Refrigerators are among the most indispensable appliances in modern life. Unfortunately, a refrigerator with a worn or saggy door gasket can end up driving your energy bill through the roof. The good news is that restoring maximum efficiency is well within your grasp. Read on to learn how to detect a bad door gasket--and how to install a fresh one.
Signs of Failure
You don't have to be a trained repair person to recognize the signs of an ailing door gasket. In fact, the two most common symptoms--mold and moisture--are easily detected by the naked eye. Either of these things is a sign that the door is not sealing correctly. As a result, cold air is escaping from the fridge. Where it meets the relatively warmer air from your kitchen, this cold air condenses into moisture, which eventually leads to the growth of unsightly mold.
Once you've determined that your door gasket is no longer doing its job correctly, the next step is to get it out of there! If you're lucky, all this entails is pulling the gasket free from the grooves that lock it into place. Certain fridges, however, utilize special retaining screws to secure the gasket. Loosen these with the appropriately sized hex key and the gasket should easily lift away.
To make installation easier, while removing the old gasket it can help to soak the new gasket in warm water. This acts to increase the pliability of the rubber, which in turn makes it much easier to fit into place. Start off by orienting the gasket in its place at one of the top corners. From there, gradually work your way around the perimeter of the door.
Once after the gasket is in place should you tighten any retainer screws. Only tighten them enough that they just grip the rubber. Overtightened screws can actually cause the gasket to warp, thus allowing cold air to escape in places.
Now close the door and visually inspect the gasket on all sides. Is it sitting flush against the fridge, forming a nice tight seal? If so, great. If not, you're going to have to reposition the gasket slightly until it is perfectly centered.
In order to promote the tightest and most efficient seal possible, grab a container of petroleum jelly and apply a thin layer to the gasket. This will keep air from escaping beneath microscopic deficiencies in the surface of the rubber. Not only that, but it also gives the gasket a boost in terms of longevity, protecting it from unwanted cracks and other signs of deterioration.
If you need help, contact a service like A OK Appliance Service.