Refrigerator Maintenance – Tips to Help Ensure Peak Performance

With all the holiday cooking and entertaining, not to mention the leftovers, the last thing you need is a refrigerator breakdown. While this would be inconvenient at any time of the year, it would be a major hassle during the holidays and could even put a damper on some of the festivities. There is no substitute for professional refrigerator maintenance and repair should your refrigerator fail. However, there are simple housekeeping tasks you can do to help keep it running smoothly all year round.

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Check the Door Gaskets

This is a simple task but one that is often overlooked. Typically when we clean the refrigerator, we throw out anything food that is old, wipe down the shelves, wash out the drawers and shut the door. The door gaskets also need to be cleaned twice a year. A good way to clean them is with a toothbrush and a solution of baking soda and water. While cleaning them, you can also inspect them for any signs of wear. 

Finally, when you close the doors, you want to make sure the gaskets are making a tight seal. If they aren’t, the cool air seeps out, making your refrigerator work harder. You can check this by closing a dollar bill in the door with the bill half-in and half-out. Once the door is closed, try to pull it out. If it slips out too easily or you discovered any cracks in the gaskets while cleaning them, it’s time to schedule professional refrigerator maintenance and repair.

Clean the Condenser Coils

When the condenser coils are covered with dust and debris, the refrigerator will operate less efficiently. Depending on your specific model, the condenser coils are either located behind the grill in the front or on the back of the refrigerator. You will either need to remove the front grill or pull the refrigerator away from the wall. Vacuum them carefully to remove any dust or debris. This should also be done twice a year.

Correct Temperature Settings 

While you may think lowering your refrigerator or freezer to a colder temperature might keep your food fresher, it will only make your unit work harder and potentially shorten its lifespan. Your refrigerator will operate best and preserve your food properly when set to the correct temperature. Keep the fridge between 37 and 40 degrees and the freezer at 0 degrees.

Keep it Full

You wouldn’t think that the amount of food stored in your refrigerator would impact its performance but it does. Refrigerators need “thermal mass” to maintain low temperatures. This basically means there needs to be a lot of stuff in your fridge. Cool foods and drinks help absorb warm air that streams in when you open the door. If you order take out more than you cook or your refrigerator is too big for your needs, it helps to store a few jugs of water in there.

Don’t Forget the Ice Maker

To help prevent it from malfunctioning, make sure to include the ice maker in your refrigerator maintenance tasks. If your ice maker has an on-off switch, turn it off. Otherwise, just unplug your refrigerator. Remove the ice bin, dispose of the ice and wash and dry it thoroughly. Wipe down the unit itself and make sure to dry it thoroughly, as any moisture left behind could freeze and keep the ice maker from working properly. 

Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what cleaning solutions are recommended but avoid harsh chemicals. Once everything is clean and completely dry, replace the ice bin and either turn the ice maker back on or plug the refrigerator back in.

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Professional Refrigerator Maintenance and Repair

These are basic refrigerator maintenance tasks. If you experience any issues beyond these, it’s time to call the professionals at Jersey Coast Appliance. We offer expert appliance repair services. Our service center is certified and our service team is made up of PSA Industry Certified and Master Technicians. 

We offer two-hour windows of arrival and 24/7 emergency service for issues that need immediate attention. Also, with our night owl service available anytime between 4 P.M. and 8 P.M. during the week, we can conveniently work around your schedule. We stock a wide variety of OEM replacement parts including Kenmore. Our technicians use these parts when providing repair service.  If your refrigerator or any of your appliances are in need of repairs, don’t hesitate, give us a call!

 

 

 

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Call Now Button The holidays are fast approaching and there is bound to be a lot on your to-do list. Amid all the hustle and bustle, there are family gatherings and holiday dinners which involve a lot of cooking and baking. Your kitchen appliances really get a work out this time of year. The last thing you need is an appliance malfunction that leads to a holiday disaster. Our appliance repair experts have some tips that will help avoid any disruptions to your holiday celebrations. Clean Your Oven Early Every year, just days before Thanksgiving, we see a spike in service calls. Many are the result of damage caused by the oven’s self-cleaning feature. If you are going to use this feature, do it well before starting your holiday cooking. The self-cleaning feature, due to the high level of heat it produces can sometimes burn out the heating element. Control panels can also burn out or fuses can blow out. These issues will require you to repair or even replace your oven - an inconvenience and extra expense you don’t need right before the holidays. Our appliance repair experts recommend self-cleaning your oven two to three weeks before Thanksgiving. This will leave time for repairs to be made without interfering with your holiday dinner. If you wait too long, skip the self-cleaning feature and just carefully remove any burnt food residue and wipe down the oven walls. Once the holiday has passed, then you can safely use the self-cleaning function. Use the Oven’s Convection Setting We understand not every oven has one, but if your oven has a convection setting, don’t be afraid to use it. Convection heat makes food cook faster, more evenly, and provides better browning. The convection feature is perfect for roasting a turkey or baking cookies. The convention feature typically does it in less time or at lower temperatures. The general rule of thumb for convection cooking is to set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower for baking and subtract 25% from the cooking time for roasting. If you’ve never used your convection setting before, we recommend that you refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific temperature settings and cooking times. Also, be sure to do a test run before getting ready to start the holiday cooking. Clean Out and Organize Your Refrigerator When you’re preparing your kitchen for the holidays, it the perfect time to clean out the refrigerator. Get rid of any expired or forgotten foods. With all that holiday cooking, your going to need the space and it’s best not to overload the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is too full, it’s airflow will be limited. This could lead to it working harder to maintain the proper temperature, causing unnecessary wear and tear. Overloading the refrigerator also increases the possibility of the refrigerator not closing completely which could lead to food spoilage as well as increased wear and tear. Don’t Forget the Dishwasher After all that cooking and baking, there is going to be a lot of cleaning to be done. Your dishwasher is the star of kitchen clean up, so it’s essential to use and maintain it properly. It’s important to scrape off excess food to keep the jets and drains from becoming clogged. Clogging could lead to improper cleaning or, worse yet, a flood on the kitchen floor. However, don’t over-rinse the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. The enzymes in today’s dishwasher detergents require some food residue in order to activate. Our appliance repair experts recommend running hot water in the sink closest to the dishwasher before starting it. This will ensure your dishwasher’s water is hot at the very beginning of the first cycle. Also, use the right amount of soap, as excess suds can bog down the machine. If you’re not using a premeasured packet or tablet, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Make Plenty of Ice With all the holiday entertaining, you’ll probably use a lot more ice than normal. Before the festivities begin, it’s a good idea to get rid of all the ice in your freezer and start fresh. If the ice has been sitting in your freezer for a while, it can take on the odors or tastes from the food you’ve stored there. That’s not exactly what you want to add to your guest’s drinks. Completely empty out your ice compartment and let it refill with fresh ice. Put the freshly frozen ice into sealed plastic bags and store it on the freezer shelf. Repeat this process a couple of times. This will not only protect the ice from picking up any odors or tastes from the freezer but it will also ensure that you won’t run out of ice. The Appliance Repair Experts at Jersey Coast Appliance Jersey Coast Appliance can help you avoid these holiday disasters. Our appliance repair experts have the experience and customer service skills you can rely on. If you need maintenance or repair, we offer professional appliance repair services, including 24/7 emergency service and our night owl service is available anytime between 4 pm to 8 pm, Monday through Friday. We also stock a wide variety of replacement parts, including Kenmore. Should you need to replace an appliance, we carry a great selection of top quality appliances. Our professional staff can help you select the perfect new appliance to fit your lifestyle. If you’re in need of appliance repair or replacement, don’t hesitate, give us a call.Electric Stove Repair and Maintenance - Caring for Your Glass Cooktop