Practicing refrigerator maintenance allows you to keep your refrigerator running at maximum efficiency for as long as possible, meaning that you won’t have to purchase a new fridge and your stored food will remain fresher longer. A little prevention can go a long way to increase refrigerator efficiency.
1 – Replace the Water Filter
One of the easiest refrigerator maintenance tasks is to replace the water filter regularly, usually every 6 months or so. If your fridge has a spout for drinking water or it automatically makes ice, failure to replace this water filter regularly will result in clogged dirt and bacteria over time. This not only decreases the fridge’s efficiency, but also results in dirty, bacteria-infected drinking water and ice.
2 – Clean the Coils Regularly
Refrigerator coils, which are typically positioned under or on the back of the fridge, can become dusty fairly quickly. Regularly vacuuming the dusty away-once a month to once every three months at the maximum-can help the coils operate at maximum efficiency. If you have pets, flying hair can clog the coils more quickly, so try to clean once a month. To locate your coils, remove the grill at the bottom of your fridge. If they aren’t there, they may be located behind the appliance, so pull out the fridge to access them.
3 – Wash the Drip Pan
Refrigerators regularly attempt to remove condensation via the drain hole, which is positioned over the drip pan under the refrigerator unit. Proper refrigerator maintenance involves cleaning off this drip pan so that condensation doesn’t build and clog the system. When you remove the grill and take out the drip pan, you may notice hard mineral deposits and even food particles. Scrub the pan with dish detergent and warm water, thoroughly dry the pan and replace it. You should perform this task at least once a month.
4 – Wash the Gaskets
The gaskets are located on the refrigerator and freezer doors along the seals. They help keep the doors sealed when shut, preventing cold air from escaping so that the fridge runs more efficiently. If these gaskets become clogged with dust and dirt, the seal could become looser and cold air could escape. Remove the gaskets once every three months or so and clean them with dish detergent and soapy water or an all-purpose antibacterial cleaner. After you replace the gaskets, test their efficiency by placing a piece of paper sticking out of the door. You should not be able to remove the paper without tearing it once the door is closed.
5 – Defrost the Freezer Regularly
Proper refrigerator maintenance entails defrosting the freezer regularly, as the build-up of ice over time can decrease the efficiency of the freezer. Measure any frost you see. If it’s greater than 1/4 of an inch, follow your refrigerator’s instruction manual to automatically defrost the freezer. If your freezer is older, you may have to manually defrost it by removing all of the food, unplugging the refrigerator and scraping away all of the frost.
Follow these refrigerator maintenance tips and your fridge will last longer. Even if the fridge is part of the furnishings included in your apartment that you won’t have to replace personally, if you fail to take proper care of it, you could be charged for the replacement. Plus, your food will last longer if your fridge is running at maximum efficiency.