A brand-new refrigerator performs well and looks great. Caring for your fridge on a regular basis will help to keep your appliance running at its best.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your new fridge operating in good condition for years to come.
Keeping a bit of clearance behind your refrigerator is a factor in having it work properly. (Built-in fridges are an exception; their cabinets have been designed to allow for proper cooling.)
The condenser coils are often located at the bottom of the unit. Older models may have the coils at the back of the fridge. These coils cool and condense the refrigerant.
Having 1-1/2 to 2 inches behind the fridge will help the warm air dissipate through the top channel so the coils stay cool and don’t overheat. Without proper ventilation, a fridge may exhibit problems such as poor cooling, loud compressor noise and vibrations, and even component failure.
Manufacturers often suggest ½ to 1-inch clearance above and at the sides of the refrigerator as well.
Always check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular model.
Clean the Condenser Coils and Underneath the Fridge
Cleaning your coils once or twice a year is one of the ways to help keep your fridge working well. You can buy a special coil brush at a hardware store or you could use your vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust and dirt.
Unplug the fridge. Units with coils underneath them will have a cover on the front or back that you can remove and a condenser fan inside that you should also clean. To access coils located underneath, remove the grill at the bottom of the fridge. To access coils located behind, pull the unit out from the wall.
Keep the area underneath the fridge unobstructed.
Clean the Gaskets
A refrigerator gasket, or door seal, is a flexible elastic strip attached to the outer edge of a refrigerator or freezer compartment. The gasket seals keep cold air inside and hot air out. If the gasket cracks, dries out or is damaged, the refrigerator will be unable to maintain an even temperature because the cold air will seep out. This causes the compressor to run far more often than it should, wearing it out and wasting electricity. Moisture may also condense on the exterior of the fridge, and ice may form on the inside of freezer sections that are supposed to be frost-free. In addition, food in the refrigerator may spoil quickly if the unit is not able to stay as cool as it should.
To test the seal, try closing the door on a piece of paper and tug on it. If it pulls out easily you need to replace the gasket.
An easy way to clean the seal is with a soft cloth or cotton swab and a weak solution of vinegar in water. Gently run the cloth or swab through the crease in the seal.
Refrigerators need a certain amount of “thermal mass” inside to maintain their low temperatures. The warm air that comes in when you open the door will be absorbed by the cool food and drink in the fridge. Keep your fridge as full as possible but try not to crowd your refrigerator shelves too much. Cold air in your refrigerator needs to flow freely. If it can’t, your fridge will work harder, and you may get temperature fluctuations.
If you have warm leftovers that need to be refrigerated, try to let them cool down to room temperature first. Putting warm food in the fridge can overwork the compressor.
It’s a good idea to check once a week or so to see if there is any food that should be disposed of, so as to prevent the spread of any mold or mildew that may have grown on items that have been in the fridge too long.
Deodorizing Your Fridge
There are some commercially-available products for deodorizing your fridge. You could also use an open box of baking soda to absorb odors. The baking soda should be replaced every three months or so. Charcoal briquettes will also absorb odors.
When your appliances are in need of professional attention, you can trust the trained, experienced technicians at C&W Appliance Service for all your appliance repair and maintenance needs. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form for prompt, reliable service.