Refrigerator/Freezer Maintenance

Clean Coils
Generally your refrigerator's condenser coils are underneath a pop-off panel, at the bottom of the unit. Some are on the back of the refrigerator. These need to be vacuumed at least annually. Most kitchens catch all the traffic, so check them regularly during the year to get a feel for how often yours need to be cleaned. You can save money on energy doing this and extend the life of your refrigerator.

Clean the Inside Regularly
Even if it doesn't require defrosting, cleaning your refrigerator inside reduces odors and helps you keep food rotated and used before spoiling, saving you money! Turn off the unit and remove all food and any interior shelves or parts that are removable to clean separately and thoroughly.

Wash with a simple solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of warm, NOT hot water. Rinse with clean water in a bucket and sponge or rag. Don't use harsh chemicals or abrasive scouring techniques. You can scratch the surface of the unit with these. Make sure your food is not out long enough to spoil. Don't forget to turn unit back on once you're finished and have returned your food to the refrigerator.


If you have frost in your freezer or ice-maker, defrost it properly, according to your manufacturer's instructions. You should never allow more than a  buildup of frost. NEVER use sharp tools or scrape off frost or you may damage your refrigerator. You can clean the inside of the freezer with a baking soda and water solution too as described above. Defrosting will improve the efficiency as well.

Frost/Temperature Problems
Sometimes you may have problems with the unit forming frost quickly or temperature fluctuations. If you have lots of family members opening the door often, try to lessen the length of time it is open and the frequency. You could also have a leak in the door seal and it may need cleaning or replacement. This seal can get cracks in it or become brittle. Check your seal.

Refrigerator Not Operating
Check for a damaged fuse or tripped circuit breaker first. Check to make sure it is plugged in properly and the plug/cord did not get damaged. If this doesn't work, call for repair.

Refrigerator Door
This door should close by itself. Adjust the support feet appropriately for proper closure.

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