Refrigerator and Freezer Maintenance

refrigeratorAn easy DIY home maintenance task is cleaning the refrigerator, or freezer. Keeping it clean and cared for will not only improve energy efficiency but also prolong the life of the unit. Many refrigerators are replaced early because of difficulty with keeping cool. This is often the result of neglect.

Door Gasket

The rubber seal along the perimeter of the door is the gasket. It is very effective at keeping cool air in and warm air out, but debris and dust make it harder for it to maintain a good seal. Use warm soapy water to clean the surface and dry after.

Heat Exchanger Coils

The cooling system relies on heat exchanger coils to expel energy (i.e. heat) from the inside of the refrigerator. Heat transfer is much better when there is little to no dust on the surface. A layer of dust will create extra insulation and inhibit energy transfer. This is probably the biggest reason good refrigerators get replaced early.

Start this step by unplugging the unit. If the coils are on the bottom you may need to remove an access panel. Otherwise, they are most likely mounted on the backside. Be careful if you need to move the unit for access. Preferably a brush designed for the delicate fins on the heat exchanger will be used to clean the surface. Otherwise, a regular duster can be used. Take caution not to bend any of the fins on the coils.

Next, use a duster or vacuum to clean off the blower and the exterior surfaces of the refrigerator. This should help keep the heat exhanger clean longer. Put everything back in place and restore power.

Defrosting and Cleaning Smells

Periodically the freezer should be defrosted. The buildup of ice can restrict cooling and reduce the usable space. This ice is usually the result of too much moisture. Check the gasket around the freezer for leaks and replace, if necessary. Otherwise, it may be that the freezer door is being left open too much. Try to be quick when removing items.

While the freezer is being defrosted, it is a good time to clean the internal surfaces. A homemade cleaning solution of vinegar, warm water, and lemon (for smell) is very effective at removing spills and stains. Place a small box of baking soda on a shelf after cleaning is finished to prevent future odors.

Filter Replacement

If your refrigerator has an ice maker or drinking water spout, there is most likely a water filter. Remove the cover, take out the old filter, and toss it is the garbage. Insert the new filter and put the cover back in place. That’s all there is to it.

 

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your refrigerator!

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