How Long Should A Fridge Take to Cool? Refrigerator Usage Guide

Ideally, it takes as little as 2 hours or up to 24 hours for your fridge to cool and reach the FDA-recommended food-safe temperature of 40°F. However, this depends on the size of your fridge, its brand, and its specific model.

Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home that helps you enjoy a healthy life. However, if you’ve just had a long power outage or bought a new fridge, loading it up with your food and drinks immediately is not such a great idea.

Instead, you should wait for the refrigerator to get cold to avoid its compressor overworking while trying to cool the cooling lines and your food at the same time. 

So how long do you have to wait for your fridge to cool?

A well-functioning fridge takes 2 to 24 hours to cool and reach the FDA-recommended food-safe temperature of 40°F.

I wish I could give an exact cooling time that applies to all fridges, but over the years of using refrigerators, I realized the cooling time varies across different brands, sizes, and models.

If you want to know the exact cooling time of your specific fridge, I’ll be sharing some easy tips below. I’ll also walk you through factors that may affect how long it takes for your fridge to cool and how to make them cool faster.

how long should a fridge take to cool

How to Know Your Refrigerator’s Cooling Time

When it comes to refrigerators, manufacturers do a fantastic job of making product data easy to access and compare on the internet. So, the quickest and most accurate way to check your fridge’s cooling time is via the manufacturer’s website.

To get started;

  • Google your brand name and model number.
  • Then, go through the installation guide or user manual on the manufacturer’s website.

However, the installation guide or user manual could be a lengthy chunk of words and difficult to read through. So, to easily find the cooling time for your fridge:

  • Search for “hours” on the installation guide or manual (Use CTR + F to search if you are on a computer system). It leads you to topics related to cooling time in seconds rather than minutes if you were to read it all through.
  • If you don’t find the manufacturer site, you can check any veritable retail site like  

Factors That Affect How Long It Takes a Fridge to Cool

Before you immediately blame your refrigerator for slow cooling temperatures, certain factors in your control may affect how long it takes the fridge to cool. 

Here are the most important factors:

The Temperature of the Surrounding

temperature of fridge

Fridges don’t cool instantly because they have to get used to the room temperature they’re in. This is called thermal inertia, and it takes time for your fridge to adjust to its surroundings, especially if you live in a hot zone.

To solve temperature issues:

  • Read your user guide to know the required room temperature for your fridge. This will help you decide the best place in your home to keep the refrigerator.
  • I would also recommend investing in vents and fans to keep your refrigerator space at moderate temperature. 
  • Finally, you should reduce or block out sun exposure to your fridge’s room.

The Size of the Refrigerator

For emphasis, the mini-fridges cool faster than the bigger ones. This is because there’s less space in the appliance leading to a quick circulation of air. As a result, it takes just about 4 hours for a mini-fridge to cool, while many bigger fridges need up to 24 hours.

So if you’ve got a big fridge or freezer, you have to be patient and give it a little more time to cool.

The Refrigerator’s Age and Condition

Wait! Is your new fridge truly “new,” or did you get them as a fairly used one?. Older fridges tend to be less efficient; hence, they take more time to cool down than brand new models.

The state of the coils also matters. For example, clogged and dusty coils might slow down the cooling time. And, if any part of the fridge, such as its vents, thermostat, door seal, compressor, and condenser fan, is broken or faulty, the fridge won’t cool.

The Content Of The Fridge

When crowded with items, your fridge will take longer to get cold as the air is shared by all the things in it.

I know you are already eager to stock your new fridge with food items and groceries. After all, that is the purpose for which you bought it. However, it’s best to wait for your fridge to get cold before filling it with items.

But what if there’s no way your food and groceries can wait up to 24 hours for the refrigerator to cool? Below are a few tricks to make your fridge cool faster and save you from wastage.

How to Make Your Fridge Cool Faster

how to make fridge cool faster

We don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the fridge to reach its recommended temperature, so it is important to know how you can speed up the process or at least make the most of the expected cooling time.

Here are some tips that can help you make your fridge cool faster: 

Put Some Distance Between the Fridge and the Wall

Keeping some distance between your fridge and the wall helps the fridge properly release part of the heat it creates. Thus prompting proper air circulation and faster cooling.

Always Close the Door Of Your Fridge

Although it might be tempting to check every once in a while to see how the cooling is fairing, you shouldn’t.  Each time you open your fridge, you let in warm air, altering its cooling time. 

Lower the Room Temperature

Your fridge will cool faster if the room is cooler. So if your kitchen feels too hot, you should invest in an air conditioner or a fan to cool the kitchen space.

Clean the Fridge’s Coils

If you want your fridge to cool more efficiently, keep the coils clean and unclogged. I recommend doing this every six months and inspecting the fridge regularly to ensure optimal cooling performance. 

Put Some Ice in the Fridge

If your fridge is filled with cold things, it will cool faster. Ice trays are a great way to achieve this. You should also allow cooked foods to cool down before putting them in the fridge. 

FAQs On How Long Should a Fridge Take to Cool

How Do I Know The Temperature Of My Fridge?

To get the exact temperature of your refrigerator, use a specialized fridge thermometer or place a regular body thermometer in a glass cup of water and leave for about 2 hours.

How Long Will My Fridge Remain Cold After Power Outage?

If doors stay closed, your fridge can remain cool for the next 4 to 48 hours after a power outage. However, this depends on the size, model, age, and condition of the fridge.

Scroll to Top