3 Tips For Refrigerator Maintenance

Posted on: 3 June 2015

Refrigerators are one of those appliances that you tend to take for granted since they're always there. But when your fridge suddenly doesn't seem to be cooling as well or just isn't working properly, then the reality of purchasing a new one sets in. The good news is that there are some things you can do to keep your refrigerator running well for many more years than you ever thought possible.

Clean the Coils

One of the biggest tips that appliance manufacturers give to customers in their user manuals is to clean the condenser coils. Many refrigerator owners aren't sure where the coils are on their refrigerator, however. If the coils for your model aren't on the back of the fridge, then they're underneath. The plastic grill under the refrigerator comes off so that you can clean underneath more easily. If your vacuum cleaner has a hard time reaching, look for a coil cleaner that helps you get all the way to the back.

Wash the Door Gasket

A major source of problems for refrigerators is a loose or faulty door gasket. This rubberized gasket helps to seal the cold air in and the warmer ambient air out of the fridge. When the gasket gets sticky or dirty, it doesn't seal as well. Before replacing the gasket, try cleaning it. Use a mixture of a few drops of mild dish soap in a few cups of warm water. Wash the gasket with the soapy water, making sure to get into all the cracks of the gasket. Use a refrigerator thermometer to verify that the gasket is sealing properly.

Keep the Gasket Flexible

Another common problem with refrigerator gaskets is that as they age, they become less flexible. When they become too stiff, they tend to break easily, and then they cannot properly seal the refrigerator at all. An easy way to keep them in good condition for much longer is to periodically apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly along the edges of the gasket. If your gasket is more than five years old, however, you may need to go ahead and replace it first. Then you can start fresh by keeping the new gasket flexible during its longer lifespan.

If you find that regular maintenance isn't helping your refrigerator problems, contact someone who can handle appliance repair in your area. They'll take a look at the problem and give you a solution that works for you.