How Long To Wait Before Using Your New Refrigerator

Here’s what you should do in the first few hours of owning a new refrigerator.

So your new refrigerator has now been delivered to your house and you’re excited to plug it in – but wait! You better hold-off on that. Using your fridge immediately after delivery can affect its operation in a bad way. Follow these steps in the first few hours of owning your fridge to set it up to run reliably in the next few years.

What to do after your refrigerator is delivered

Step 1: Remove the packaging (all of it!)

This may seem like a no-brainer, but with the propensity of Filipinos to keep the plastic wrappings on our furniture and appliances attached for some reason, this may be a fair point to reiterate.

After removing the fridge from the box, make sure to also remove the styrofoam packaging attached to the unit; not doing so can cause ventilation problems. If your refrigerator is heavy, kindly ask the delivery personnel to help you with removing the styrofoam base from your fridge.

Most will come with a clear plastic film at the front of the unit to protect the door finish; you should take this out as well.

Step 2: Place the refrigerator in its proper position

You should already have a specific area prepared for your fridge – ideally far enough from the gas range, and not in direct sunlight. As stated in our Refrigerator Buying Guide, remember to give an allowance of at least 2 inches of space at the rear and the sides, as well as 4 inches at the top for ventilation. Don’t plug it in yet!

Step 3: Let it stand for at least 4 hours

Refrigerators and freezers use refrigerant gases to achieve the low temperatures needed to preserve your food. If the fridge was transported on its side or tilted by the delivery guys, the gas may flow unevenly throughout your ref – this can cause uneven cooling.

To let theses gases settle down, let your refrigerator stand without plugging it in for at least 4 hours. Some brands may require a longer time (some can take up to 24 hours). Check with your sales person or with a brand’s customer service rep regarding the required waiting time.

Step 4: Give it a quick wipe-down

While waiting for the refrigerant gases to settle down, this is a good time to give your refrigerator a quick wipe-down.

Get a clean cloth with warm water and a soft cleaning solution (dish washing liquid will do). Remove every rack and tray and wipe them down as well. Make sure to dry them off first before you put them back.

Step 5: Run it at max setting for at least 2 hours (don’t put anything in yet!)

You’re almost there!

Your refrigerator will need a few hours to reach the right temperature. If you put food in right away, it will take a longer time for it to cool down and properly, and it may strain your new fridge unnecessarily.

Leave your fridge running at max settings for at least two hours to get it down to the right temperature.

Step 6: Put food in your new refrigerator

After following those steps, you are now free to put your food inside the refrigerator!


Yes, using a new fridge is exciting and it may be tempting to use it at once. But remember that patience is a virtue; these first few hours of waiting will set the tone for the rest of the years of service of your new refrigerator.

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