Refrigerator Tips & Repairs

Bottom mount freezers, top mount freezers and side by side

Refrigerator condenser coils need to be periodically cleaned or they will have to work harder to keep cool, eventually, they won't be able to cool the appliance anymore. Knowing how often the condensers need to be cooled depends on your household

Without regularly cleaning the condenser, the compressor may wear out and shorten the lifespan of your appliance. In order to clean the condenser, you will need to know where it is located. Older units have the condenser on the back, but newer units tend to hide them at the bottom of the unit, behind the kick plate (trim). Now, the trend seems to be shifting back to the back of the refrigerator again.

Knowing how often the condensers need to be cooled depends on your household. For example, if you have indoor pets (cat's or dogs) their fur may build up on the condenser coils, requiring more frequent cleaning. This is the case for appliances in dusty areas as well, and more if the unit is in a laundry room (because of lint buildup) or the garage.

Be sure to clean your coils and any other components you see in the process. If you are worried about doing it wrong, you can schedule an appointment for us to come out and perform regular maintenance.

How do I replace refrigerator filters for ice and water dispensers?

These days, many refrigerators have built-in water filters to purify their ice and water dispensers. Like all filters, these need to be regularly replaced, or the filter will fail and the water and ice may even become a health hazard!

What temperature is correct for fresh food drawers and crispers?

Fresh food compartments should maintain a constant 36-41 degree Fahrenheit (3-5 degrees Celsius).

Tips to Help Extend the Life of Your Refrigerator

  1. Be sure to plug your refrigerator directly into a wall outlet. Plugging large appliances into an extension cord is usually a bad idea, but if you have to, make sure to use a heavy-duty extension cord, rated for the higher amperage your unit will be pulling. It is also vital to make sure that your appliance is grounded, whether plugged into the wall or an extension cord, (the ground post is the long rounded peg on the plug, that goes into the round hole on the bottom of each outlet port). Your owner's manual will outline any other considerations you'll need to be aware of.
  2. Refrigerators should be installed well away from heat sources, like ovens, ranges, stoves, and radiators. Even windows in direct sunlight can affect how efficiently your fridge operates. Make sure the airflow going to the compressor isn't blocked, restricted or heated; even setting a refrigerator on top of carpeting can cause trouble, if the condenser is located at the bottom of the unit. The air going to the condenser coils needs to cool and clean, it can't be if any of the above are impeding the flow of cool air.
  3. When leaving for an extended length of time (several weeks - months)it is recommended that you
    • Remove everything from the unit
    • Clean the unit
    • Turn the unit off
    • Unplug the unit
    • Prop the door or leave it slightly ajar
  4. Don't overfill your refrigerator or freezer. Circulation is important inside your unit in order to keep everything at a consistent temperature. Poor circulation can lead to spoilage in both refrigerators and freezers, causing freezing or freezer burn in some parts of the unit and thawing and spoiling in other parts. Again, this can happen in both refrigerators and freezers.
  5. Keep all food covered or wrapped before placing it in the fridge. This will prevent the food drying out, spreading odor throughout the fridge and spoiling.

Refrigerator Tips & Repairs

  1. Keep your refrigerator and freezer clean inside, as well as out. The best way to keep your unit clean is by periodically removing all food, then all shelves and all drawers. Use a mild detergent, or baking soda dissolved in water, to wash the internal walls, door, and floor. This should be done with a soft cloth and the detergent/ solution, then wiped out with a damp cloth to remove any excess soap or soda residue. The shelves and drawers can be cleaned the same way, in a sink or tub. Be careful with glass shelves, if they are placed in hot water while cold, they may crack.
  2. Keep condenser coils clean. These coils are usually located under or behind the unit. Clean the coils gently, there are specially designed brushes for removing built up dust on condenser coils. Leaving dust on the coils can cause overheating.
  3. Door gaskets are used to seal doors shut while closed. Gaskets need to be cleaned regularly, in order to maintain the proper temperature and run efficiently. Gaskets can be cleaned with a mild detergent and cloth, followed by a damp cloth to remove soap residue.
  4. Keep the area around refrigerators clean and free of debris. Make sure there are no blockages that could prevent proper airflow to the unit's condenser coils.

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