Easy-To-Follow Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist

refrigerator maintenance

You’re making yourself a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Your appetite is more than a little bit ruined when you pour chunky milk into the bowl. You only bought this milk a few days ago so what gives? 

It could be a wide array of things but most likely it happened because your refrigerator isn’t cooling your food as it should be. Have you been performing regular refrigerator maintenance on it? It slips people’s minds, but there are care steps you have to perform on your fridge just like you would on any other appliance.

To help you get rid of your spoiled milk problem for good, check out this quick and easy to follow guide.

1. Check the Door Seals 

If you’re noticing an extra expense on your power bill, it could be because the seal on your refrigerator door is loose. The weak seal will allow cold air to seep out and make your fridge work ten times harder. 

You can keep the seal in good working condition by cleaning it out at least twice a year. Make a solution of baking soda and water. You can use a toothbrush to scrub the seal with it.  

If you’re questioning if you need to have a professional come in and replace the seal, there is a method that you can use. Stick a dollar bill in the door so it’s hanging half out. Close the door and if the bill starts to slip, the seal needs to go. 

2. Clean the Coils 

After a while, the condenser coils in your fridge get coated in a nice layer of dust. This dust can stop the refrigerator from cooling your food the way that it should be. 

The good news is that this is an easy fix. Pull the fridge out from the wall a little bit and unplug it. Take a vacuum and suck out the dust with the brush attachment. 

Protip, sometimes these coils are located on the front. All you’d have to do in that case is to take off the grille to reveal the coils. If you still have your refrigerator’s manual it can tell you which area your coils are located in. 

3. Keep it Full

Your refrigerator needs a certain amount of thermal mass to keep things chilly. What this means is that you’ll need to keep it full of food. The cold drinks and food items will take in the warm air when you open the fridge to get something out. 

If you’re the type that doesn’t keep much in the fridge or eats out all the time, you can pick up a few jugs of water to put in there as filler. 

Whatever you do, make sure that the food is sealed as it should be. If you leave things open it will create moisture and mold in the fridge. 

4. Defrost and Clean the Inside

No matter how much you try, over time you will notice mystery odors coming out of your fridge. You may also spot frost along with it. When this happens the best course of action would be to turn your fridge off, take everything out of it, and allow it to defrost. 

Once the fridge has been defrosted, you’re free to clean it up and put your food back in. 

5. Maintain the Temperature 

Both the fridge and freezer parts of your appliance will need to be at a certain temperature or your food will spoil. For the fridge, this is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and for your freezer, it will be 0. 

Every once in awhile peer into the fridge and see if the temperature is in the right place. If you have an older fridge model that doesn’t include a thermometer, you can pick up one for cheap from a hardware store.  

6. Close the Door  

Growing up, you probably heard your parents say “close the refrigerator door, you’re letting all the cold air out”. As a kid, that was annoying but as an adult, you realize that they were right. 

The longer you leave the door open, the harder the fridge has to work to keep up the cold temperatures inside. Try and decide on what you want to eat before you open the door so you can close it back as fast as possible. 

7. Change the Filters 

You don’t think about it, but the fridge and your ice dispenser have filters. Just like with your AC, these filters need to be changed every once in a while. If you fail to do so, the ice dispenser will get dirty and your refrigerator won’t run properly. 

If you’re not sure what type of filter you should be using you can check your manual or consult the manufacturer. 

8. Cool Your Food Down First  

When you put hot, steamy food in the fridge it will offset the temperature. The refrigerator will have to work harder to cool things back down. It may be a pain, but wait for your food to cool down before you store it away. 

This will keep your power bill lower and stop your refrigerator from prematurely wearing out. 

The Only Refrigerator Maintenance Guide You’ll Ever Need 

Replacing food and drinks that spoil in your fridge can get expensive. You can cut down on some of this by practicing good refrigerator maintenance.

If you take the time to do everything on this simple list, we promise that your appliance will be cooling your food for years to come.

Take care of your refrigerator. 

Is your refrigerator giving you problems even after you performed all these steps? Contact us to schedule repairs.