A refrigerator is an essential appliance in every home. It holds the fuel that feeds your family. We want our refrigerators operating at their very best because then they can keep your food fresher for longer and save you money on your electricity bill. But if we don’t take care of our refrigerator properly, we can force it to overwork itself which can lead to breaking parts, a sluggish appliance and a heavy hit to your wallet. In this article, we’ll run down some tips to keep your fridge from being overworked so you can avoid common fridge problems in the future.
Set Fridge Temperature Manually
If you want to keep a refrigerator running efficiently, it’s a good idea to get yourself a thermometer for the fridge and another one for the freezer. Most models of refrigerators and freezers don’t let you set a specific temperature. For example, many will just feature a dial that has the numbers 1-5, but that doesn’t actually tell you what temperature you’re going for. A fridge works best when set between 2ºC and 3ºC, while a freezer works best when set between -15ºC and -17ºC.
Defrost the Refrigerator and Freezer Regularly
If you let ice build up on your refrigerator coils, this can cause issues for your refrigerator. It will overwork and overheat, making it more difficult for the appliance to stay at the desired temperature for optimal performance. If you let this issue go on for too long, certain components of your unit will start to break down which will eventually require expensive repairs. Many newer models of refrigerators have automatic defrosting abilities, however, if you have an older model of refrigerator you have to manually defrost the coils.
Inspect Rubber Door Seals
Gaskets or rubber door seals are essential for your refrigerator to function properly because they keep cool air in and warm air out. If your seals are dirty, ripped or compromised in any way, it will force your fridge to work harder to keep things cool. This also puts a lot of strain on various components of the appliance. No matter what brand of refrigerator you have, the rubber door seals will start to wear out eventually from overuse and lose that suction that maximizes efficiency. If you know this is the problem, you should contact our team of skilled technicians to replace the gaskets at your earliest convenience.
Avoid Heat Sources
It’s best to keep your fridge away from windows to avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time. Any additional heat sources can be really hard on your refrigerator’s compressor which will have to work even harder to keep the fridge at the proper temperature you’ve set the appliance to.
Keep Fridge Door Closed
One of the easiest things any refrigerator owner can do to keep their appliance functioning well is to keep the door closed as much as possible! It’s tempting to leave the fridge open for a while as you cook a big meal or take some time to clean the shelves. However, this puts a lot of strain on your refrigerator as it isn’t keeping any of the cold air in. Take everything you need for your meal prep out of the refrigerator at one time. This will keep your fridge running well and ultimately save you money on your utility bills.
Cover Your Food
An effective way to keep your refrigerator from overworking is to ensure that all food items are stored in sealed containers. Your fridge keeps things cool and dry by removing moisture from the air. If there is exposed food in the appliance, your fridge will have to work even harder. Storing food in containers keeps your food moist, your fridge dry and your utility bills as low as possible.
Keep Your Fridge Full
It might seem hard to believe, but when your fridge is full it actually takes a lot less energy to keep everything cool. All the cold foods work together to help regulate the desired temperature. If there is a lot of empty space in your refrigerator, then the compressor is going to have to work overtime to keep things running cool. If you know that you’re going to have an empty fridge for an extended period of time, you can keep it stocked with bottles of water to achieve the same effect.
Give It Some Space
If your kitchen’s size and design allow it, keep your fridge away from other appliances that create a lot of heat like an oven or cooktop. Continuous exposure to additional heat sources, including direct sunlight as discussed earlier, will force your refrigerator’s compressor to work extra hard to meet your cooling expectations.
Check Condenser Coils
This is one of the best tips for refrigerator maintenance. Your refrigerator uses condenser coils to cool the inside of your fridge, but they eventually get dirty and need to be cleaned. When the condenser coils are covered in dirt, dust, and grime, they struggle to work or will stop working entirely. Aim to clean your fridge’s condenser coils at least twice a year. You can also buy new condenser coils every so often. Your refrigerator will thank you.
Open Doors Less Often
If you’re the kind of person who likes to gaze longingly at your food choices as you hang out in front of the open fridge—stop! This is making it extremely difficult for your fridge to function properly. Keep this in mind, keep the doors closed and your wallet will certainly be appreciative of all your efforts.
If you need professional appliance repair or an appliances technician in Toronto and across the GTA, call Alpha Tech Appliance for all your refrigerator service needs. From refrigerators to stoves and washers to dryers, we do it all! Call Alpha Tech Appliance today and we’ll connect you with our friendly technicians who are ready to tackle whatever fridge repair issues you’re facing!