The refrigerator is an integral appliance in your home, as it keeps food and drinks fresh. It's also an appliance that can be costly to repair. To avoid these repairs and keep your refrigerator functioning correctly, keep these maintenance tips in mind.
Keep Condenser Coils Clean
You need to keep your refrigerator's condenser coils clean, because if they get too dirty, they can't effectively release heat. This causes the compressor to work much harder, possibly making it wear down prematurely.
First, locate the condenser coils. They will usually be located in the front or back of your unit. Remove the cover plate and use a portable air compressor to remove dirt and debris. You can quickly clean and won't have to get your hands dirty. If you're having trouble, you can use a long-bristled brush to remove particles and residues that are really caked on.
Wipe Down Door Gasket
The door gasket on your refrigerator is designed to create a tight seal, so that cool air can't escape. When this part gets dirty -- with residues like syrup or jelly -- it can actually stick to the door frame. Then, when you go to open the refrigerator door, the gasket can catch and tear.
Replacing this gasket isn't always cheap, so it's important to do some preventative cleaning. Using warm water and a rag, wipe away sticky residues that have collected on the gasket's surface. Vaseline petroleum is another effective agent you can use to prevent the gasket from cracking, tearing, and developing mold.
Avoid Overloading the Doors
If you have a lot of items to store in your refrigerator, it's only natural to pack the doors tightly. After all, you want to get as many items in as you can. This overloading approach, though, can put excessive amounts of pressure on the doors and potentially damage their hinges.
A better approach is to spread your items out. The interior may not look as organized, but at least you won't have to worry about cracking the plastic bins or doing irreversible damage to the doors. If you're running out of space, consider getting a mini-fridge or an additional full-size refrigerator that can go in the garage.
Whether your refrigerator is new or old, you need to perform the right maintenance steps every month. Only then will your refrigerator be able to perform at an optimal rate, and you won't have to stress as much about expensive repairs.