Monthly Maintenance Reminder: Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist

Monthly Maintenance Reminder: Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist

Kitchen
Cleaning
Electrical
By Mateos Glen Hayes August 01, 2022

Your refrigerator is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your whole house. This technological marvel keeps your food fresh for a long time and keeps your drinks ice cold, but it needs regular attention to do its job well. Nobody likes having their refrigerator burn out at a critical moment so that they’re forced to call for an emergency repair. To avoid this, it’s best to adopt a set of best fridge maintenance practices to ensure that your refrigerator stays in good shape.

Regular refrigerator servicing and responsible use will allow your fridge to last longer and will also save you money. A refrigerator that is well taken care of can be expected to work for twenty years or more with little to no issue. Proper refrigerator maintenance will also keep your fridge running efficiently, saving you tons of energy expenses in the long run. Read on to understand what kind of maintenance a refrigerator needs.

What Are 3 Recommended Maintenance Items for a Refrigerator?

Leaving your refrigerator doors open for too long is bad for the long-term health of your fridge compressor.

Leaving your refrigerator doors open for too long is bad for the long-term health of your fridge compressor.

There are three best practices that we recommend adopting as part of your efficacious fridge maintenance strategy. These best practices are useful to follow because they keep your refrigerator working well and can also head off any unexpected problems that could arise from improper use. 

1. Keep the Refrigerator and Freezer Doors Closed 

When you’re in a rush to get food on the table or put up leftovers, it’s easy to fall into the bad habit of leaving your refrigerator or freezer door open for a long time. This is, after all, what you would do with kitchen cabinets so why not also do it with your fridge for added convenience?

However, leaving your fridge or freezer doors open is not a good idea for several reasons. For one, leaving your fridge doors open for a long time causes the fridge to lose its coldness, forcing it to work hard to restore its preset temperature. Because of this, your fridge will use more electricity and its components will endure more stress. There is also a risk that you can forget to close your fridge door or leave it partially open.

If this happens with your fridge door it could cause the condenser to burn out, at which point you’ll need to call a repairman as soon as possible.

An overfilled fridge will work less efficiently.

An overfilled fridge will work less efficiently.

2. Do Not Block Interior Vents

Blocking your fridge’s interior vents can lead to your fridge not running efficiently as it will be forced to use more electricity to achieve the required temperature setting. An overcrowded fridge can also lead to unpleasant odors which is a common kitchen problem. To avoid this, simply ensure that none of your food is directly up against the vents in the fridge. Also, an open box of baking soda is a natural cleaning hack that will help keep out any unpleasant odors both in the freezer and the refrigerator.

Keep your refrigerator shelves clean by wiping them regularly every few days.

Keep your refrigerator shelves clean by wiping them regularly every few days.

3. Clean Regularly 

Cleaning is a chore but it is necessary for good refrigerator maintenance. Beyond the fact that a dirty fridge is going to look gross, it’s also not safe to let your refrigerator get excessively yucky since it could pose a health hazard. As such, it’s best to wipe off your fridge’s shelves and gasket every few days with a damp cloth soaked in a water-vinegar mixture, a homemade cleaning product you can DIY. This will remove any unpleasant odors and can also get rid of any unwanted growths such as mold. 

What Are the Top Tips for Maintaining a Refrigerator?

Placement is Key 

Your fridge should be separated from the wall by at least an inch to prevent overheating.

Your fridge should be separated from the wall by at least an inch to prevent overheating.

When setting up your refrigerator, one crucial thing to bear in mind is the proper placement of the appliance. Unlike integrated kitchen appliances, your fridge cannot be installed flush with the wall. Rather, it needs to be placed at a sufficient distance from the wall to allow for proper ventilation. The best policy, therefore, is to keep at least one inch of space between the fridge and the wall as this will allow for efficient operation.   

Setting Things Right 

For best results, we recommend setting your fridge’s temperature to medium or middle temperature.

For best results, we recommend setting your fridge’s temperature to medium or middle temperature.

Temperature setting might seem like such a small thing, but it can make all the difference when it comes to your refrigerator running at its best. You may think that the right answer to “What’s the best fridge temperature setting?” is “as cold as possible”, but this is typically not the case.

A super cold setting can cause your food and drinks to freeze and also makes your fridge burn a lot of energy. In most situations, the best setting for your fridge is the medium setting. This will give you the perfect balance of cooling and energy efficiency and will reduce refrigerator maintenance since the fridge isn’t working too hard. When in doubt, take a gander at your fridge’s manual for the best temperature setting in each situation. 

Condenser Coil Care In Three Steps  

he rear of your fridge is covered with S or U-shaped condenser coils that must be cleaned regularly to keep your fridge running at its best.

he rear of your fridge is covered with S or U-shaped condenser coils that must be cleaned regularly to keep your fridge running at its best.

When it comes to what kind of maintenance a refrigerator needs condenser coil cleaning is in the top five items of that list. Because these coils are behind the refrigerator they are easily neglected and can become pretty dirty as a result.

When these coils become saturated with dust this can cause premature compressor failure. To avoid this, periodically clean your coils with this easy three-step process. This only has to be done twice a year and the process takes a mere ten minutes.

First, you have to get the refrigerator in a good position so you can access the condenser coils. To do this, first, unplug the refrigerator and then carefully pull it away from the wall and orient it so that you can reach the condenser coils easily. You’ll easily be able to recognize them since they are distinctive black metal tubes that wind back and forth in an S shape.  

There are several ways to go about cleaning the condenser coils, but the easiest way to do this is with the use of a vacuum cleaner and a brush attachment. This brush attachment will help you to reach in between the coils and displace dust bunnies.

Once you’ve passed over the entire coil with the vacuum cleaner, check that there are no remaining dust bunnies. To finish the job you’ll have to vacuum the floor and any vents on the refrigerator as stray dust can easily fall and get stuck in these areas.  

Removing Ice

Ice formation in your frost-free freezer is a sign that something has gone wrong.

Ice formation in your frost-free freezer is a sign that something has gone wrong.

Even if you have a frost-free freezer you may still have to deice as part of diligent freezer maintenance. For instance, your ice bin should be cleared out every few months and the bin itself should be cleaned thoroughly. Ice cubes tend to collect odors and flavors that can mess up the taste of your favorite refreshing beverage.

Smart kitchen devices such as frost-free freezers normally shouldn’t be icing over, but this can happen if something goes wrong. For example, your freezer can ice over if the gasket is damaged or if something inside the freezer keeps the door from sealing properly. 

Take Care Of The Seals 

Seals can break down over time so it’s a good policy to check them regularly and make sure they are holding up.

Seals can break down over time so it’s a good policy to check them regularly and make sure they are holding up.

Another crucial part of effective fridge maintenance is keeping your gasket seals in good shape. Over time, these seals can become dirty and brittle and so will need regular checkups. To keep your seals in good shape it’s best to check them a few times a year. If you suspect that you have bad seals, you can test them by slipping a dollar bill in the damaged area and closing the fridge door. If the dollar bill can be easily removed while the door is closed, you probably have bad seals and will need to get them replaced by your fridge’s manufacturer.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

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