With the average cost of a modern-day refrigerator hovering around $700-$1,400, many families can’t afford to replace their current model with a new one. This is why it’s important for consumers to perform some basic maintenance in order to prolong the life of their refrigerator. Thankfully, there are several simple techniques that will drastically improve the performance, and subsequently, the lifespan of your unit.
Clean The Gasket
Mildew will often form on the rubber seal along the door of a refrigerator (known as a gasket), preventing it from staying shut. When this occurs, the cold air from inside the refrigerator will escape through the door; thus, lowering the shelf life of your refrigerated food and increasing your energy costs.
To determine whether or not your refrigerator gasket needs cleaning, conduct the dollar bill test. This test is performed by opening the refrigerator door, placing a dollar bill halfway into the unit, and closing the door. If you can pull the dollar bill out, the gasket needs cleaning. Clean the gasket by soaking it with diluted vinegar (half water, half vinegar) and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.
Keep It Stocked
Why should you keep your refrigerator stocked? Aside from the obvious reasons, refrigerators are designed to function with food and beverages stored inside them. Items such as these absorb the hot air that’s forced inside when you open the door. Without food and beverages lining the shelves of your refrigerator, it may struggle to maintain the set temperature.
Clean The Condenser Coils
Refrigerators – much like central air conditioning units – use condenser coils to generate cool air. Over time, these coils will develop a layer of dust (and possibly other debris) that restricts the normal flow of air. Thankfully, cleaning the condenser coils on a refrigerator is a quick and easy process.
First, locate you the condenser coils by searching at the bottom front or rear front of the unit. Some units may have a removable plastic cover guarding the coils. Once you’ve located the coils, use broom or vacuum cleaner wand attachment to such up any dust coating it. Voila, your condensers should now perform better!
Replace The Water Filter
When was the last time you replaced your refrigerator’s water filter? Assuming your refrigerator has a water/ice dispenser attached to the front, it probably has a filter too. Check your owner’s manual for more information on what type of water filter it uses and how to change it. If you can’t the owner’s manual, check the manufacturer’s website.