Refrigerator and Freezer Maintenance Tips
Keep Your Food Cold and Your Kitchen Working
Your refrigerator and freezer combine to create one of the most important parts of your home. Keeping it in proper working order form is easy to do, and it can prevent costly repairs in the future. Follow these 6 tips for some Do-It-Yourself home maintenance on this crucial kitchen appliance.
Clean Those Coils
Your refrigerator's condenser coils are usually underneath a pop-off panel at the bottom of the unit, though some are on the back of the refrigerator. Vacuum them annually. This one refrigerator maintenance tip can help you save money on your energy bills and extend the life of your refrigerator.
Clean the Insides
Even if it doesn't require defrosting, cleaning your refrigerator reduces odors and helps you keep food rotated and used before spoiling - which saves you money! To clean you fridge:
- Turn off the unit and remove all food and any interior shelves or removable parts 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 using sponge or rag.
- Don't use harsh chemicals or abrasive scouring techniques. These can scratch the surface of the unit.
- Make sure your food is not out long enough to spoil.
- Don't forget to turn the unit back on once you're finished and have returned your food to the refrigerator.
Defrosting your freezer improves the efficiency of the unit. If you have frost in your freezer or ice-maker, defrost it according to your manufacturer's instructions. You should never allow a buildup of ice or heavy frost. Never scrape off frost or use sharp tools, or you may damage your refrigerator.
You can also clean the inside of the freezer with a baking soda and water solution, as described above.
Close That Door
Simply put, your average refrigerator door should close by itself. If it's not, you should first check to see if anything inside the fridge is blocking the door. After that, you can adjust the support feet appropriately for proper closure.
If you have problems with the unit forming frost quickly or experiencing temperature fluctuations, there are a number of possible causes. If you have many family members opening the door often, try to lessen the frequency and the length of time it is open. You may also have a leak in the door seal, and it may need cleaning or replacement. Over time, this seal can develop cracks or become brittle. Check your seal periodically.
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 or cord has not been damaged. If this doesn't solve the problem, call for repairs.
For more information on general home maintenance, visit our Home Maintenance Guide.
HWA Has You Covered
A home warranty from HWA provides security against the unexpected expenses of inevitable home repairs. Whether you're buying, selling, or already in your home, we have a plan to fit!View Plans