Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. If your fridge is off for just a few hours, it can have disastrous consequences. The best way to protect your fridge from unexpected breakdowns is to conduct regular maintenance. Sticking to the right cleaning and inspection schedule will make it that much easier to spot problems sooner. Here is your essential fridge maintenance checklist:
Check the seals on your fridge and freezer doors every 2 to 3 months. Before you can begin, you should take a couple of minutes to clean the seals properly and remove any dirt. Once clean, you can then check the seals for wear and tear or damage. If you want to make sure that they are working, simply close the door on a dollar bill. Once shut, try to remove the banknote without opening the door. If you are able to remove it, you might need to replace your door seals since they are not in top shape. This means that there is cold air loss and your fridge motor has to work extra hard.
Clean the Coils
The coils on the back of your fridge are responsible for eliminating heat. You will need to move your fridge to access the coils and you should unplug your fridge before cleaning them. Simply use a vacuum cleaner to remove all that dust. A soft, clean paintbrush can also help clean those difficult to reach areas.
Check the Water Filter
Bacteria and gunk can build up in your fridge water filter. This can disrupt the flow of water in the fridge and it poses an obvious health risk. As part of your regular fridge repair routine, make sure you replace the water filter as per the schedule set by the manufacturer.
Check the Level
It’s a good idea to check that your fridge is level. Particularly if you move it to clean the coils. This can prevent the fridge from closing properly. That said, some people like to tilt their fridge slightly to the back in an effort to help the door shut perfectly.
Clean the Drainage Hole
A drainage hole in the fridge leads down to the drip pan. This is essential for removing condensation from the fridge. Make sure that you consult the user manual before removing mineral deposits from this drain hole. The drip pan should also be emptied and you should wipe it down to get rid of any debris.
Check the Temperature
While you want your fridge to be cool, there is no need for it to be ice cold. In fact, if you set your fridge too cold, it will only make the motor work harder. 37 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect when it comes to your fridge.
Fill your Fridge
Fridges need something called thermal mass. In other words, you need to keep items in your fridge in order to help keep it cool. Now, this does not mean that you should overload your fridge but it should not be empty either. There should be enough room in between everything for cool air to flow. Without proper air flow, your fridge will not be able to keep everything cool.
Prepare for Power Outages or Break Down
Make sure that you keep your local appliance repair service phone number on your fridge in the event of a problem. If the power goes out, make sure that you keep your fridge shut to keep the contents fresh until the power is restored.
Regular Interior Cleaning
As part of your regular maintenance routine, it’s important to make time to clean and deodorize your fridge regularly (approximately every couple of months). Remove any old or expired foods, wipe down all the surfaces, and make sure that everything is properly spaced apart so that cool air can flow freely throughout your fridge. You can also add a special deodorizer to your fridge to absorb those smells. A small, open box of baking soda is great for this very purpose.