turning off refrigerator for long

Turning off Refrigerator for Long Periods of Time

Yes, a refrigerator can be switched off for a long time. However, you will want to ensure that there is no food in it. Most home electrical appliances can be switched off for a long time and still be fine when switched back on. However, when it comes to a refrigerator, things may be a little different.

Refrigerators are meant to keep food fresh all day and all the time. They are efficient when they are left on all the time.

However, there are instances that require you to switch off the refrigerator for a long time, like when going out for a vacation. Along with that, you can also switch off your refrigerator because of many reasons. Below are some of them:

1. Cut on Electrical Bills

Depending on where you come from, an electrical appliance can consume vast amounts of electricity. If you come from a state where electricity is expensive, you may pay large sums of money every year by leaving your appliances like the refrigerator on.

There is no need to leave your fridge on to consume electricity when you are away for a long time. If there is no perishable food in your fridge, it is essential to switch it off to save on your bills.

2. Safety

In the USA, home appliances are the primary cause of fires in many homes. Whereas iron boxes and heaters are the most common causes, any electrical appliance can cause fire due to faulty connections.

You don’t want to risk your home and your fridge if you are away for long, and anything can happen when you are far. To be on the safe side, you may consider unplugging your fridge until you are back.

3.  Away Time and Fridge Contents

The amount of time you will spend away from home and the contents in the fridge will dictate whether you unplug your fridge. If you will be away for less than two weeks and there is food in the fridge you want to preserve, you can leave your fridge running.

However, for more extended periods of up to 4 months, then you may have to unplug your fridge until you are back. Most food, especially the perishable ones, will not survive for such extended periods. It is not worth it leaving your fridge on for food you will not consume.

What to Do Before Unplugging Your Fridge for Long

It is good to unplug your fridge when you don’t want to use it for an extended period. Whether you are going on a vacation or you just want to save electricity bills, you should unplug your fridge in the right way.

After all, some fridges can be very expensive and delicate. The last thing you want to do is ruin costly appliances. Below are a few precautions to help you unplug your fridge for a long time and still find it in good condition when you are back:

1.  Empty the Fridge

The first thing you should do while unplugging your refrigerator for a long time is to remove all the foods. Foods cannot remain fresh for long in a fridge if it’s off. If you leave food in the refrigerator for a long time, it will go bad, molds will grow on it, and it will produce foul odors in the refrigerator.

2.  Switch off the Icemaker

As you power off the refrigerator, ensure to power off the icemaker, turn off the water supply, and the temperature controls. Ensure to do it correctly, and if you are not sure how to do it, you can refer to your user’s manual.

3. Clean and Dry the Fridge

After removing foodstuffs from the fridge, there may be other small food particles that may be stuck on the fridge wall. This can lead to foul odors and can attract cockroaches and other insects.

Therefore, it is a good practice to thoroughly clean your fridge and dry it off any moisture using a clean towel.

4. Open the Doors

Once you have cleaned and dried your fridge, leave the refrigerator doors open as you leave. Open doors will allow free air circulation to keep your fridge fresh while you are away.


Manufacturers advise that it’s always wise to leave your fridge plugged all the time. However, a fridge is one of the home appliances that consume a lot of energy, and you may want to unplug it when not in use.

When there is nothing you want to keep cold in the refrigerator or when you will be away for a long time, you should switch it off until you are back.

Ensure to follow the above safety steps when unplugging your fridge to keep things fresh and avoid disappointments.

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