How to maintain your refrigerator

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Bad puns and pranks call aside one thing that'll ruin a day - when your refrigerator stops running. Refrigerators according to the average manufactures predictions should last 14-17 years. However, we've found that most homeowners and many of our experts give the life span of a refrigerator ten years. A lot can happen in that ten years. Your refrigerator gets a lot of use. So we asked the experts how to maintain your refrigerator and how to make your refrigerator run longer.

How to get tour refrigerator to last longer

Vacuum condenser coils

First, what is a condenser coil?
Condenser coils remove heat from the refrigerator.
That's important to keep your refrigerator in tip-top condition.

Every six months it's important to vacuum the condenser coils. These coils get dirty. Dust, grease, food particles, pet hair all can get in the coils which can lead to the refrigerator coils being restricted in their ability to do their job. Refrigerator coils being dirty will also reduce the overall efficiency of your refrigerator.

Service providers installing a stainless steel refrigerator

How to clean your condenser coils

1. Turn off the circuit breaker in the refrigerator.
2. Move the refrigerator away from the wall and then unplug it.
3. If you have an ice maker/built-in water dispenser it's a good idea to turn off the water as well.
4. Find your coils! If you have an older refrigerator the condenser coils are usually in the back of the refrigerator, new refrigerators have coils in the bottom in the front of the refrigerator.
5. If you see a fan — you'll need to clean that as well.
6. Using the crevice tool on your vacuum delicately vacuum the coils and the fan. Make sure you are careful, the coils and fan can be damaged if you apply too much force when vacuuming.
7. Use a cleaning brush (or even a sponge) to remove any dust the vacuum couldn't get.
8. This is a great time to clean under/behind your refrigerator. You'll probably find a few gross things back there.
9. Plug the refrigerator back in and push it back — make sure you leave room for air to circulate around your refrigerator.
10. Turn your circuit breaker back on.

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Water and ice dispenser on refrigerator

Replace your water filter

Every six months you'll need to replace the water filter in your refrigerator When looking for filters, go with the manufactures suggestion. If you just moved into your home, you'll want to replace the water filter in your refrigerator right away.

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Cluttered refrigerator.

The top of your refrigerator is NOT a shelf

Sure, it's tempting to put stuff on top of the refrigerator, but it can hurt the longevity of your refrigerator. Placing objects on top of the refrigerator will make your refrigerator less energy efficient by trapping heat when the random casserole dishes and various manufacturers instruction books interfere with your refrigerators ability to dissipate heat.

*Some models have specific spacing recommendations in the owners manual, if you have cabinets above your refrigerator it's a good idea to check and make sure you have enough space between your refrigerator and cabinets.

Open door refrigerator with food.

Clean the door gaskets

Keep the rubber gasket around the inside of your refrigerator clean so that it maintains a tight seal. To clean the door gasket, simply use a soft sponge and warm soapy water.

What temperature should you keep your refrigerator and freezer at?

According to the FDA you'll want to keep your refrigerator at 40 °F or below. Your freezer temperature should be kept at 0 °F. It's a good idea to check with a stand-alone thermometer every six months or so to make sure the temperature inside your refrigerator and freezer are accurate.

When should you contact an appliance repair service provider?

Before you go out and purchase a brand new refrigerator, get in touch with one of our appliance service providers. Chances are your refrigerator is not a goner! So, when should you contact a refrigerator repairman?

  1. It just stops working. You unplugged it, plugged it back in again. You checked the circuit breaker. The power in your home is on. It's time to contact a pro.
  2. Your refrigerator is making weird noises. Like, really weird, scary, not sure if there is a monster living in your refrigerator kind of noises. Or, it's just making the same, annoying persistent noise.
  3. It's not keeping anything cold — in the freezer or fridge. If things are starting to thaw and you checked the temperatures and have made sure your refrigerator is indeed turned on, it's time to contact a service provider.
  4. Your food has frostbite. If the things in your refrigerator are starting to freeze and you've checked your temperature settings, you've got a problem a pro can (most likely) fix.
  5. Your refrigerator is leaking. You've checked to make sure you didn't spill ice. You've just got a puddle of water coming from your refrigerator and you can't figure out the reason why. Guess what? It's time to contact a professional.

With a little TLC, your refrigerator can last through the entire cycle of your appliance!
Have a refrigerator issue that requires a pro to take a look? Reach out to an appliance service provider today.

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