Proper care can truly extend the life of your refrigerator, especially if you make a point to practice routine maintenance. Failing to do so can not only shorten the life expectancy of this important appliance (after all, it’s where the food lives!) but also drive up the energy costs of your home. Fortunately, the routine care that we speak of only requires thirty minutes or so of your time, as little as twice a year. It’s mind-boggling to imagine that an hour each year could impact the functionality of your refrigerator so much, but it’s true. If you follow the tips and techniques below, you can expect your fridge to live a long, chilled life.
- Clear your condenser coils of dust and debris.
The presence of dust and other gunk on the condenser coils will cause your refrigerator to work harder than it should have to, which can cause your energy costs to skyrocket and even result in food or beverage wasted if it cannot stay at its ideal temperature. In most models, the coils can be found either at the back of the unit or at the bottom of it, concealed by a grille that you’ll have to remove in order to access them for cleaning. A quick dusting with a broom or vacuum twice a year will keep your condenser coils in good shape, thus prolonging the life of your appliance. If you have pets, however, you might have to make this a more regular part of your routine housework. Pet hair gets everywhere, including around your condenser coils.
- Change the water filter, if your fridge has one.
Refrigerators that make ice or water come with water filters that keep these products clean and safe to drink. Every six months (or less, depending on the instructions laid out by the manufacturer) this water filter should be changed out in order to keep ice and water clean and healthy. Trust us-you do not want to drink water that’s passed through a dirty filter.
- Clean and check all gaskets.
The gaskets on the door of your fridge and freezer are designed to keep the cold air in and the warm air out. Any damage to these gaskets can result in the refrigerator keeping a too-high temperature that can cause food and beverages to spoil, as well as increase your energy bills when the appliance has to work extra hard to keep things chilled. Gaskets should be cleaned with a general, all-purpose cleaner and then wiped dry with a lint-free cloth, and then checked for signs of damage. If any of the gaskets have cracks, tears or other signs of damage, it is probably time to replace them.
- Clean the drain and drip tray.
Most refrigerators rely on a drain and drip tray to rid the interior of the fridge of excess condensation. Where moisture exists, unwanted irritants like mold can grow if left unchecked. Your owner’s manual for the appliance should give you guidance as to how to remove mineral deposits, food and other debris from the drain. The drip tray can easily be removed and then scrubbed.
- Be prepared in the event of a power outage.
If you find yourself suddenly without any power, refrain from opening your fridge or freezer as much as possible, as to let the cool air inside remain. With the power being out and the introduction of warm air to the interior whenever the fridge or freezer doors open, you could end up with a bunch of spoiled food in no time. Try to make meals with dry goods that don’t require refrigeration. If left alone and unopened, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours, while the freezer can maintain its low temperature for as long as two full days.
The trained technicians at CS Appliance Service offer assistance with both repair and maintenance for your refrigerators and freezers. If your fridge isn’t staying cool, has damaged coils or gaskets, or is giving you any other kind of trouble, contact us today at 781-953-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.