Cracked casing, a build-up of ice inside the fridge, and not maintaining the correct temperature are some of the most common fridge faults. If you buy from the best brands, you're much less likely to face the hassle of fixing issue like these.
Knowing which brands develop more faults is vital when you're buying a new fridge. That’s why this year, in our unique longevity and customer satisfaction survey, we've asked more than 12,000 Which? members and 5,000 members of the public to tell us whether they're happy with their fridge and if they've experienced problems with them.
Our survey data takes into account fridges from which brands had faults reported and whether they needed to be repaired or replaced as a result.
We've crunched the numbers for the biggest fridge manufacturers – including Beko, Hotpoint, Liebherr and Samsung – and have calculated a customer score for each, so you know which brands come recommended by owners.
The table below summarises this year’s results, based on fridges bought in the past seven years. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which reflects whether customers would recommend each brand and their level of satisfaction.
The 'proportion faulty' is the percentage that experienced a fault and the 'proportion repaired or replaced' is the percentage of fridges that were fixed or thrown away due to the fault. The fewer replaced, the better.
|Brand||Customer score||Proportion faulty in first seven years||Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault|
As you can see in our table, there's a big difference between the best and worst fridges in both the satisfaction score reported by customers and the proportion of appliances that developed faults.
|Proportion faulty in first seven years||6%||28%|
|Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault||2%||22%|
Fridges should last beyond seven years without any problems, but we've found that for some brands almost one in four need to be repaired or replaced in that time.
As you can see in the table below, there's a big difference between how reliable the best and worst brands are. The least reliable brands are over three times more fault-prone than the most reliable.
To become an Eco Buy, a fridge must score a maximum 5* for energy efficiency and at least 4* for cooling power, and come from a reliable brand. If a brand has more than 10% of its fridges repaired or replaced then none are eligible to be awarded an Eco Buy.
|Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault|
|Average for all fridges||7%|
We've pulled together our reliability data, customer insight and each brand's average performance in our independent fridge tests to give you an in-depth look at each brand.
Already know which fridge brand you want? Use these links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model for each brand:
This common issue can sometimes be caused by a torn or warped door seal, which lets warm air into the fridge. This creates condensation and then frost builds up. Replacement seals are widely available and it's a relatively simple problem to fix.
Another check to make if you're finding ice inside your fridge is that the temperature on the thermostat isn't set too low.
Unfortunately ice in the fridge can also be caused by an issue with a more complex part, such as the thermostat. Replacing that will likely require the help of a professional.
There are several reasons why a fridge may not be maintaining the correct temperature, with some issues more easily fixed than others.
If your fridge is not staying cold, there are a few simple checks you can make to try and fix the problem.
First, check the thermostat hasn’t been accidentally moved to a warmer setting. Next, check for obstructions and damage around the hinges and seal that could be letting in warm air.
You should also take a look at the condenser coils at the back of the appliance. A build-up of dust on these can prevent the fridge from cooling properly. A good clean might help them to work more efficiently, which could remedy the lack of cooling.
If those simple checks don’t solve the problem, you’ll have some more complex investigations on your hands. Issues with the compressor, thermostat or refrigerant gas are just some of the areas that could be to blame. Unless you have the tools and the know-how, it’s probably time to call in an expert appliance repairer.
This issue is commonly caused by accident when using tools to help lift ice while cleaning.
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Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the home appliances they own – from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they get them home.
This year 12,411 Which? Connect panel members and 5,011 members of the public told us about more than 75,000 individual products. We calculate a brand's customer score, fault rate and proportion replaced or repaired based on the results of our annual survey.
Our surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best fridge to buy.