Keeping your kitchen appliances in top condition helps them last longer and prevents premature repairs. Your refrigerator is no exception to this. The following maintenance tips can help you keep this necessity of the kitchen in peak condition.
Tip #1: Keep the Coils Clean
The coils on the back of the fridge, called the condenser coils, work constantly to whisk away heat so the fridge can stay cold. Dust, dirt, and animal hair collect on these coils and make it more difficult for them to do their job. Pull the fridge out from the wall and vacuum these coils at least twice a year – more often if you have a shedding pet or another reason for dust to build up quickly on the back of the fridge.
Tip #2: Inspect the Gasket Regularly
A worn out door gasket results in an air leak, which can put stress on the fridge's motor since it will have to run more often to keep the fridge cold. Run your fingers around the gasket at least once a month to look for damage, such as tears or loose portions. If the gasket is damaged, remove it and replace it with a new gasket. Attachment methods vary, but typically they are held on with adhesives, screws, or a combination of both. Even if the gasket is in good repair, wipe it down thoroughly with a damp rag to remove any food or soil that could interfere with its seal.
Tip #3: Change Out the Filters
Refrigerators with built-in ice makers or water dispensers have filters. These usually need to be changed about once a month, but refer to the owner's manual to be sure for your model. Failure to replace these can cause mineral and debris build-up, which can stress the system. Water dispensers may also have removable spouts or hoses that require monthly cleaning to prevent mineral build-up.
Tip #4: Clean it Up
Food spills aren't just unattractive, they can stain or damage the interior of the fridge. Wipe out drawers and shelves weekly, and try to clean up any spills as soon as they happen. Most modern fridges feature frost-free freezers, which mean they defrost automatically. If yours does not, you will need to empty and unplug the fridge if the ice builds up. This will allow the freezer to defrost and work properly. Place a fridge deodorizer or an open box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer after cleaning, and replace it once a month. This will keep odors from penetrating into the interior of the unit.
Contact a service like Kaylor Appliance & Refrigeration Service to learn more.