1Maintenance tips for your refrigerator
Your refrigerator is likely the most used appliance in your kitchen and it may also be the largest consumer of energy, too. Proper maintenance will reduce energy consumption and extend the life of the refrigerator.
2Clean off the condenser coils twice per year.
Condenser coils are responsible for removing heat from refrigerators and freezers. They’re the large, radiator-like coils located at the back or beneath the unit. When dust and dirt cling to the coils, it’s harder for the refrigerator to remove heat. The result is increased energy consumption. Without regular cleaning, this can lead to problems and costly repairs. Use this long-handled bristle brush
and a vacuum to easily and efficiently clean off the coils. Follow your refrigerator owner’s manual for specific instructions related to it.
3Clean and replace the gasket (rubber door seal) as needed.
The gasket is the rubber seal that outlines your refrigerator and freezer doors. It’s an often overlooked part that has the critical job of sealing out warm air. Clean it periodically with a universal cleaner such as Goo Gone
. Over time, gaskets wear and no longer seal the way refrigerators and freezers need to operate efficiently. It’s common for gaskets to weaken, loosen and tear within just a few years. When this happens, warm air enters the interior of the refrigerator or freezer, making it work harder to remove the heat. That means more energy consumed and higher bills for you. Fortunately, gaskets
are inexpensive and usually very easy to replace.
When frost has accumulated on the inside walls of the freezer to a thickness of one half inch (or a little more than one centimeter) or so, remove the food from the refrigerator/freezer, turn off the thermostat or unplug the unit, and allow all of the frost to melt. Once the frost has melted completely, turn the unit back on, wait for it to reach its operating temperature, and restock it with food.
If you have a self-defrosting refrigerator, you don’t need to do anything. Every six to eight hours, your refrigerator heats up its cooling coils slightly to melt any frost accumulation on the coils. The resulting water drains into a shallow pan at the bottom of the refrigerator/freezer.
Though the water evaporates, you’ll need to periodically clean the pan to avoid odors and bacteria growth. Use warm water and a small amount of detergent to clean it out. Your owner’s manual will provide specific instructions related to this but on most models, you can access the pan by detaching the lower grill and sliding out the pan.
5Clean the interior.
Weekly, use a cloth dampened by warm water to wipe down and remove crumbs and spills from shelves and walls. An all-purpose cleaner
will make the job easier and take on stains and sticky spills without a lot of elbow grease. You can also use this cleaner on doors and handles.
Use airtight containers to seal in odors and keep food fresher longer. If an item is weakly packaged (i.e. fruit cartons) or simply likely to leak (i.e. defrosting meat), place it on a plate before storing.
For stainless-steel units: This cleaning solution
and these wipes
are specifically designed to remove dirt and fingerprint marks on stainless-steel refrigerators. While wiping, it’s best to follow the “grain” or pattern of the stainless steel.
Freshen and remove odors with a deodorizer that’s specifically designed for refrigerators. According to the manufacturer, this deodorizer is up to 50 times more effective than baking soda for eliminating food odors. It lasts up to six months.
7Replace the ice maker or water dispenser water filter
Replace the water filtration system filter
at least every six months.