10 Best Tips to Maintain Your Refrigerator: No doubt your refrigerator or fridge has to be one of the most hardworking appliances in your home. Unless you’re out of town or you’ve signed a pact against using electricity, your refrigerator will probably run 24/7 all year long.
Dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fish, leftovers, etc., are just a few of what you can store in the appliance. Imagine the mess it would be if the fridge suddenly malfunctions. Nearly all of the mentioned items (and some more) would spoil.
That’s why the idea of refrigerator maintenance should not be called into question. It is very important and could be the deciding factor of your refrigerator’s lifespan generally.
Maintaining your refrigerator doesn’t require you to spend your whole day on the unit. All it takes is a few minutes of your time that could save you from the headache of dealing with unexpected breakdowns and subsequent service costs.
This article will run you through the 10 best tips to maintain your refrigerator.
The Best Tips for Refrigerator Maintenance
- Remember to close the refrigerator door quickly
- Set the right cooling temperature
- Avoid blocking the refrigerator vents
- Examine the fridge’s door seal
- Don’t place the appliance too close to walls
- Defrost regularly
- Clean the fridge periodically
- Clean the condenser coils properly
- Keep items in the fridge properly covered and arranged
- Adhere to the refrigerator placement guidelines
1. Remember to close the refrigerator door quickly
This is a tip that is pretty obvious for most of us. If you’re ever yelled at to quickly close the fridge door, try not to get mad.
When you leave the door open for a lengthy period, the refrigerator loses its current temperature. In order to get back to that cooling temperature, the appliance is forced to work harder than before.
Basically, this means that the refrigerator will consume more energy and thus, your electricity bills will go up.
With this knowledge, the next time you need something from the fridge, stop to think about it before opening its door.
This way, you’ll rapidly get things done and shut the door as quickly as possible. As soon as you’re done keeping or removing things from the fridge, close it properly.
This not only helps the appliance maintain its ambient temperature but also ensures it doesn’t overwork itself.
2. Set the right cooling temperature
Generally, refrigerators come with thermostats that allow you to set the appliance’s temperature. If you want the most efficient cooling, it is important to set and maintain the right temperature.
The recommended temperature for a refrigerator is 4°C. On the other hand, the freezer compartment’s temperature should be set just under below 0°C. However, if you’re storing meat, then set it to -18°C or -19°C.
Unfortunately, not all refrigerators come with a clear number-based system for setting the temperature. If your appliance falls within this bracket, then chances are high that it has a scale-based system instead.
In this case, it would be best to keep the scale to its medium or normal level or follow its buyer’s manual to learn more about its recommended temperature settings.
3. Avoid blocking the refrigerator vents
Ensure there’s enough clearance between the fridge’s vents and items stored inside the unit. This allows cool air to circulate as it should.
If any object were to block the vents, it would build up an inefficient environment in the unit thus, forcing the appliance to work twice as hard just to keep things cool.
4. Examine the fridge’s door seal
Merely closing the refrigerator’s door may not be enough. At times, the fridge’s door gasket might get worn out (hardened, cracked, or warped) after a while.
When this happens, cold air can leak out of the unit even if it appears that you’ve shut the door. That’s why it is important to occasionally examine the refrigerator’s door gasket and get it fixed early if deteriorating.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to check if the gasket is sealing the door as it is meant to. Just take a coin and keep it between the door and the unit.
Next, shut the door such that half of the coin is inside and the other half can easily be seen by you. If it (the coin) slips out easily, then you’ve got a gasket problem. An experienced professional can help you get it resolved.
5. Don’t place the appliance too close to walls
Avoid placing the fridge too close to your apartment walls. Regardless of wherever the appliance is positioned, always ensure that there is at least an inch of distance between the refrigerator and the wall.
Basically, this gap allows the fridge to easily dispense heat generated while it is in operation. If you want your fridge to run optimally, create some distance between it and the wall.
6. Defrost regularly
If you own a single-door fridge, you’ll most likely notice a build up of ice in its freezer compartment occasionally.
You have to defrost it regularly as its presence in the unit can lead to energy wastage. You should find time to do this, preferably a weekend or whenever you have nothing else to do, as defrosting a single-door fridge can take more than an hour.
7. Clean the fridge periodically
Your refrigerator’s maintenance is incomplete without keeping it clean and tidy. Except you’re a skunk, nobody likes a messy and putrid refrigerator.
Thus, be sure to clean the external and internal areas of your refrigerator by using a soft, damp cloth and a vinegar or any other mild cleaning agent.
Keep the door’s gasket in top condition by cleaning it too. Generally, cleaning the fridge saves you and everyone else from disgusting and horrid views as well as unpleasant odors.
8. Clean the condenser coils properly
Now, here’s arguably the most difficult aspect of fridge maintenance. The condenser in a refrigerator is usually positioned at the bottom rear section of the unit.
It works to release heat during the cooling process and because of where it is located, dirt and debris can clog the coils, thus ensuring that heat is not efficiently released.
And when heat isn’t released efficiently, the cooling is limited. This means the unit has to work harder than it should and it will tell on your electricity bills. That’s why it is important to keep those coils clean.
You may need to refer to the owner’s manual to get an idea of how to clean your fridge’s condenser. Generally, the cleaning process of the condenser coils starts with turning off the fridge’s power.
Next, take out the plug from the power socket and push or move the appliance away from the wall. Let it be in a position where you can see the rear components clearly.
Now, using a screwdriver, take out a few screws and with the aid of a vacuum cleaner or other specialized condenser cleaning tool, remove the dirt and debris stuck on the condenser pipes.
9. Keep items in the fridge properly covered and arranged
Generally, always cover the items inside the refrigerator to keep them from spilling out. Do this by storing the food items in plastic containers with secure fitting tops.
This greatly helps in lowering the moisture within the unit. In addition, it also prevents the emergence and distribution of odors across the compartments.
By properly arranging the contents in your refrigerator, you’ll be able to store them more efficiently and remove them faster. This means you will not need to keep the fridge door open for long to get something.
10. Adhere to the refrigerator placement guidelines
Refrigerators need to be well-balanced on all sides to allow the door close and seal as they should. An unbalanced fridge can lead to liquid items stored in cups or glasses spilling inside the unit over whenever you open the door.
If you’re not sure whether your refrigerator is level on all sides, you can get a level tool and place it on one side of the shelves inside. If it is level, perfect! If not, you will need to adjust the appliance till you get it accurately well-balanced.
In spite of periodic maintenance, things can sometimes still go wrong with a fridge. In cases like that, you might have to activate your appliance’s warranty or get it fixed by a professional engineer.
However, you’ll most likely experience more issues with your refrigerator as it ages. Rather than continue fixing the same old issues, just opt for a new refrigerator instead.