Summer is finally just around the corner! With its high temperatures, blazing sun, and humid air, these summer months are sure to have your refrigerator working hard to stay cool. A fridge that runs warm is at an even greater risk for overheating or shutting down completely during hot summer months – leading to costly repair fees and heaps of spoiled groceries.
Keep up with your refrigerator’s maintenance to prevent it from overworking this summer!
Clean the Coils
One of the most important steps to keep your fridge running smoothly is cleaning its condenser coils. These coils are responsible for cooling and condensing the refrigerant to keep the interior cool, while releasing the resulting heat outside of the appliance. Since the coils rely on exposure to air, they will not work properly when coated in dust and dirt. The dirt acts as an insulator and prevents the coils’ heat from dissipating, potentially leading to an overheated compressor and broken fridge.
The location of your condenser coils will vary depending on the design of your fridge. They are most likely in the back of your refrigerator, either behind a panel or out in the open, or they may be found behind the bottom vent underneath the fridge. After unplugging your fridge, vacuum away any dust that has accumulated on and between the coils, then gently wipe the coils with a wet, soapy rag to remove grime. Any hard-to-reach areas may require a coil brush for further cleaning. Afterward, wipe the coils with a clean, dry cloth and allow them to dry completely before plugging the unit back in.
Check the Air Filter
Many refrigerators are equipped with an air filter, designed to protect the coils from dust and improve the condenser’s performance. The air filter is often a metal screen that can be removed and cleaned separately. Spray the screen with a hose or kitchen faucet to remove dust, and you may even be able to run it through your dishwasher for an extensive clean. Check the air filter for any sign of damage or corrosion, in which case you will need to order a replacement.
Keep Your Fridge Full
Refrigerators require thermal mass to maintain low temperatures, so in order to run efficiently, your fridge should be kept full of items. Food and drink help absorb any warm air that enters the fridge, preventing the unit from overworking. If you have a good deal of empty space in your refrigerator, consider filling it with jugs of water to keep things cool this summer.
Clean the Door Seals
Your fridge needs to maintain a proper seal in order to work efficiently. A loose door seal allows cool air to seep out, causing your unit to work harder than it should – not to mention a higher electric bill. Clear the seal of any food residue by taking a toothbrush and scrubbing with a combination of baking soda and water. You can test the seal by placing a dollar bill against it and shutting the door; if the bill slips out or is easy to pull free, your seal is not tight enough and needs to be replaced.
A properly-maintained fridge should keep your food cool all summer long. If you’re still experiencing issues with your unit, whether it’s not cooling properly, leaking, or otherwise, then it may be time to schedule a diagnostic.
The team of factory-certified technicians at Danny’s Appliance have offered honest, professional repair services since 1971! Schedule your refrigerator or other appliance repair with us today and get a free diagnostic when we repair your appliance.