Should You Unplug a Refrigerator for a Long Vacation? – Appliance Repair

Should You Unplug a Refrigerator for a Long Vacation?

Publicado por: landing_astechs

18 November, 2020

We have been told that we must disconnect the appliances when we go on vacation, especially the refrigerator, but perhaps this is not the best option, we must consider all the variables before deciding whether to disconnect our refrigerator or not. Here we will analyze each one of them to make the best decision that will take care of both our refrigerator and our economy.


One of the primary reasons for unplugging the refrigerator is to save on electrical costs. However, the hassle of emptying, defrosting, and unplugging your refrigerator might not be worth the small electrical savings. According to Springfield, Illinois’s City Water, Light, and Power Company keeping your refrigerator running won’t cost much, according to their estimations, the monthly cost of running a refrigerator ranges from about $7 to $18 that compared to the tasks involved in unplugging your refrigerator do not represent real savings.

The U.S. Department of Energy website has a more specific formula for calculating appliance energy usage, you can see more information in the following link, and use their “Appliance and Electronic Energy Use Calculator”, to estimate your annual energy use and cost for operating specific products.

Determining how much electricity your appliances and home electronics use can help you understand how much money you are spending to use them, which in consequence will help you decide whether or not to unplug them before leaving home for a long vacation.

Time Away

It is important to determine how long will you be away from home to know if it is actually a long trip, for although the cost of using your refrigerator is low if it is a long period, you may receive benefits by disconnecting it. If a “long” vacation for you means a week or 10 days, it is probably not worth unplugging your refrigerator. If, on the other hand, you will be away for a month or more, the proposition becomes more feasible.

Refrigerator Contents

The contents of your refrigerator at the moment of your trip will also determine whether or not it is better to unplug your fridge. If you have a freezer jammed full of frozen venison or garden vegetables, it is better to leave the refrigerator plugged in or you might need to give the contents away. On the other hand, more hardy condiments and jam may survive if refrigerated but not at room temperature. So if you can’t toss or give away all perishables and get rid of anything that you are not certain will be safe to consume upon your return it is better to keep your fridge plugged in.

Safety Concerns

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, home appliances – especially clothes dryers, ovens, and other heat-producing appliances-  cause about 9,600 residential fires in America each year. Although the refrigerator is not the most prone to, any appliance can be a problem if its electrical wiring is faulty or obsolete, this is why it is essential to use heavy-duty extension cords only as advised by the U.S. Fire Administration and be sure that the electrical cord is not damaged and that it has three good electrical prongs. If your fridge is not in its best condition it is better to unplug it before leaving home for a trip. Don’t risk leaving home with a running refrigerator unless you are confident that it is not a fire hazard.

Additional Considerations

Also, multiple reasons will make you want to leave your refrigerator plugged in, for example, you might want to leave some things to eat for when you return, or maybe your mom is going to take care of your pet and perhaps you want to leave some meals for the pet to eat, or for any other reason, if you leave the refrigerator running, have someone check it from time to time to make sure the contents are staying cold, the electrical cord and prongs are not damaged, the fridge is functioning properly, and that there is no fire hazard.

But on the other hand, if after reading and considering all the aspects we have exposed you decide to you unplug or turn off your refrigerator, don’t forget to remove perishables, thoroughly defrost ice, remove all moisture and leave the doors open. Then you’ll sleep easy knowing mold isn’t invading your fridge while you are enjoying the sunny beaches or snowy slopes.

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