A refrigerator is one of the most expensive home appliances that run 24*7 to keep all your vegetables, fruits, meat, chocolates, dairy products, water; and others in a secure and cold temperature to reduce wastage.
However, things can go wrong if the power suddenly goes down or the refrigerator mechanism breaks down abruptly. A not-so-working refrigerator can spoil all the perishable items in other months, let alone summers when you need them the most. However, you can extend the life of your refrigerator with simple-looking refrigerator maintenance tips and techniques. Let’s see what all you can do to prevent any abrupt breakdown.
Important Refrigerator Maintenance Tips for long-term use
1. Keep the doors closed
It’s obvious, and yet, people forget it at times. Keeping the door open forces the fridge to lose its ambient temperature on the cooler end. Perhaps, the refrigerator has to work extra hard to regain the cool temperature, thereby increasing both electricity bills and power consumption. The simplest thing to do is to close the doors once you are done removing or adding things to the fridge.
2. Set the right temperature
It’s important to understand that setting the right temperature is crucial. Many factors influence the right temperature; ideally, it is around 4° C for the refrigerator and below 0° C for the freezer, if you have a number-based temperature system.
If you have a scale-based system, you can set the temperature to medium or regular depending upon the temperature outside to keep the refrigerator working for a longer duration. In case the temperature is set incorrectly, then the refrigerator might run for a longer time than usual or may not run long enough to maintain the ideal temperature.
3. Wipe off the condenser coil
It’s standard for the back and the bottom of the refrigerator to pick up dirt, debris, hairs, and pet dander. That’s where the condenser coils are placed, which is technically the heart of the fridge. It allows the fridge to release heat effectively. However, continuous buildup on it can get worse with time if you don’t take care of it, often causing the coils to burn, which incurs unwanted repair costs. This is the worst-case scenario, but if the coils are left dirty, they won’t release heat efficiently and could harm the performance of the refrigerator.
It is recommended to clean the could twice a year to maintain the proper functioning of the refrigerator. However, adding a few more clean-ups spread throughout the year would only enhance its efficiency. Use a vacuum to clean the coils, or use a duster or coil brush to give it a nice scrub. You can look up the internet or the user manual to find the placement of the coils on your fridge’s model and model and how you can clean it up.
4. Check if the doors are sealed
Doors on the fridge have a rubber gasket that latches neatly when you close it. The gasket prevents cool air from seeping out, eventually putting a strain on the fridge and prompting it to work harder. Gaskets can lose their effectiveness, allowing air to seep out from tiny openings. On the other hand, it could be the gunk or food residue on the seals preventing them from closing properly, thereby letting the air out.
All this can put unwanted strain on a fridge which is perhaps the thing you should avoid, to begin with. Cleaning the gaskets is an important part of refrigerator maintenance and you should do this every few weeks. You can use a solution of water and baking soda, take a toothbrush and give the rubber seals or gaskets a neat wipe-out. Ensure that there’s no gunk left on the gaskets and check if it closes appropriately or not. If not, you might have to call in a professional and get it replaced.
5. Give your fridge an overall wipe
One of the significant steps toward refrigerator maintenance for long-term use is to clean the fridge at least twice a year. The number can increase, helping you to upkeep the appliance for longer. Wiping off the interior and exterior of the fridge doesn’t just give it a fresh look. However, you also get rid of any gunk, residues, and unwanted substances while uplifting its condition to a better level. It is perhaps the basis of maintaining any appliance and not just the fridge.
It is also important to clean the freezer and the vents properly, which is covered later in the article below.
6. Keep distance between the refrigerator and the wall
When placing the refrigerator against a wall, it’s important to keep a distance of one inch, at the least, between the fridge and the wall. It helps the fridge dispense heat properly without any obstruction. It is especially true if your fridge has a condenser coil at the back, while for those fridges where the coil is underneath, perhaps you can use a fridge stand to keep the floor clear.
7. Frost and defrost the freezer
Ice accumulating in the freezer compartment can incur a wastage of energy. And defrosting the freezer frequently is one of the most important steps toward refrigerator maintenance and is essential to keep the refrigerator running perfectly for long. Perhaps, this is something you can do every alternate weekend or so. You must power down the fridge, open the door, and let the ice melt away. If you want to speed up the process, you can simply use a fan to expedite the process.
Note that, on average, items stored in a freezer will stay put for 48 hours in case of a power outage or blackout. An efficiently working freezer will extend that timeframe even further.
8. Avoid blocking the vents
You can stuff it up to its capacity when you buy a fridge and continue the cycle repeatedly. However, this is where the efficiency of your refrigerator will take a major hit. The vents inside the fridge supply cool air, and stuffing the fridge to its full capacity often blocks these vents.
It is self-explanatory that doing so will cause the refrigerator to become inefficient and incur more power consumption, transcending into higher energy bills, to name a few. Simply removing some items to make room for the air to flow inside without obstructions would do the trick and help you maintain a fridge for long-term use.
9. Keep the fridge stuffed
I know this point might seem counterintuitive to the last point; however, the idea is that you need to keep the fridge full to make it work better without obstructing the vents. When you stuff the fridge, the temperature of each item drops, which keeps the overall temperature at the lowest. It prevents the fridge from working too much. Thus, lower energy bills and the probability of breaking down diminishes.
Also Read: Best 4 Star Refrigerators In India
10. Check-ups and repairs
If you want to keep using a refrigerator for longer, you need to check it regularly and conduct repairs while the problems are at an early stage. It is better to hire a professional than to do it yourself unless you have the expertise and tools to conduct a thorough checkup and repair.
Also Read: Best Single Door Refrigerators In India