How to Care for Your Refrigerator
Your refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances you have. They are always running through the continuous cooling and defrosting cycles 24/7 every minute of every day. We go to the refrigerator every time we get ready for a snack or grab a cool drink of water. We never once think of how much work they really do for us. No matter what type or brand refrigerator there are several things that will need to be taken care of to keep the refrigerator running at full efficiency. Of course, we know no matter what type of appliance we have regular maintenance is the key to long life. Some of the refrigerators such as Sub Zero, Viking, Kitchen Aid, Thermador, Electrolux, and Jenn Air will give you up to 15 years of operation the life of any refrigerator can be extended with regular maintenance and upkeep. Here are some of the minor maintenance techniques that can be performed to help you to extend the life of your refrigerator no matter what type, brand, or model you have.
Empty Ice: A lot of times when we use the ice from the freezer often time the last ice made is the first ice used. Ice can absorb freezer odors and can turn into a solid block of ice in the bottom of the bin. To keep ice loose and smelling sweet be sure to empty ice bins monthly and start fresh. It is also a good idea to place a box of baking soda in the freezer.
Every Three Months Maintenance
Inspect the door gasket: Dirty and grimy door gaskets will not seal properly. A dirty gasket keeps the refrigerator door from closing tightly keeping the temperature level rising inside due to the escaping cool air. This will also put an extra strain on the compressors. Wipe the grimy gaskets down with warm, soapy water to help break loosen any grime buildup that may be on the gasket. Check the seal all the way around the door to be sure it is embedded in the door track. It is also a good idea to check the magnification of the seal. If its week, it may be a good idea to replace the seal.
Clean the condenser coils: Look at the owner’s manual to see where the condensing coils are located. Most of the time they are in the back of the refrigerator. These coils cool and condense refrigerant, releasing heat. If they become clogged with dust they will stress the compressor and waste energy. Vacuum the condenser coils and fan using the brush attachment of your vacuum. Do not use any type of water or cleaner because this will only make the dust particles heavier and harder to remove.
Level it: Refrigerators that are not properly leveled will not work properly. If a refrigerator is not level it could put a strain on the compressor as well. If it is not level the water from the defrost cycle could also leak from the pan and not drain or evaporate properly. The constant vibration, while a refrigerator is running, could very well cause the refrigerator to become unlevel. When this happens just simply use the adjustable feet to level the appliance again.
Every Six Months Maintenance.
Replace water filter: Replace the water filter to make sure your refrigerator will produce clean water and ice. Be sure to check the owner’s manual for the location of the filter and for the directions on how to remove and replace the water filter. After you have replaced the filter it is a good idea to run at least two gallons of water through the filter. This will assure that you will flush out any loose pieces of carbon that may be in the filter.
There are a few tricks you can do from day-to-day to help your refrigerator to stay clean and keep it smelling fresh. You should never store food in an open container. Be sure you cover all food to keep the odors from migrating throughout the refrigerator and freezer. To help absorb odors in the fridge be sure to keep an open box of baking soda inside the cabinet. This is a very low cost way to battle food odors.
Another important thing your refrigerator needs is ventilation. The hot air that the compressor and condenser produces will need to move away from the refrigerator so it will remain cool and to keep from overheating. Make sure to maintain the minimum amount of clearance on all sides appliance. The only exception is refrigerators that are equipped to be vented out through the front grills. If the appliance is adequately vented with the right amount of clearance it will also help to cut down on the buildup of lint and dust.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your refrigerator running as efficiently as possible. The more efficient the less it will cost to operate. If your appliance does not have to overwork itself, you can be sure it will also give you years of service. Regardless of the brand or type of refrigerator you have it is necessary to keep it in great working order to get the best performance. It is very easy to perform these simple operations yourself. If you do not think you can perform the maintenance need or if you do not have the time to perform these simple tasks be sure to contact your local refrigeration contractor to do this for you. If you do not know a contractor be sure to check with your local appliance store or dealer to see if they can recommend someone for you. Check with your local Sub Zero, Viking, Kitchen Aid, GE, Monogram, Thermador, Electrolux, and Jen Air dealer to contact a trained technician in your area. With the money you have invested in your appliances you want to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment.