If you have clean refrigerator coils, you’re reducing your risk of appliance failure by almost 75 percent. The coils are what keeps refrigerant flowing. If they become coated in greasy grime and pet hair, the unit struggles to work and will eventually fail. Fortunately, the cleaning process is quick and easy. If you maintain your kitchen appliances properly, they will provide you with trouble-free operation for years to come.
Why Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
When dust, animal fur and other debris builds up on your refrigerator’s condenser coils, the appliance can lose efficiency. Its parts can wear out more quickly and draw unusually high amounts of power when its working harder to keep its cool. Because dirty coils build up heat, the system can stop working entirely, potentially causing your food to spoil. For some types of flooring, a buildup of gunk on the coils at the base of the refrigerator can cause a sticky, gooey mess. Three out of four refrigerator repair calls are said to be the result of neglecting coil maintenance.
Steps for Cleaning the Coils
Unplug the unit and pull it away from the wall. The coils are typically at the base of the unit, but some may be on the back. If yours are on the back, give them a quick dusting and call it good for another year. If they’re on the bottom, however, clean them thoroughly every six months (more frequently if you have pets that shed). You may have to remove a plastic cover or kick plate from the front or rear. Start with a bendable coil cleaning brush, removing as much debris as possible from the front and rear. Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice or vent attachment to remove any remaining dust, taking special care around the condenser fan.
Keeping Your Fridge Coils Clean
The most effective way to prevent future problems is to stay ahead of the dust and pet hair. Things end up under the refrigerator after they’ve blown around for a few days. It’s also helpful to keep the walls around the unit clean and grease-free. If the dust you cleaned away was particularly greasy, check your stove’s vent fan. Finding a greasy buildup away from the stove area is a good indication that the filter may be clogged or you’re simply not using it often enough. Ensure that your fridge has plenty of space for air circulation. Most experts suggest a three-inch minimum clearance on each side and six to 12 inches on top. Don’t stack items on top, as this can hold in dangerous heat.
Complete Appliance Repair, serving the communities in and around Salt Lake City, is your local expert for appliance repair and maintenance. Their professional technicians carry a full supply of parts on their trucks, ensuring a quick and effective repair. Ask them for tips on the best way to clean refrigerator coils.