Let’s be honest – when most of us think of “refrigerator maintenance”, it generally boils down to at most wiping down the shelves and the exterior paneling.
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However, to no surprise, that sort of TLC is far from enough to keep your fridge running smoothly for years to come.
After all, refrigerators work around the clock, non-stop, so they definitely deserve a little bit of your time, attention, and care to keep operating at their prime.
1. Inspect The Door Seal (Gasket)
Every few months, it’s a good idea to have a look at your fridge’s door seal. You’re looking for any signs of it not closing fully – whether due to dents and tears of dirt buildup and warping.
If your gasket doesn’t seal off the inside properly, your fridge has to do extra work to maintain the temperature you set, which can spell disaster if not addressed immediately.
What about if your gasket just has weaker suction and doesn’t really stay closed?
Here’s a cool trick – grab a bit of petroleum jelly from the nearest hardware store and apply a little bit to the gasket after wiping it down. Doing this should improve the suction, and keep your door closed.
2. Clean Out The Air Vents
When you think about it – keeping the vents that allow your fridge to suck in cold air from the freezer open is kind of a no-brainer, right?
If the vents in your freezer are blocked off by the food you’re storing there, are frozen over, or are otherwise obstructed, neither your fridge nor your freezer will run properly.
3. Clean Out The Condenser Coils
These coils are responsible for releasing the heat buildup from your fridge’s operations. And when they’re gunked up or clogged, the compressor has to take on that task instead, slicing at its lifespan, and amounting to a very costly repair on the horizon.
Generally, you’ll find them on the bottom or the lower back of your fridge (depending on the make and model).
Take a small flexible brush and clean them off once every 4 to 6 months, doing a second take with a vacuum to get any small participate out is also a good idea.
4. Set The Correct Temperature
Surprisingly, the number one cause for most refrigerator issues is the fact that most people have a very skewed definition of “proper” refrigerator temperature.
The ideal temperature to be set in your fridge is between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (the equivalent of 3 and 4 degrees Celsius respectively).
On the other hand, your freezer should be running between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 and -12 degrees Celsius respectively).
5. Don’t Let Your Fridge Freeze Over
Having too much frost in your fridge and freezer can actually mess with the temperature control unit of your appliance.
So if you notice that there’s more than half an inch of frost buildup inside the fridge or freezer – you’ll need to defrost your unit. To do this, move all of your food into a cooler and unplug the appliance for a couple of hours.
Once your fridge is defrosted, wipe up the melted water with a towel or paper towel, and plug it back in. Don’t restock the fridge or freezer until they reach optimal temperatures.
Even though refrigerators are built to last for years on end while running around the clock, they still deserve a little extra love.
If you follow the refrigerator maintenance tips that we’ve laid out for you above – just a few minutes of your time every few months are enough to help your fridge run at it’s best.
However, if maintenance isn’t enough and your fridge breaks down on you – don’t worry. Give our Maple Ridge appliance repair technicians a call and we’ll help you get your fridge back into working order professionally, quickly, and at a totally fair price.