The Art of Appliance Service: An Appliance Blog
About Me
The Art of Appliance Service: An Appliance Blog

Welcome to my blog. When it comes to taking care of appliances, it can be an art. You have to use them correctly, know how to look for signs of trouble and understand how to do simple repairs. Hi, my name is Kelsey, and in this blog, I am going to write everything I know about appliances and related topics. This is my first blog, but I have written in many other types of venues before -- I'm even old enough to have had a 'zine (if you can believe that). I live with my husband, my three daughters, and our dog. Cleaning pet hair of of the dryer and repairing blades on the blender has become my specialty over the years. Enjoy reading!

The Art of Appliance Service: An Appliance Blog

Tips For Protecting Your Refrigerator

Leevi Saari

Your refrigerator is probably one of the most commonly used appliances in the kitchen -- and the only one that never stops running. Given that it gets so much use, it's no surprise that refrigerators are prone to wear and tear that can leave them in need of costly repairs. However, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce the frequency of repairs for your refrigerator. Here are a few things that you should try to do to prolong the life and functionality of your refrigerator.

Keep the Condenser Coils Clean

The condenser coils are a vital part of the refrigeration cycle because they transfer heat from the inside of the unit to outside. When working properly, they are efficient and effective. However, since the condenser coils of most refrigerators are either located on the front lower section of the unit or on the back, they're also prone to dust and pet hair build-up. If the condenser coils get dirty, they're not going to be able to work as efficiently.

When your condenser coils are dirty, the compressor will run longer and often hotter than normal, leading to wear and tear that can actually cause failure of the compressor. You should clean the coils at least once a year, but particularly at the start of the summer, when the unit will be working hard against hot external temperatures.

If there's a large, flat plate on the front of your refrigerator, you can access the coils by removing that plate. Otherwise, you'll need to pull it out to access them behind the unit. Unplug the refrigerator, then put a small upholstery brush on your vacuum. Vacuum away any surface dirt or dust from the coils. Get rid of any residual stubborn dust with a condenser coil brush before plugging the unit back in. You can get a condenser coil brush from most any appliance repair shop.

Keep The Air Flowing

Your refrigerator should be in an open area with plenty of ventilation. Air flow is essential to keeping the system cool and helping it efficiently cool the air for the compressor. Putting a refrigerator in an enclosed cabinet or other tightly closed area will keep air from flowing around the unit and the condenser coils, shortening the lifespan of the compressor. Make sure that the area where the refrigerator is installed has several inches of space along each side and the top.

Keep The Refrigerator Stocked Properly

Your refrigerator is also vulnerable to damage from your own habits. If you overload the refrigerator in such a way that it cannot keep air flowing well inside, you're going to be faced with inefficiencies. In fact, when cold air cannot circulate through the inside of the refrigerator properly, the compressor will run more often than necessary. Avoid stocking the refrigerator shelves so much that you cannot see the back wall of the refrigerator from the front of each shelf.

In addition, don't put excess weight in the crisper drawers or the shelving on the door. If you overfill the door in particular, you may cause the weight of those items to damage the hinges on the door. With too much weight in the door's shelves, the refrigerator door seal may not properly seal when it's closed, leading to air leaks and a constantly running refrigerator. Over time, it can even pull on the hinges so much that you have to replace the entire door to maintain a cold temperature inside the refrigerator.

You can spot some potential refrigerator problems by keeping a thermometer inside it at all times. Whether you place it on the top shelf or hang it somewhere in the middle, it should always show a temperature between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the refrigerator is running warm despite your best efforts to keep it clean and properly closed, call a refrigerator repair technician, such as those at Anderson's Appliance Repair Service, to evaluate it.