How long does it take for the fridge to get cold?

In this brief article we will answer the question how long does it take for fridge to get cold and three factors that affect fridge’s refrigeration capacity

How long does it take for the fridge to get cold?

Normally it takes 3-24 hours for a fridge to get cold, after this time it is safe for storing groceries and food items.

Many people buy food in bulks and store it for a long time to avoid shortage of food in an emergency. Most of the time the food is perishable and prone to microbial damage if left in open air. To avoid that food is stored in refrigerators at a cold temperature.

Low temperatures act as growth inhibitors for food microbes and enzymes. The temperature slows down the growth of bacteria and reduces the rotting or wastage of food. Freezing the food does not pose any health damage and prevents nutrient loss.

Factors affecting the time:

In the refrigeration process the fridge surrounds the food with cold air which penetrates in the cell wall of food components and the cell wall of microbes. The time required by a fridge after a period of inactivity, to blast this cold air is 3-24 hours. This depends on:

Size of the fridge:

 A large fridge with big storage space takes more time to get cold as compared to a small fridge or a medium c=fridge. Large chilling houses have big chillers but might take a day or two to reach required temperature

Brand of fridge:

The cooling capacity and time taken also depends on the manufacturer’s choice of chillers, material of which the fridge is made of, type of gas, freezing ability of gas and storage capacity. If a storage refrigerator is made by a company which uses the best quality items the result will be fast cooling. Some companies also ensure fast cooling by various methods. You can see the cooling time in the manual of fridge

Weight of refrigerator:

Refrigerators have a system in them consisting of chillers, thermostats and gas chambers. The more chillers a fridge have the more weight it will have. This means the mini fridges might don’t have the same cooling capacity as big chillers, but it’s fast cooling depends on the area of the fridge and size of fridge.

Normally a fridge, refrigerates the food at 40 degrees and freezes it at 5 degrees. The temperature decreases with time but after a specific limit the thermostat turns off the chillers. This is done to avoid over freezing and freeze burns on food.

Other FAQs about Fridges which you may be interested in.

How to clean under the fridge?

Why would a refrigerator not get cold?

Refrigerators work totally fine without any disturbance but the reason they might not be working fine is lack of electricity. If the fridge is not connected to a power supply it will not work. If the electricity voltage is less than the required amount then the fridge will not work properly.

Another problem that people face is the freezer isn’t cold enough because cooling fans may not be working properly. This makes the freezer and refrigerator work not properly. This is a  technical issue and needs expert checking and maintenance. Make sure you get the fans cleaned to avoid having this difficult at all

How long does new refrigerator takes to get cold:

A new refrigerator is all shiny and good so there is no reason to check the fans and temperatures. But to get the perfect temperature for storage the fridge needs a little set up. A new refrigerator takes 24 hours of activity after it is connected to power supply before it becomes good for storage.

Normally after 24 hours the temperature of the freezer reaches 5 degrees and that of refrigerators becomes 40 degrees. Once this temperature limit is reached you can start storing the food in your fridge.Some new fridges have a digital display system to show the temperature of the fridge so it is not hard. But if your fridge doesn’t have that system you can check the coolness after 24 hours. Or read the manual to see how long the fridge takes to get cold.

After getting plugged In for the first time the refrigerators become safe to store food but there are some factors that affect the coolness of the fridge. These factors are:

  • Hot or humid weather, sometimes the weather gets too hot for fridge to cool down or function properly
  • Amount of foodstuff loaded in fridge also has a negative effect on fridge’s temperature, if you store too much food the fridge might not wot work properly
  • Leaving the door open affects cooling too and also the number of times a fridge was opened
  • A locked air vent due to any issue will affect the cooling capacity. It is avoided by continuous monitoring of fridge’s vent


In this brief article we have answered the question how long does it take for fridge to get cold and three factors that affect fridge’s refrigeration capacity


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.