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How Long Do You Have to Wait to Put Food in a New Fridge? 

Getting a new fridge is always exciting. It’s clean, it’s probably more spacious, and it feels like a fresh start. 

The question that naturally arises is “when can you start using a new fridge?”. Are you allowed to put food into it right away, or is there an obligatory waiting period? 

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Put Food in a New Fridge? 

You should wait at least 2 hours before putting food in a new fridge after you’ve turned it on. You should also wait at least 4, but up to 24 hours before plugging your new fridge in, to make sure it has settled properly. 

Your new fridge needs some time to settle into its new home. While you should not lay a fridge down on its side, this may have been the way your fridge was transported. If this is the case, you need to wait 24 hours before you plug it in for the first time. 

This will allow all the compressor oil to settle and prevent any damage to the fridge’s coils. 

After you plug your fridge in, give it at least a couple of hours before you start placing food in it. Depending on the model, you may need to wait for another day. This is just how long it will need to reach that optimal temperature that will ensure your food remains fresh. 

Always check the manual to see what the correct waiting times and procedures are. Most manufacturers will be quite clear about them. 

How Long to Wait Before Putting Hot Food Inside a New Refrigerator?

Give hot food 2 hours to cool down before you put it in the fridge. You can also check how hot the pot or pan is before doing so, or transfer your food to a glass or plastic container. 

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to wait for an extraordinarily long amount of time before you place a freshly cooked meal into the fridge. It doesn’t have to cool completely, especially if it’s highly perishable. 

As long as you don’t put a piping hot dish in the fridge, and give it a couple of hours at room temperature, you can put it in your new fridge.  

How Long After Plugging In a New Fridge Can It Be Used?

Wait 2 to 4 hours after plugging in a new fridge before putting food in it. This will give it enough time to reach the right temperature. 

If you have chosen the right temperature setting for your new fridge, it should be ready to go in a couple of hours. Before you actually stock it, check to see what the temperature is like. If it feels cool to the touch, it’s ready to be loaded. 

You can also take this opportunity to organise your fridge in a way that best suits your needs. 

How Long to Wait Before Plugging In a New Refrigerator?

If your new fridge was transported upright, you can plug it in after 2 hours. If it has been transported on its side, you will need to wait at least 4 hours. Note that some fridges need up to 24 hours to settle. 

Let’s take a look at how a fridge actually works. It uses a compressor to heat the refrigerant that does the cooling. This compressor needs oil to function properly. When a fridge is moved, the oil is shaken around, and needs time to settle before you plug the fridge in. 

If you don’t give it enough time, the oil may damage the cooling coils, as it has likely leaked into them.

Check what the manufacturer has to say about plugging the new fridge in. Some will need up to 24 hours, while others can settle after 4. 

Do You Have to Wait 24 Hours Before Plugging In a Refrigerator?

If your fridge has been transported upright, you don’t need to wait 24 hours before plugging it in: 2 will do. However, just to be on the safe side, you can wait the entire day to make sure the fridge works properly. 

Giving the new fridge 24 hours to settle won’t cause any harm. It will also ensure that all the compressor oil has returned to its proper place. If you have the time and patience, you can give it the entire day before plugging it in. 

Note that you shouldn’t wait longer than 24 hours to plug the fridge in. 

How Long Until a New Fridge Is Cold?

An average fridge will need anywhere between 2 and 12 hours to cool down completely. It will however depend on the model. 

There is no universal new fridge cooling time. Some operate much faster than others, so your best bet is to check the manual that comes with the fridge to determine when you can plug it in, and when you can start putting food into it. 

Can I Use a New Fridge Immediately?

You shouldn’t either plug in or start stocking a new fridge as soon as it arrives. It needs time to both settle and cool down, so a wait of 2 to 24 hours is warranted. 

Always take into consideration how the fridge was transported. Granted, you may not always be able to tell, and even asking the delivery men might not always result in a straight answer. 

To be safe, let the fridge sit for 24 hours before plugging it in, and then give it another 2 to 4 before you start stocking it. 

What to Do Before Putting Food in a New Refrigerator

To make sure your fridge remains operational for a long time, here is what you should do before you put food into it for the first time:

Clean the Fridge 

Even though it’s a brand new fridge, you still need to clean it before using it. There may be some chemicals left behind from the manufacturing process, and the outside may have gotten a bit dusty during transport. 

Use soapy water to scrub both the inside and the outside of the fridge before you plug it in. Make sure it is completely dry and that there are no droplets of water anywhere.

Cleaning your fridge regularly will also ensure the food you store in it doesn’t spoil faster than it should. 

Plug It In 

Once the fridge is clean and has had enough time to settle, you can plug it in. While you can plug a fridge into an extension cord, aim to plug it into a wall socket. 

Adjust the Temperature 

Your fridge’s user manual will describe in detail which temperature setting is best for what kind of food. Make sure to consult it before you start placing food into the fridge.

Also make sure the door is firmly closed. If you leave the fridge door open, it will start using more power, and have a harder time getting to the required temperature. 

Let It Cool Down 

Give the fridge a couple of hours to reach the right temperature. You are then able to start filling it with all your favourite foods. 

What Is the Downside of Loading a Refrigerator Before 2 Hours?

Stocking a fridge before the 2 hours are up will mean the food inside it will take longer to cool down. It may also put some extra strain on the compressor. 

Your fridge needs to work hard to get the temperatures down from what is likely room temperature or higher to ones that will keep your items fresh and safe to eat. If you stock it too soon, it will take longer, and demand more energy consumption. 

Your most perishable items may thus even start to spoil. 

Wrapping It Up 

By giving your new fridge plenty of time to both settle and cool down, you are making the absolute most of it, and ensuring your food stays fresh for longer. 


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