The refrigerator is the most used appliance in the house and it is essential that it is kept in good working order. The five tips in this guide will show you how to keep your refrigerator perfectly maintained so that it runs optimally and lasts for a long time.
1. Keep the Coils Clean
Cleaning your refrigerator coils is the number one way to ensure your refrigerator stays running in perfect condition.
Refrigerator coils, also called condenser coils, contain the refrigerant that cools the air inside. Refrigerator coils are susceptible to dust accumulation since they are exposed to the air and not enclosed in a sealed housing.
Dirty refrigerator coils can prevent your refrigerator from cooling properly. Dirty coils also cause your refrigerator to run less efficiently, which can lead to it using more electricity than it should.
To clean the coils:
- Locate the coils. These will either be on the back of the refrigerator or on the bottom behind a grill.
- Once you have located the coils, use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean all dust and debris from them.
- You can use a paintbrush or old toothbrush to loosen any hard-to-dislodge dust from tight spaces, and then vacuum up the dislodged dust.
- A specialized coil cleaning brush can be purchased either online or from a hardware store if you are having trouble cleaning the dust in hard-to-reach areas. These are designed to fit between the coils.
- Remember that these coils should ideally be cleaned once a year in order to keep your refrigerator running optimally.
2. Maintain the Door Seals
If your door gasket is not sealing correctly, your refrigerator will need to use more power to maintain its temperature. This will make the unit work harder, reducing the life of your appliance.
To check the door seals:
- Closely inspect the entire seal to make sure it is not cracked or warped anywhere.
- If the door seal appears dirty, use a damp paper towel or a cloth to carefully wipe around the gasket. This will improve the seal.
- If everything appears fine but you suspect there is a seal issue, you can test the seal with a piece of paper.
- Place a piece of paper in the refrigerator door and close it. There should be resistance when you try to pull it out. If it falls out or slides out easily, the door is not sealing correctly.
- If your door seals are damaged or not sealing correctly, they will need to be replaced. You can order replacement seals from your refrigerator manufacturer.
3. Maintain the Proper Temperature
Ensuring your refrigerator stays at the proper temperature is very important when it comes to maintaining your appliance. A refrigerator that is struggling to keep cool will use more electricity and put more strain on the appliance overall. This will reduce the lifespan of the appliance, as well as cost you extra in electricity bills. Here’s how to ensure the refrigerator maintains an even temperature:
Keep it Filled
It may seem counterintuitive, but it is easier for a refrigerator to maintain its ideal temperature when it is full. While it is also important not to overcrowd your refrigerator and cover the vents, a full refrigerator is ideal.
If you live alone and don’t usually have enough groceries to keep your refrigerator filled, you can put several bottles of water in your refrigerator in order to help it maintain its temperature. This also applies to the freezer – if your freezer is not full, consider filling up the extra space with more bottles of water. These will then freeze and help to maintain the temperature.
Keep the Door Closed
Another way to ensure your refrigerator maintains its temperature is to keep the door closed. Every time the door is opened, cool air escapes and the refrigerator has to work harder to bring the temperature back down. The longer it is left open, the more the refrigerator has to work to get back to its ideal temperature.
In order to make sure your refrigerator stays cool, make sure you only open the door quickly to get out what you need, and don’t leave the door open while you are preparing food or waiting to decide what you want to get out.
4. Ensure the Refrigerator is Placed Correctly in Your Kitchen
It is not always possible to choose the location of your refrigerator in your kitchen, but if you can, keep it away from the cooktop, oven, or other heat source. If a refrigerator is near any of these heat-generating items, it will have to work harder to keep its contents cold, consuming more energy and leading to a shorter lifespan.
Also, make sure there is enough space around your fridge for the vents to work properly. You don’t want cabinets or other appliances crowding the unit and impeding its operation.
5. Change the Filters on Your Water and Ice Dispensers
Filters in refrigerator ice makers and water dispensers need to be replaced, but this is a task that is often neglected. Changing the filters on your ice maker and water dispenser will help keep them clean and running efficiently. This should be done approximately every three to six months.
For specific recommendations and replacement information for your model, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. You will be able to order replacement filters directly from the manufacturer.