Fridge Freezer Maintenance Tips

Food in Freezer - Fridge Freezer Maintenance Tips

Keeping your fridge freezer working at its best means not only preserving food so that it is healthy and tasty, but it also saves money on energy bills. 

As always, consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on care and maintenance of your model.

Keep the Freezer Vents Unobstructed

Clear food packages away from the vent openings. These small vents on frost-free fridges allow air to circulate in the freezer. Blocking the air flow in or out of your freezer can cause temperature fluctuations. To make sure that the air is flowing freely, leave a few inches of space around the air vent on all sides.

Clean the Condenser Coils 

When dust accumulates on the coils, the condenser has to work harder to maintain the proper freezer temperature. 

Cleaning the condenser coils will keep both your fridge and freezer running smoothly. Once or twice a year (more if you have shedding pets), check your refrigerator owner’s manual to locate the condenser coils. Newer models have the coils located at the front and bottom of your fridge. Older models will have clearly visible coils located on the back of the fridge. 

Unplug the refrigerator, remove dirt, dust and other debris from the condenser coils using the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. When finished, plug your refrigerator back in and you are all set to go.

How Full Should I Stock My Freezer?

To help save energy, you can pack your freezer about three-quarters full to retain cold air. You should be able to see a little space between the items for air circulation.

Brrr, It’s Cold in Here! 

According to the USDA, a freezer should be kept at 0°F for long-term storage. Maintaining proper temperature is important because failure to do so will cause food to spoil faster. If a freezer can’t be kept at this temperature, or the door is opened often, they recommend only using it for short storage.

Consider a second, stand-alone freezer if you find that the fridge freezer is opened as frequently as the fridge itself or if you need to fill your fridge freezer to the max. The second freezer can act as long-term storage, and use your refrigerator freezer for items that you’ll use up more quickly.

Maintain the Seals

Do the dollar bill test. Put a dollar bill or piece of paper in the freezer door so that part of it is sticking out. There should be a bit of resistance upon removing it while the door is closed. If it moves while it is in there or has no resistance coming out, the seals should be changed. Even in a frost-free freezer, if air comes in, you will get frost buildup.

Keep it Organized!

In order to keep spills to a minimum, make sure to package any homemade food in freezer friendly containers. Keep store bought items tightly sealed making sure there isn’t any air in the freezer bag. Label foods with the date of purchase and put the oldest items at the front of the freezer.

Cleaning Your Freezer

If you do a quick wipe down of shelves, bottom and sides of your freezer once a week, you’ll probably find that this makes deep cleaning easier and less frequently needed. 

For a quick cleanse, fill a bowl with warm water and a bit of dish detergent. Using a soft sponge, wipe down the bottom, sides and shelves. Since this can be done quickly, there’s no need to remove all items. Pay attention to the seals and wipe them gently as well to get rid of any crumbs or sticky particles. 

Once a month, take an inventory of items. Check for freezer burn, or any unwanted or old forgotten items and toss them out. Also check for any spilled items and wipe down surfaces as usual with water and detergent.

For a deeper cleanse, perhaps every 2 or 3 months…

  • Turn off the freezer and empty contents into a cooler to keep them cold.
  • If your freezer has detachable drawers and shelves, wash them in the sink with soap and water. Let dry.
  • Use a spray bottle with one-part vinegar and one-part water to spray inside your empty freezer and wipe with a cloth or sponge. Let the vinegar solution soak for a few minutes on tough or stuck on stains. 
  • Dry the interior with a clean cloth. Put back the clean drawers and shelves.
  • Return the food, turn the unit back on.

If There is a Blackout…

If the power goes out, keep your freezer door shut. A freezer can maintain food items for 48 hours if it is mostly full (¾ full) but only for about 24 hours if it is less than half full. 

You can count on C&W Appliance Service to keep your fridge and freezer running at their best. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form for all your major appliance repair and maintenance needs.


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