Refrigerator Maintenance Guide
By Victoria Baeker
Updated: June 5th, 2019
It is a known fact that regular appliance maintenance tips and cleaning of a major home appliance like a refrigerator can extend its life and efficiency. This guide will help you take better care of your refrigerator at home. Regular care and maintenance of refrigerator will make a huge difference.
These tips will help you extend the lifespan of the appliance and will also reduce maintenance expenses. Even if you have an appliance extended warranty plan, warranty companies generally expect you to maintain your appliances in good condition.
Refrigerator Maintenance Tips
- When the condenser coils of a refrigerator get dusty, the energy expended by the refrigerator is more. It also leads to the reduction in life expectancy of the refrigerator. For those of you who are unaware, refrigerator coils are located in the rear or underneath a refrigerator. You can just vacuum the vents and coils to clean them. This should be done at least once a month. And while you clean these coils, ensure that you have unplugged the power chord.
- In automatic defrost refrigerators, the water flows through the drain hole into the drip pan where it evaporates. Usually the drip pan is located underneath and can be pulled out. This drip pan should also be cleaned regularly as sometimes the water in it might contain some food particles and that may create and odor. You can scrub the drip pan and then clean the drain hole as per instructions in the user manual.
- You can find gaskets on the doors of the refrigerator and the freezer. These are designed to seal the cold air inside the refrigerator and the room air outside the refrigerator. Check for any cracks on these gaskets. Slide a piece of paper between the gasket and the refrigerator wall. The paper should not be able to slide which will prove that the gaskets will last for some more time. But if the paper slides easily, then it is time for replacement of the gasket. You can clean the gasket with some water and soap and then wipe it dry. You can also clean the gaskets with vinegar.
- You need to clean the refrigerator once a month at least. When you do the cleaning, ensure that you have taken out all the food materials. You can clean the crisper, where you store vegetables, fruit and meat, with soap and water. You can also use a refrigerator cleaner to clean the interior of the refrigerator.
- For refrigerators with manual defrost, regularly defrost the freezers. Don’t let the ice build more than 1/4 inch. This should be done for optimum performance. The ice deposits will hinder the ability of the freezer to balance the temperature leading to more power consumption by the refrigerator.
- There might be kids in your house (or sometimes adults) who usually leave the door of the refrigerator closed improperly. This may result in small amount of condensation especially during summer. By applying a bit of Vaseline to the gasket, you can remove any obstruction caused by condensation. Also ensure that the door of the refrigerator is not open for a long time.
- For that intolerable odor coming from your refrigerator, try using a pinch of baking soda to get rid of it.
- Another energy saving tip is that you should keep all the food, that is in the refrigerator, closed. This will minimize the moisture thus leading to less power consumption.
- Do not keep your refrigerator near any heating appliance. It will lead to consumption of more power.
By doing the easy maintenance as mentioned in the above tips, you can protect your refrigerator and preserve more energy. Then why not do it rather than putting your money on repairs and replacements?
- Clean off the condenser coils twice per year
- Clean and replace the gasket (rubber door seal) as needed
- Clean the interior
- Replace the ice maker or water dispenser water filter
Keep your refrigerator running like new by performing these quick tasks. A loose seal allows cool air to seep out, wasting energy and causing your fridge to work harder than it needs to. When the condenser coils are covered with dust, the refrigerator can’t run efficiently.
Warm food or a defrosting freezer are the obvious signs a refrigerator is malfunctioning. Check for power lights on the water or ice dispenser, if the refrigerator is so equipped. Open the doors and check for lights inside. Listen for sounds of the fan running.
A common reason a condenser fan is continually running within a refrigerator is the thermostat. This sensor takes readings from the refrigerator (and freezer if you have one) and flips the cooling system on when it sees the temperature isn’t where it needs to be
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