Refrigerator Maintenance Tips | Cleaning Your Refrigerator
Although this should seem to be a pretty obvious part of refrigerator maintenance a lot of people do not do this often enough or properly. First clean the door gaskets, the door gaskets can be found on both the refrigerator and freezer door and they need to be wiped down and cleaned with a warm soapy rag. Often times the gaskets have to be replaced because the aren’t ever cleaned and build up from spilled stuff like syrup and jelly cause the gasket to stick to the frame of the refrigerator and cause them to become unformed which causes air leaks. To check your gaskets you can get a sheet of paper and close it in the door and see if it slides down or not, if it does its time to have them replaced. Do this for the entire gasket on both the freezer and refrigerator doors.
Remove all the items from both the refrigerator and freezer and wipe down all the shelves and make sure all the vents are clean and do not have any trash in them. Remove the crisper drawers and wash them out real good. When putting everything back in the fridge and freezer make sure not to block any of the vents so that the air can circulate properly throughout the refrigerator and freezer.
When your refrigerator goes into defrost it turns on a small heater under the evaporator coil to keep ice from building up on it, when it does this ice melts off the evaporator and the water goes down the defrost drain to the drip pan. It should be cleaned out every so often because trash and old small pieces of food can get in them and cause a bad smell. The location of drip pan varies from model to model, some are removable some are not. You will have to refer to your owner’s manual to find the location of the drip pan on your model refrigerator.
Refrigerator Condenser Cleaning
This is another important step in refrigerator maintenance. The condenser or condenser coil are the lines the Freon runs through. It’s used to condense the Freon from a gas state to a liquid state. As the Freon runs through the condenser coil the heat that is pulled from the interior of the refrigerator is released into the air. When these line become clogged up with dirt, hair and debris the coils are not able to release the heat properly and the refrigerator can no longer cool or operate efficiently. If the coils are stopped up bad enough it will cause the compressor to overheat and short cycle. They should be cleaned every six months or so and if you have pets in the house they should be cleaned more often because pet hair really clogs them up fast.
On most newer model refrigerators you will need to be able to access the back of the refrigerator to get to the coils, so unplug the refrigerator and pull it out so you can access the back of the unit.
On some older models the coils will be mounted to the back of the refrigerator, but on most current model refrigerators they are located at the bottom back side of the refrigerator behind the cover panel. Just remove the panel from the bottom back of the refrigerator and you will see the compressor, the condenser fan and the coils. If you do not see any coils there then remove the front grille from the bottom of the front of the refrigerator and the coils will be located there.
The coils should be cleaned with a coil cleaning brush which can be purchased at amazon from the link below. Just brush the coils with the coil brush while using a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to suck up the dirt, hair and dust as you go.