How To Care For Your Refrigerator
Here’s how you can keep your fridge running well now and for years to come:
1. Clean off the condenser coils twice per year
Condenser coils are responsible for removing heat from refrigerators and freezers. They’re the large, radiator-like coils located at the back or beneath the unit. When dust and dirt cling to the coils, it’s harder for the refrigerator to remove heat. The result is increased energy consumption. Without regular cleaning, this can lead to problems and costly repairs. Use long-handled bristle brush and a vacuum to easily and efficiently clean off the coils. Follow your refrigerator owner’s manual for specific instructions related to it.
Most refrigerators rely on a drain hole and drip pan to remove condensation, so it’s important that these function properly. Remove any food particles and mineral deposits from the drain hole according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. Then, scrub out the drain pan.
2. Clean and replace the gasket (rubber door seal) as needed
The gasket is the rubber seal that outlines your refrigerator and freezer doors. It’s an often overlooked part that has the critical job of sealing out warm air. Clean it periodically with concentrated sprays. Over time, gaskets wear and no longer seal the way refrigerators and freezers need to operate efficiently. It’s common for gaskets to weaken, loosen and tear within just a few years. When this happens, warm air enters the interior of the refrigerator or freezer, making it work harder to remove the heat. That means more energy consumed and higher bills for you. Fortunately, gaskets are inexpensive and usually very easy to replace.
Manual-defrost refrigerator/freezers – When frost has accumulated on the inside walls of the freezer to a thickness of one half inch (or a little more than one centimeter) or so, remove the food from the refrigerator/freezer, turn off the thermostat or unplug the unit, and allow all of the frost to melt. Once the frost has melted completely, turn the unit back on, wait for it to reach its operating temperature, and restock it with food.
Self-defrosting refrigerator/freezers – If you have a self-defrosting refrigerator, you don’t need to do anything. Every six to eight hours, your refrigerator heats up its cooling coils slightly to melt any frost accumulation on the coils. The resulting water drains into a shallow pan at the bottom of the refrigerator/freezer. Though the water evaporates, you’ll need to periodically clean the pan to avoid odors and bacteria growth. Use warm water and a small amount of detergent to clean it out. Your owner’s manual will provide specific instructions related to this but on most models, you can access the pan by detaching the lower grill and sliding out the pan.
4. Clean the interior
Weekly, use a soft cloth dampened by warm water to wipe down and remove crumbs and spills from shelves and walls. An all-purpose cleaner will make the job easier and take on stains and sticky spills without a lot of elbow grease. If an item is weakly packaged (i.e. fruit cartons) or simply likely to leak (i.e. defrosting meat), place it on a plate before storing.
Freshen and remove odors with a deodorizer that’s specifically designed for refrigerators. Baking sodas are best for eliminating food odors. Whip up a mixture and see how it does its magic in minutes!
6. Replace the ice maker or water dispenser water filter
Replace the water filtration system filter at least every six months.
If your fridge or freezer needs a repair or some maintenance, we can help.
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