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Help Extend The Life Of Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator’s job is to help keep the food inside cold or frozen and at its set temperature no matter what the outside temperature is in the kitchen.

Now that we are approaching the hot months of the year, the last thing you want is to open the freezer section of your refrigerator to find that your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a soft or soupy mess.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, your refrigerator will need a little care, attention and maintenance to help keep it functioning properly and help give it the longest life possible.

Here are some maintenance tips to help extend the life of your refrigerator.

Dusting your refrigerator isn’t something that you think of doing on a regular basis, but for your refrigerator, keeping it dust free is very important in helping extend its life. 

The grill of your refrigerator (which on most refrigerators is located on the bottom) should be kept free of dust, lint and pet hair. Keeping your grill dusted on a regular basis will help allow air to freely flow to the condenser.

What To Do:
Your refrigerator’s condenser coils should be professionally cleaned at least once a year to remove the dirt, lint, pet hair and other accumulations that you can’t remove with regular dusting. This will help ensure top performance.

Your refrigerator needs space.

When your refrigerator is pushed up closely to the wall, it doesn’t allow enough room for air flow. Refrigerators need air to circulate freely around them to allow heat to disperse from the condenser.

What To Do:
Make sure to leave a few inches between the back and side walls to allow enough room for air to circulate.

Airflow can cause your food not to stay as cool as it should. Escaping air can also increase your energy bill. 

A worn out seal will let cool air inside of your refrigerator escape into the room. In turn this will make your refrigerator have to work harder to try to get to its set temperature.

What To Do:
Take a close look at the seals around your refrigerator and freezer section. Test the seals by placing a dollar bill so that it is half in the refrigerator and half outside (in between the seal). If the dollar bill stays in place, your seals are in good shape. If the dollar bill falls to the floor the seals will need cleaning.

Uncovered food and beverages release moisture that will make the compressor work harder. 

Covering food and liquids and wrapping food before storing them in your refrigerator and freezer will help the refrigerator’s compressor work as it should.

What To Do:
Use plastic or glass storage containers, wrapping material such as plastic wrap, foil or press and seal to cover food being stored in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables in your crisper drawers do not need special storage, the crisper drawers are made to keep air flowing as it should.

Fill your fridge, but don’t overfill it. Leaving room for air circulation is necessary. 

Your refrigerator needs to have food in it in to keep the air circulating and keep the temperature of the fridge at the proper setting.

What To Do:
If you don’t have very much food to store inside your refrigerator, place a pitcher of water on a shelf. This will fill the open areas and balance the temperature inside.

Watch our Appliance Master Live Episode where Bill shows you how a refrigerator’s condenser works and our Appliance Master Live Episode where he shows you the inside of a refrigerator’s compressor.

Bill Cummins

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