Three Surprising Things That Will Keep Your Refrigerator Running Efficiently


When you perform regular maintenance on your refrigerator, this kitchen appliance will run more efficiently and last longer. By using the odd items listed below when doing twice-yearly refrigerator maintenance, you'll be able to do a thorough job.


One of the reasons why your refrigerator does not work efficiently is because the gasket is not sealing properly. The gasket is the long strip of rubber-like material that attaches to the refrigerator and freezer doors. When the doors are shut, the gasket creates an airtight seal so that cold air doesn't escape.  

When cold air leaks out of your fridge, this prevents the appliance from running efficiently, and it could cause your food to go bad. To prevent food spoilage, the inside refrigerator temperature should remain a constant 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, and the freezer temperature should stay at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food particles and sticky messes on the gasket will prevent the door from closing properly. Cleaning the gasket will ensure that the cold air always stays inside of the appliance.

Grab an old toothbrush and use warm, soapy water to scrub the grime off the gasket. As odd as it may sound, a toothbrush is the perfect cleaning tool for this job. Its long handle and small head allows you to scrub the hard to reach areas between the grooves of the seal.

Dollar Bill

Refrigerator gaskets often become brittle as they wear out and age. After cleaning and drying the gasket, use a dollar bill to test the competency of the seal. While it seems unusual, using a dollar bill now will save you money later.

Open your refrigerator door and place the dollar between the gasket and the inside frame. Leave half of the bill sticking out when you close the door. Pull on the edge of the currency and feel for tension on the bill. If the bill does not pull out easily, this signals that your refrigerator is tightly sealed.

If you can retrieve the bill easily, you will need to replace the seal. Repeat this test on the freezer door gasket. Follow the steps below if you need to replace a faulty seal. Before you start, you'll need to purchase a new gasket at an appliance store. Check your refrigerator manual or measure the door to ensure that you get the right size.

  1. Open the refrigerator or freezer door, lift up the bottom of the gasket and locate the screws on the plastic liner that holds the gasket in place.
  2. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws around the perimeter of door, but do not remove them.
  3. Remove the old seal by pulling it out from behind the liner.
  4. Start at the top corner of the door and fit the new gasket in place behind the liner.
  5. Tighten the screws and inspect the gasket to ensure there aren't any gaps.


Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner isn't just for cleaning floors, as you can also use it to clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator. The condenser coils are responsible for cooling the inside of your refrigerator. If the coils have a coating of dust, grime or pet hair, they have to work harder to cool your food. Depending on the refrigerator model, the condenser coils will be located on the back or underneath the appliance.

Pull the unit out from the wall to reach the coils in the back. To clean coils located underneath the fridge, remove the plastic grate, also known as the kick plate, which is located at the bottom of the unit. The grate attaches to the refrigerator with clips on both sides. Use both hands to grasp it in the center and gently pull up on it to release it from the clips.

Unplug your refrigerator before vacuuming the coils. To clean the coils on the back of the refrigerator, use the brush attachment. For coils underneath the fridge, use a long handled attachment to reach the coils. Shine a flashlight underneath your fridge to get a better view. After vacuuming, replace the kick plate, slide the unit back into place and plug it in.

Use the items listed above while doing refrigerator maintenance so your appliance will run efficiently. Contact a company that specializes in refrigerator repair if you need any repairs you can't make yourself. 


1 July 2015

buying and caring for refurbished appliances

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