Last Updated on June 5, 2021 by Conan Pravasi

So you are excited to own a new refrigerator and want to know how long it will take for your new refrigerator to get cold? Before we dive into this topic, there are a few things you need to know before plugging in the refrigerator for the first time. Your new refrigerator has endured quite a shaky and tedious transportation process to get to your kitchen. It has been most likely laid in various positions during the transportation, and the fluids inside the refrigerator, especially the lubricating fluids, have moved in all directions and have not had the time to settle in.

It could take about 6 to 8 hours for the refrigerator fluids to settle. You must wait this time before you plug in your new fridge and not start it immediately and spread the fluids further in the wrong direction. If the new refrigerator was transported correctly, this wait could be greatly reduced.

You Are Done Waiting For The Refrigerator To Settle For 6 To 8 Hours, Now What?

Depending on the brand of your refrigerator, you may be recommended to wait for 6 to 8 hours or even longer (the longer, the better) before you plug in the fridge.

Once you have waited the initial time to let your refrigerator settle the fluids, now its time to plug it in, let it run for about 3 to 4 hours, and let it reach the pre-set temperature before putting any food inside the fridge. Open the refrigerator once or twice after giving it an ample amount of time and see if it feels cold inside. If it is not, wait a little longer. 

Generally, it takes up to 24 hours for a new refrigerator to get cold and ready to be loaded with food, drinks, and groceries. Please consult with your manufacturer to get the exact specifics of your refrigerator and time it needs to be able to store foods safely.

What Is A Safe Temperature For A New Refrigerator For Storing Foods?

According to the FDA, it is recommended to keep the refrigerator below 40 Degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperature is critical to slow down the growth of bacteria in your food.

Is Your New Refrigerator Cold Enough And Ready To Store Food?

The best way to check if your new refrigerator is ready to store food is to use an appliance thermometer and check the temperature. The freezer should be 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the refrigerator temperature should be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At this stage, it is considered safe to store food in your new refrigerator.

Once it reaches a temperature of below 40 degrees, now is the time to load up food items which are at room temperature. Make sure you are not putting in hot food as it will significantly delay the time that your new refrigerator needs to get cold. In fact, it is not at all advisable to put hot foods directly inside the fridge.

How Long Does The New Refrigerator Take To Make Ice?

The answer varies with the brand of refrigerator you have, but most refrigerators will need about 24 hours to run before ice is formed.  

For the refrigerators that come with the in-built ice maker, water first gets filled into your ice maker’s tray. Once your refrigerator detects that the ice has formed and it is hard enough, it will eject the ice cubes into the ice makers storage bin, and the cycle repeats itself. The first cycle of a new refrigerator will be the longest, and it may seem that you have been waiting forever to get the first batch of ice. New generation refrigerators are designed to run up to 80% of the time, but they are much more energy-efficient than their older counterparts. They use less energy because their motors and compressors are much smaller and their modern era defrost systems. Please check the energy star ratings of the refrigerator you want to buy so you can have a highly efficient refrigerator by keeping the running costs low and also help keep the environment by reducing the impact caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Again, it can take up to 24 hours until your new refrigerator begins to produce ice.

Why Does Your New Refrigerator Not Get Cold Fast?

There can be several possibilities as to why your new refrigerator is not cooling fast. You may be opening your door very often to check the temperature. Please be patient with your new fridge and let it work its way up to the desired temperature. 

Hot foods can affect a new refrigerator significantly as they thwart its efforts to complete its first cycle by further delaying the time it takes to reach the set temperature. Hot foods do not only slow the cooling time but also warm up the refrigerator affecting the cooling significantly.

Also, an opening in the door seal can contribute to the fridge not cooling effectively, which is rare because there is a very little chance of finding defects with new refrigerators.

Why Does Your New Refrigerator Keeps Running Constantly?

A new refrigerator running constantly may leave you baffled and wondering what could be wrong with it. A new refrigerator is less likely to have damaged, or defective parts, and the problems you may face are most probably related to your refrigerator settings. Your most likely culprit is the freezer temperature setting. If your freezer is set above 10 degrees, your refrigerator is going to exhaust itself by running constantly trying to keep itself cold. This happens because the freezer is not cold enough to support the temperature of the refrigerator. For optimum performance and to not overwork the fridge, keep the freezer setting at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

How Can You Make Your New Refrigerator Cool Faster And Use Less Electricity?

If your refrigerator is snuggled up against the wall, with minimum space in between, the chances are that your refrigerator is likely getting overheated; and hence consuming more power. Moving the refrigerator a little away from the wall will give it breathing space and help it cool faster and use less electricity.

You can help your refrigerator get cold faster by turning down your air conditioner a little bit and make the indoor temperature cool. A hot environment directly affects the fridge and the time it takes to cool.

How To Adjust The Thermostat For A New Refrigerator?

When your new refrigerator first comes to your house, the thermostat may be set all the way up or all the way down. In both scenarios, your refrigerator is poised to give you worries about why it is taking too long to get cold or why it keeps running. Too high or too low thermostat settings are detrimental to the food kept inside the fridge as too cold can give your food a burn or freeze it. On the other hand, if your refrigerator is too hot, your food will get spoiled. It is crucial to check the thermostat settings before plugging in the fridge as it can vastly affect the time your new refrigerator takes to get cold. A thermostat that is set too high will prevent a fridge from getting cold at all. Keeping the freezer at zero degrees and the refrigerator at below 40 degrees are the optimum settings. Your refrigerator may or may not have a separate thermostat for the freezer, depending on the model.


How long it takes for a new refrigerator to get cold depends on a variety of factors, but this time is usually 24 hours. Your new refrigerator may start feeling cold pretty quickly after plugging it in for the first time; however, it is best to wait for 24 hours before you begin using it. In conclusion, following the above steps will help you utilize your new refrigerator efficiently and help it cool faster so you can start filling it up. Always read your manufacturer’s manual thoroughly before operating your new refrigerator for the first time, and when it doubt, it never hurts to give them a call.


Hi There! Welcome to, my name is Conan Pravasi and I am a self-proclaimed chef who is in charge of the Kitchen in my house. I enjoy creating useful kitchen guides and reviewing the best kitchen products. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my 2 year old. My hobbies are cooking, grilling, hanging out with friends and traveling.


  1. Can I start loading my new refrigerator immediately if it already feels cold inside? Thanks

    • Conan Pravasi Reply

      Hello Catherine, I would recommend that you wait and give the refrigerator some time for completing its first cycle.

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