6 Tips for Refrigerator Maintenance

Refrigerators are counted as the most important appliance within the modern day household – present in 99.5% of all American homes. Refrigerators have become an essential part of our daily life, they have taken their place in almost every space of daily living, from homes and restaurants to office spaces and schools. It is now considered a home support system, without which a daily visit to the grocery store or take-out restaurant would be unavoidable.

In order to keep your refrigerator in tip-top shape, there are several basic maintenance tips and tricks that can be performed to ensure proper function and life span.

Set the right temperature

The fresh food compartment must be set at a temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4 degrees Celcius), while the freezer compartment must be set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celcius). If the refrigerator at hand has knobs for controllers and not an adjustable digital display – set both knobs to the middle (usually marked as “recommended”).

Properly setting up temperatures will provide the highest quality of food preservation, resulting in a space for your food to stay fresher, longer.

Door seal inspection

A gasket is the rubber piece that goes along the edge of the doors. It functions as a seal to keep the colder temperatures inside the compartments, not allowing warmer air to enter.

When getting something out of the refrigerator, make sure to close the doors all the way and ensuring that no gaps are left between the door and the frame. Warm air entering the refrigerator can cause frost build up on the compressor coils which will affect air circulation through the unit, resulting in poor cooling performance and spoiled food.

Door gaskets can be thoroughly cleaned from any food or drink residue by using a mixture of water and baking soda and is a recommended action to perform two to four times a year.

If the gasket has noticeable rips or tears in it or is no longer holding well to the door, request for a professional for help in replacing the gasket in question.

Cleaning the Refrigerator

Frost, liquid and/or food residue, or simply dirt can exist in your refrigerator and ruin the air quality within the compartments. It is recommended to empty the unit completely – twice a year – and unplug it to let the unit defrost for 24 hours.

Once defrosted, clean the inside with a moist towel, ensuring the inside is clean and frost free. Once cleaned, a simple solution to remove any existing odors is to store an open box of baking soda in your fresh food and freezer compartments and replace it once every three months.

Once cleaned, a simple solution to remove any existing odors is to store an open box of baking soda in your fresh food and freezer compartments and replace it once every three months.

Clean compressor compartment

The compressor compartment includes the condenser coils, cooler fan, and the compressor itself. The condenser coils and fan are responsible for removing heat from the compartment, allowing the compressor to work efficiently.

In order to clean, remove the grate covering the compartment (NOTE: built-in refrigerators contain the compartment above the refrigerator, while stand-alone units contain the compartment in the lower rear section) and use a brush to clean the interior – special brushes do exist to make the cleaning easier.

Once dust and dirt are removed from the compartment, use a vacuum to clean up all the dirt. For proper maintenance, it is always recommended to follow the instructions in the provided user manual that is specifically made for your model.

Keeping your refrigerator and freezer full

When the fridge door is opened, cold air escapes replaced by warm air that comes in. When the door is then shut closed, the refrigerator has to start cooling the compartment down again.

Keeping the unit full creates less space for the aforementioned air exchange, meaning the fridge does not have to work as hard, which in the long run increases efficiency and saves energy.

If your freezer compartment is full it will help hold temperature safely in case of a power loss. If the freezer is half full, it can maintain temperature for roughly 24 hours, while if it is completely full the temperature can be held for up to 48 hours.

Replacing the water filter

It is recommended to replace the water filter every six months on average, dependent on how frequently the water dispenser is used. Replacing the filter will prevent unwanted chemicals, particles, and bacteria mixing in with the water that is being dispensed, as well as the ice that is made in the icemaker.

If the indication light is on to notify you that it is time to replace the filter, proceed accordingly, and refer to the user manual for instructions on replacing the filter and resetting the indication light.

These simple maintenance tips can result in your refrigerator having a much longer lifespan, while also removing the financial strain on your pocket when it comes to paying for repair services and electrical bills.

For further questions and concerns, please contact the Man with a Wrench toll-free line at 1(888)454-4840, or submit a request via our Facebook or Homestars pages. It is our duty to help inform our customers of all industry standards, requirements, and faults, in order to assure proper use and maintenance of appliances!