Proper operation and maintenance will greatly expand the life and efficiency of major appliances. Your refrigerator has the potential to run properly for many years with some simple and inexpensive maintenance that you can do yourself. If you decide to forego these maintenance tips you may be calling us in the future for a refrigerator repair.
On the Level
The simplest thing you can do to keep your fridge happy is to ensure that it is level. Your refrigerator may never have been leveled when installed, or it may have settled over time. In any case, an un-level fridge is prone to improper door operation and poor sealing, allowing cold air to escape. Increased energy costs and inefficient operation will result. The feet of your refrigerator may easily be adjusted by turning them clockwise or counterclockwise, to raise or lower a particular corner. You will need a carpenter’s level to accomplish this, but it will only take a few minutes. Re-check the level once or twice per year, perhaps at the “spring forward” and “fall back” time changes.
Where the Coils Are
Dirty coils result in inefficient operation. Inefficient refrigerator operation means higher electric bills and shortened lifespan. But, as the coils are basically out of sight, they’re usually out of mind as well. Vacuum refrigerator coils often (monthly if you have pets, every other month otherwise). Coils are either on the back or underneath. Those on the back are easy to reach, once the fridge is rolled out. The ones underneath require removal of the front panel and, even then, you may not be able to easily reach them with your vacuum cleaner or even the crevice attachment. You can purchase a special refrigerator coil brush at the hardware store, which easily bends to reach the tough spots.
Gaskets, Drain Hole, and Drip Pan… Oh My!
The gaskets (aka, the weather stripping stuff that goes around the door and seals in the cold air) need to seal properly in order to do their job. Once a month or so (say for example, whenever you clean the coils), clean and dry the gaskets thoroughly, then check for damage or detachment. Some models (mostly older but you never know) also have a drain hole and drip pan, designed to carry spilled liquid and condensation out of the fridge. If so equipped, the drain hole will be near the bottom of the refrigerator compartment and the drip pan will be underneath. Check the hole for blockage and clean it thoroughly. Remove the pan, discard any liquids or other debris in it, clean, dry, and replace.
If you follow these simple tips, you will be repaid with a happy, healthy fridge that will cool your food for years to come. A professional appliance repair and maintenance technician from Complete Appliance Repair and Service can also inspect your refrigerator, and recommend any periodic service or necessary repairs that might extend its life.