Unlike most other home appliances, refrigerators work 24×7 to preserve your food, medicine, and other items. That’s why you need to make sure to use it and take care of it properly so that it doesn’t break down. You can always search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you if the refrigerator stops working. Let’s check out how you can keep your fridge running great.
Tips & Tricks
- Keep other appliances far away – If you have a big kitchen, make sure to keep your refrigerator as far away as possible from the stove, microwave oven, and dishwasher. All those appliances generate heat and increase the average temperature in that part of the kitchen. That makes your refrigerator work harder to maintain the temperature difference between the inside and the outside environment. This uses more electricity, and the components wear down quicker.
- Keep it away from the wall – Irrespective of the space inside your kitchen, always make sure to keep the refrigerator a few inches away from the wall. Even if that creates minor inconvenience in movement and slightly reduces accessibility, it is going to keep your refrigerator running smoothly for a long time. The space at the back of the refrigerator is necessary for ventilation and the release of hot air.
- Don’t open and close the door too often – Your refrigerator uses a lot of power to keep the insides cool. That’s why manufacturers design it to be as efficient as possible. A part of that efficiency comes from the thick insulating walls and the seal on the refrigerator door. Each time you open the refrigerator door, you let out cool air and allow warm air to take its place. When this is done too many times, it puts a lot of strain on the refrigerator and increases the energy bill of your home. Make sure to limit the number of times you open and close the refrigerator door.
You also need to make sure to quickly get the things you need from the refrigerator and close it as soon as possible to limit the escape of cold air. One way to limit the time the refrigerator door stays open is to organize the items in your refrigerator before the dry spell hits. Keep drinks, leftovers, and condiments at the front and on the door shelves so that you can quickly take them out instead of wasting time searching for them.
- Keep it optimally filled – You’re not doing yourself a favor by filling up the refrigerator to the brim or by keeping it empty. Your refrigerator has to stay at an optimum level of fullness to work as efficiently as possible. Even if you don’t shop in bulk and do daily grocery shopping, there are ways to keep the fridge full and trick it to run as smoothly as possible. Fill up several jars and pitchers with water and keep them inside the fridge. Your fridge is tricked into running efficiently and you always have more than enough chilled water for the hot and dry seasons.
- Keep it clean – While keeping the shelves and baskets inside your refrigerator is never a bad idea, that’s not the kind of cleaning that will make your refrigerator run efficiently. You also need to clean the dust and grime accumulated at the back and under the fridge. Use a coil cleaning brush and loosen the dirt accumulated on the coils at the back of the refrigerator. After that, you can vacuum it all up.
You’ll need a similar approach if the coils are at the bottom. Make sure to minimize the amount of dust around the refrigerator with a regular monthly cleanup. The coils expel heat for the refrigerator and with dust accumulation, that becomes very difficult and consumes more power.
- Inspect the gaskets – As mentioned above, refrigeration has a major, yet smaller role in keeping the things inside your refrigerator cool. Most of it would be impossible without good insulation. A big part of insulation is made up of gaskets or rubber seals at entry points. The largest of those gaskets is on the perimeter of the refrigerator door. It can get dirty and worn out over time and when that happens, cold air escapes the fridge.
You can prevent that by cleaning the gasket by scrubbing it with a toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water. You should also check the seal of the gasket once every few months to make sure it’s tight and working properly. To do that, slide half of a $20 bill into the fridge and close the door. After that pull on the bill. If it comes out without any resistance, then it’s time to replace the gasket.
- Don’t put hot items inside the refrigerator – While the refrigerator can bring down the temperature of anything you keep inside it, keeping hot items inside the fridge is a bad idea. When you put hot food inside the refrigerator, the refrigerator sends the refrigerant through the condenser and evaporator more frequently and quickly to bring down the temperature. That decreases the life of the refrigerator. Instead, it’s best to let leftovers and other items be at room temperature before they go into the fridge.
- Adjust the thermostat – It’s never a good idea to adjust the temperature settings of the refrigerator too low. Cranking down the temperature all the way down doesn’t make your food last longer. However, it makes the compressor work extra hard to maintain that temperature and that means it wears down quicker. It’s best to keep the temperature settings of the freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the refrigerator should be set at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Refrigerators are complex and advanced appliances that have numerous working components. With the above-mentioned tips, you’ll be able to keep your refrigerator running efficiently for a long time with fewer repairs down the line. If repairs are necessary, you can hire pros for the job by searching for “refrigerator repair near me”.