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How Long Should A Refrigerator Run Before Shutting Off [3 Major Facts!]

Refrigerators are daily necessities for every household. Especially, during the summer season, it takes hits to freeze everything for us. 

But, have you ever thought of giving a break to your fridge? Yeah, I didn’t either until recently. This information comes with another vital question.

How long should a refrigerator run before shutting off?

Typically, a refrigerator compressor could run for 4 to 8 hours before shutting down. Nowadays, modern refrigerators are built to run at least 80-90 percent of the time. As frequent cycles keep the internal temperature more constant, the refrigerator’s efficiency stays commendable. 

Not convinced yet, are we? Don’t worry now! I offer you a more well-put version of the summary below. 

Come read with me!

How Long Should a Refrigerator Run Before Shutting Down

Honestly, refrigerator acting up is a dangerous thing. First of all, they’re super important for raw food. Secondly, it’s fairly expensive to own a refrigerator.

The refrigerator could show too many issues over time. One of the most prominent would be to shut it down.

Hence, if you see that your refrigerator is constantly running, you instantly think that something is wrong. 

But wait, a refrigerator compressor will normally run continuously for 4 to 8 hours before shutting off. 

Modern refrigerators are planned to work negligibly 80-90 percent of the time. More frequent cycles receive their energy star efficiency rating.

And that’s because they tend to keep the internal temperature more steady. 

3 Factors That Affect Your Refrigerator For Running Longer Before Shutting Off

The time it takes for your refrigerator to run depends on several factors. These elements could be internal or external.

Refrigerators will not turn off for days as a result of these issues in numerous circumstances. And, even if you think it’s nothing serious, you should pay attention. Also, to look for remedies.

As we have figured, the timing for the fridge to shut off is important for refrigerator health. 

Come on, let’s check what ruins it and its remedies:

Factor 1: Ambient Temperature

Think of it this way, your fridge being in a warm place will ruin its cooling factor. Which will force it to run longer before scheduled shutting off.

This could damage the food in it and also the compressor of the fridge. This is why maintaining a  constant external temperature is necessary.

Solution: Temperature Around the Fridge should be Low

The solution for it is pretty simple. Just make sure to have everything at the proper room temperature before refrigerating it. 

It’s needed to make sure that the fridge is placed in a cool place. No external heat should interrupt its workdays.

This will help your fridge to stay cool for a longer period of time. And of course, the refrigerator will not run for too long before shutting off.

Factor 2: Internal Temperature

The internal temperature of your fridge depends on many things. One of the primes would be mishaps in the internal temperature.

This issue might arise for multiple reasons. The First will be due to over-stuffing your fridge with food. Especially the ones that require to be kept in cold places all the time.

Or if you put too warm food in your fridge, it will start to have internal problems. Actually, the internal temperature should be lower than the ambient temperature in the fridge. 

Do not put your fridge in front of a window and such. Or it will lose its working factor. Your only concern should be about the french door refrigerator and security.

Solution: Do Not Store Food Too Warm

First thing first, do not store food right after you take it off heat. Never do so. It will ruin your fridge’s natural composure and internal temperature.

It is important to note that internal temperature is more important than external one. Make sure the freezer and compressor are working properly.  

And if you are not following the rules, it might extract too much as well. 

Therefore, make sure to follow this basic ground rule before anything. It also differs according to the type of fridge. That makes it more important that you know these kinds of stuff.

Unlike a mini-fridge, a big refrigerator uses a lot of electricity to run. 

Factor 3: Frail or Damaged Door Gasket 

The refrigerator door will not close correctly if the door gasket is damaged. Cold air will seep from your refrigerator if the door gasket is compromised.

You may notice moisture accumulating or even water escaping from your refrigerator. This issue may not occur immediately but with time you may experience this.

Again, repeatedly opening your refrigerators will allow cold air to escape. 

If you open your fridge once to get all the things you’ll need for a while, no obvious alterations will occur.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that your refrigerator is running because it has not reached the required temperature.

Solution: Inspect and Modify the Door Gasket

Worn-out gaskets are the most common cause of your compressor running continuously. 

When your gaskets wear out or get warped, the holes enable warmth. And so, more moist air to pass through. 

To cool down this excess heat and maintain the right temperature setting. And then, the compressor must run more frequently.

I recommend that you examine this first during repairing. Or you’ll keep wondering about boiled eggs stinking up your fridge and not know what to do then.

Here are some of the brands for gasket according to me:

Product 1
Product 2

Hope you love them just as much as I do!

That will be all on the refrigerator running before shutting up. They should work for you if you use them properly. 


Question: Do we have to plug off the fridge occasionally?

Answer: Not really. Even though it is encouraged in the case of other devices, you don’t have to do it for the fridge. But once a month for 15-30 minutes of turn-off could do some good.

Question: Can food stay fresh outside the fridge?

Answer: Not if they are easily decomposable. Food stays fresh outside the fridge for the highest 4 hours. That too if the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Question: Is it possible to store fish without a refrigerator?

Answer: Yes it is. But it’s for a limited period. You can store fish in ice if you don’t have a fridge. It will last for at least 5-6 hours given how often you change the ice.


By now, I hope you know how long should a refrigerator run before shutting off. I have packed everything about the given factor in this article.

But, if you are still confused, don’t worry about it. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it’s cool. Just contact someone that knows about it, for professional advice.

Until then, happy freezing!