridge in a hot room such as an outdoor kitchen under the smoldering sun could lead to burnout. The refrigerator will overrun itself by trying to keep cool. The cooling process will therefore take much longer.

If you plan on keeping your refrigerator in a hot room, consider investing in vents, fans, ACs, or heat insulators to keep the room cool.

4. The age and condition of the refrigerator

The older a fridge is, the less efficient it is. So if you have an older refrigerator model, it is likely to take longer than a newer model.

Refrigerators with dirty and clogged coils reduce the fridge’s cooling capacity. The dirt buildup in the condenser coils causes the temperature in the refrigerator to rise due to a faulty cooling system which makes the cooling process even longer.

The fridge could also take longer if some cooling system parts, such as the thermostat, condenser coils, evaporator coils, door seals, condenser fan, and vents, are faulty or blocked. So, it’s good to quickly diagnose the problem with your fridge and repair the fault to hasten the cooling process.

5. Whether the fridge is empty or stocked

The recommended capacity for a refrigerator to give optimum performance is three-quarters full. A well-stocked fridge cools faster than a near-empty fridge.

Moreover, a full refrigerator makes the fridge energy efficient. However, if the refrigerator is new, it would help to let it cool without first stocking anything in it.

6. How often the fridge is open

During the cooling process, it’s advisable to keep the door closed. Opening the door allows warm air inside, and the cold air escapes to the outside.

6 tips on how to cool down a fridge faster

  1. Keep the door closed
  2. Keep the coils clean
  3. Ensure there is sufficient airflow
  4. Plug the refrigerator in properly
  5. Room temperature
  6. Use Ice

1. Keep the door closed 

Keeping the door closed prevents cold air from escaping or warm air from entering. Every time warm air seeps through, the temperature within the fridge rises, thereby slowing down the cooling process.

2. Keep the coils clean

Cleaning the coils eliminates dirt buildup that clogs the coils and reduces the fridge’s capacity to cool. Ensure that you clean your refrigerator coils every six months for optimum refrigerator operation.

Read our article: How To Clean Refrigerator Coils?

3. Ensure there is sufficient airflow 

When installing your brand-new fridge, ensure that about one or two inches are left between the appliance and the walls or counters.

Leaving enough space around the refrigerator allows sufficient air to circulate and the condenser coils to disperse hot air without any obstruction. This enables the fridge to cool down faster.

4. Plug the refrigerator in properly

Do not plug the refrigerator into a power strip with other appliances. A refrigerator is designed to have a higher voltage, so you should get the fridge’s electric outlet and ensure the voltage rating match before plugging in the fridge.

Using an outlet with a lower voltage outlet could lead to a fire breakout.

5. Room temperature

Ensure that the temperature of the room in which your refrigerator is stored is cool. You can use air conditioning to reduce the room’s heat while the fridge cools.

6. Use Ice 

You could also reduce the cooling time by reducing the heat within the fridge using a bag of ice cubes or a block of ice. Place the ice on the shelves and then check on it periodically as it begins to thaw. Do this quickly to prevent too much warm air from getting into the fridge.

How does a refrigerator cool down?

Did you know that the refrigerator relies on the heat from the stored food to cool down? That is why an empty fridge takes longer to cool than a fridge that is three-quarters full.

The vaporized refrigerant passes through the evaporator coils absorbing heat from the food inside the refrigerator. As it does, it cools the air inside, keeping food at the desired temperature. The refrigerant then exits the coils and moves to the compressor, releasing the heat and turning it back to its liquid form.

The temperature inside the fridge is not uniform, though. Most refrigerators utilize a basic cooling design that works like a power pump. They draw heat from one side and pump it to another side.

That is why your refrigerator is coolest at the bottom and warmest at the top. Warm air in the fridge rises to the upper shelves while the cool air is pushed downwards. This is also why you should keep your most perishable items like meat and vegetables on the lower shelves.

How to determine your refrigerator’s actual cooling time

The best way to know the actual cooling time of your refrigerator is by googling the model and brand of the fridge. You could also review the installation guide on the brand’s website or go over the refrigerator manual.

If you opt to review the installation guide on google, you can gallop to the section you need by pressing control + F on the keyboard and searching for the phrase “Cooling hours.” This will save you the time of scheming through the manual to get the information you need.

Recommended reading: Refrigerator Not Cooling?

How to know when your refrigerator is cool enough to store food

The ideal temperature at which food should be kept in the fridge is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the freezer should be 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some refrigerators have an inbuilt control panel that shows the temperature of the fridge digitally. However, if yours doesn’t, you could get a specialist thermometer and install it in your fridge.

The thermometer will come in handy during the initial cooling process and temperature fluctuations, indicating a problem with one or more parts of the refrigerator’s cooling system.

You may also ask

How long does a fridge take to get cold after being off?

The refrigerator cooling time varies across types and brands. Some brands like Samsung require only two hours to get cold, while Whirlpool needs 24 hours to cool down. However, most frost-free fridges require 4-6 hours to get cold after being off.

How long do you have to wait to put food in a new refrigerator?

The recommended time for cooling a new refrigerator before stocking it is 24 hours. However, the time varies across brands, so it is always wise to review your instruction manual.

Will an empty fridge get cold?

Yes. An empty fridge gets cold by drawing heat from the shelves, drawers, and walls. However, it takes longer to cool down an empty fridge than a full one.

How long does it take for a Frigidaire mini fridge to get cold?

Frigidaire mini-fridges are designed to chill down to 36 degrees within 12 hours. This is the ideal temperature for keeping food fresh and safe to eat.
If your fridge does not get cold within 12 hours, there may be something wrong with it. Check the following:
The power cord is plugged into a working outlet and turned on.
The temperature control dial is set to the appropriate setting (see user manual).
The door is closed properly and secured with latches on both sides of the unit.

How long does it take a Galanz mini fridge to get cold?

It will take approximately 45 minutes for your Galanz mini fridge to cool down enough so that the temperature inside is between 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that if you have a large load of groceries or drinks that need cooling down quickly, then you should unload them immediately after turning on your appliance.
Remember that this is only an estimate based on average conditions.

How long does it take a Hisense mini fridge to get cold?

That depends on the size of the refrigerator and how many items are in it.
If you are buying a small to a mid-sized refrigerator, then it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for your Hisense mini fridge to get cold.
If you have a large refrigerator, it might take longer than that because there is more space inside which means more stuff can fit inside.

How long does it take for an igloo mini fridge to get cold?

Igloo recommends that you allow 24 hours for your refrigerator to reach its ideal temperature (from the time it’s unplugged). If this isn’t possible, try turning on the power occasionally (in small increments) until it reaches the desired temperature.

How long does it take for a Haier mini fridge to get cold?

The answer really depends on the model and on how much room you’re using. The Haier 5.1 cubic foot Mini Refrigerator has a compressor that’s 2.4 watts. It only takes about 10 hours for this fridge to get up to temperature after you first plug it in.
If you’re using all of the space in your mini refrigerator, it will take longer than if you’re using just half of the space. For example, if you have four 2-liter bottles in the door and two large containers of milk in the main compartment, it will take longer for your refrigerator to get cold than if you only have one large container of milk and four 2-liters in the door.