Refrigerator Maintenance: How to Extend the Life of Your Fridge
Did you know that about 1 in 4 homes in the U.S. have 2 or more refrigerators? The growing popularity of owning multiple of these household appliances stems from the increasing number of people who buy their groceries in bulk.
Refrigerators use a lot of energy to run. An interesting fact is that refrigerators emit more light than the majority of homes did in the 18th century.
Since a fridge is a staple in American homes and consumes so much energy, it’s important to care for it to extend its life. Keep reading to learn refrigerator maintenance tips everyone should know about.
Keep the Condenser Coils Clean
A refrigerator is a crucial appliance for your home, but it can become costly if it needs repairs or replacing due to damage. By doing some basic fridge maintenance, you can keep your fridge running smoothly for years before having to buy a new one.
One thing you should do at least twice a year is clean the condenser coils. These coils will get dirty and dusty if left unchecked, and this dust can damage the coils and ultimately lead your fridge to break down.
The condenser coils will either be on the bottom or on the back of your refrigerator. You can vacuum up the dust and then use a microfiber towel to wipe them clean.
Check the Temperature Regularly
The temperature of your refrigerator is a crucial part of keeping your food safe to eat. The temperature of your fridge might fluctuate as the weather changes during the year, but for it to do its job properly, it should maintain a temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some refrigerators have built-in thermometers, but if yours doesn’t, place one on the middle shelf. Check it from time to time to make sure that your food is being stored at the correct temperature.
Pay Attention to the Gaskets
A refrigerator’s lifespan should extend to about 10 years. If you want your fridge to last this long and avoid any issues while you have it, make sure to check on the gaskets from time to time.
This rubber material that surrounds the fridge doors helps to keep the cold air from getting out. If you notice that the rubber is worn down, make sure to replace it. Clean the gasket if you notice food crumbs accumulating, as this can be a reason why it’s getting damaged.
Keep It Clean
Aside from eliminating germs, regular cleanings of your fridge and freezer can extend its life and keep it running without issues. Make sure to remove leftover food containers or anything that’s beginning to rot.
Take out all food items and wipe down each shelf with an all-purpose cleaner or a vinegar solution before putting everything back in. Wiping up any spills that occur on the spot makes cleaning less of a chore. This also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Change the Water Filter When Needed
Many fridges come with water filters these days. One way to avoid any issues is to change the refrigerator filter every 6 months.
This is crucial to extending the life of your fridge and also keeping your drinking water clean. A good water filter, like the eptwfu01 water filter, will remove bacteria and chemicals from your water. There are some expensive filters out there, but you can also find quality filters for a cheaper price.
Your Fridge Should Be Away From Heat
If your refrigerator is somewhere where it doesn’t get proper ventilation, this can lead to higher electric bills and can also cause it to break down. Keep your fridge away from heat, like the oven, to prevent it from having to overwork. Overheating should be avoided if you want to extend the life of your refrigerator.
Organize What’s Inside
A fridge lifespan will be cut short if it’s in a constant state of disarray. Since your refrigerator’s efficiency depends on good airflow to keep the temperature evenly distributed, a cluttered fridge won’t allow that to happen.
Try to avoid large boxes and packages. Keep an equal amount of weight and space on each shelf in the fridge. Make sure to put your fruits and vegetables inside the bins as soon as you bring them home.
Don’t Use the Top for Storage
If you live in a smaller space it can be difficult to find ways to store the things you own, including kitchen items. While it might seem simple to use the top of your refrigerator to store a couple of things that don’t fit in the cabinets, avoid this at all costs.
When you place things on the top of your refrigerator you can block the airflow and your fridge’s ability to release heat. This can lead to costly repairs or even shorten your fridge’s lifespan.
Check on the Water and Ice Dispenser
If you want to avoid refrigerator problems make sure that you’re checking on the water and ice dispensers often. These can collect bacteria so keeping them clean is crucial, using a simple solution of water and white vinegar should suffice.
Using the indoor water and ice dispensers is also a great way to avoid opening the refrigerator so often. The less you open the fridge the less cold air will escape. This will extend the life of your refrigerator by years.
Defrost Freezer to Avoid Damage
As the temperature of your refrigerator fluctuates, you might notice your freezer building up a layer of frost. You want to avoid this frost from getting too thick as it can make your fridge overwork to regulate temperatures. You can use a simple plastic scraper to get the frost off when you notice it starting to form.
Refrigerator Maintenance Tips to Follow
Extending the lifespan of your refrigerator will keep you from having to pay costly repairs or having to replace your fridge because it breaks down. Follow the refrigerator maintenance tips in this guide and you won’t have to worry about a faulty fridge.
Make sure you check out some of our other home improvement blogs to learn more.