Why fridge freezers only last 5 to 7 years and how we cope with the recycling problems that we have

by / Sunday, 17 September 2023 / Published in Fridge & Freezer

A tour of Sims refrigeration plant when we delivered a couple of loads


Decline in Refrigeration Quality

Refrigeration quality has declined due to technical improvements for regulatory compliance and consumer demand for advanced features, such as defrost systems and automatic fast freeze modes. The complexity of modern refrigeration circuit boards, connected to various sensors, has increased the likelihood of component failure. Also, the components that are used are not built as well. Most components are only tested to the bare minimum warranty period this guarantee is built in obsolescence.

Auto defrost systems trigger heaters in the freezer department every 16-24 hours. Fans circulate air between compartments to maintain cool temperatures. However, with numerous sensors and components at play, accessibility becomes difficult for consumers and repair costs prove uneconomical.

Before 2000, basic refrigeration systems consisted of a thermostat controlling temperature without complicated components. Occasional freezing compartments required manual defrosting every few months; there were very few working components you had a compressor that pumped the gas around the system, a starter relay that assisted in starting the compressor, and a thermostat controlling the temperature. This was normally a capillary thermostat. Thermostats cost about £20 while starter relays range from £10-£20. Although older gases were less environmentally friendly than current alternatives, they could work effectively within new gas systems.

How a recycling refrigeration plant works to shred the carcass and remove toxic foams, remove the plastic and separate any precious metals from the waste

Pauls views on manufacturers and Perspective on the Declining Longevity of Modern Refrigeration Systems

Having been in the refrigeration trade for nearly four decades, I find myself increasingly frustrated with manufacturers. They seem to prioritize consumerism above all else, compromising the lifespan and sustainability of the appliances they produce.

On one hand, these companies claim to be eco-friendly, touting the green credentials of their products. On the other hand, their focus remains solely on driving consumers to purchase new products. There needs to be a more balanced approach.

I do agree that modernizing the refrigeration process was necessary, especially to comply with environmental regulations that phased out harmful gases used in the manufacturing of refrigerators before the year 2000. However, what I take issue with is the increasing complexity of today's fridge-freezer units. These modern appliances feature auto-defrost systems equipped with specialized heating components, PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards), and NTC sensors that control refrigeration temperatures. Most concerning is that many of these components are manufactured with built-in obsolescence, which I believe contributes to the shortening lifespan of the conventional fridge-freezer.

Moreover, many of these components are only tested up to the bare minimum required by the warranty period. If the circuit boards, sensors, advanced fan systems, and fault-detection mechanisms were designed and built to last, then we could reasonably expect our refrigeration units to have a longer operational lifespan.

In conclusion, the shift toward increased complexity and built-in obsolescence in modern refrigeration technology is disappointing. It not only undermines the longevity of the appliances but also contradicts the environmental ideals that these manufacturers claim to uphold. A reevaluation of priorities is needed in the industry to balance technological advancements with sustainability and long-term reliability.

How Sims recycling refrigeration plant works

A sample of the refrigeration parts that we do

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