Working to maintain the life of your refrigerator is probably one of the last items on your to-do list, but small tasks can help you keep it running smoothly for years to come. Refrigerator maintenance takes just a few minutes every month or so to keep vents and coils clear, so air can flow freely to keep a chilled environment for foods. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways to help extend the life of this vital kitchen appliance.
Full But Not Stuffed
Refrigerators operate most efficiently when they are full. Refrigerated food items that are naturally cooler keep the fridge colder, so its cooling element doesn’t have to work as hard. When keeping your refrigerator full, it is crucial to not overfill, as this can have the opposite effect. If you fill it over capacity, then it has less room for cold air to move. As a result, it prevents groceries from chilling properly.
Clean the Coils
The cooling coils are located on the bottom of refrigerators and often fly under the radar. The truth is, dust and debris accumulate underneath the refrigerator and on the coils. Clearing the dust and debris from the coils and beneath the appliance helps the compressor and coils regulate more efficiently. Additionally, this can help prevent excess energy usage and save on electricity and replacement costs down the road.
Protect the Door Seals
Keeping the refrigerator door shut and sealed is the easiest way to prevent it from having to work harder. Double checking that the refrigerator door is shut after use can save you on electricity costs and also prevent the fridge from malfunctioning. Sometimes, the refrigerator door may look closed, but the door seal may be cracked or worn down. This can also allow cold air from the refrigerator to leak out.
Keep Vents Clear
Refrigerators have vents inside the unit located on the sides, the top, or both. These vents help circulate cool air throughout the refrigerator. Because air flows through the vents, these are vulnerable to dust, debris, and food buildup which can block air flow. Storing big bulky foods right next to the vents can also prevent air from circulating. Make sure you clean the vents frequently and are also aware of keeping the area clear, allowing for maximum airflow to keep your foods cool.