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.
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.
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!