The Ultimate Refrigerator Maintenance Checklist
Your refrigerator must continue to work efficiently to keep your food cold and safe to consume. That's why you need to stay on top of the appliance's maintenance to ensure it can perform its job correctly.
Doing so will keep your food fresh, save you money on your electricity costs, and get you out of paying for unforeseen repairs. That's why we've created the ultimate refrigerator maintenance checklist so that you can always keep your fridge in good working condition.
Benefits of Maintaining Your Fridge
Maintaining your refrigerator is crucial for keeping your kitchen clean and your electricity costs low. A fridge you don't properly maintain will consume more energy than it should. Preventative maintenance also helps you discover an issue before it develops or worsens to the point where you can no longer fix it.
You also risk not getting optimal temperatures inside the fridge, causing food to spoil more quickly. Suboptimal temperatures can also lead to mold growing in different compartments and waterlines.
Monthly Tasks You Can Do
You don't need to be an experienced repair technician to perform effective preventive maintenance. Here are some practical tasks you can do once a month to preserve your most important kitchen appliance.
Perform a Deep Clean
We constantly put it off, but deep cleaning your fridge doesn't take as long as you think. Usually, you don't even need to place everything in a cooler. Remove everything from your refrigerator and set it on the counter in a single layer.
Make sure you're taking out all the shelves and wiping them down. Use an all-surface cleaner or a vinegar-based solution to eliminate any organic residue left behind from spills and seepage. Next, clean the fridge's walls, the top and bottom of each shelf, and the insides of the drawers.
Get Rid of Old and Spoiled Food
Pay attention to what goes into the fridge as you replenish it. For example, throw out food, beverages, or containers that have been there for at least a month or that you don't recall putting in there in the first place.
Check expiration dates periodically to ensure that you're not keeping spoiled food. This way, you can avoid accidentally eating or drinking something you shouldn't have. This practice can also help prevent unsightly and problematic mold growth and contamination.
Check That Vents Are Clear and Open
Finally, no containers or bags should obstruct the vents that connect the freezer and refrigerator. Given this is where the frigid air originates from, these areas require proper ventilation to work effectively.
Things To Do Every Few Months
You should try to complete these steps at least twice a year, if not more. These actions are critical for ensuring your fridge stays in top shape for a long time.
Test Your Door Seal
Once every two to three months, you should test the seals on your refrigerator and freezer doors. First, take a few minutes to wipe down the seals and clear away debris. After cleaning, inspect the seals for wear and tear or damage.
An effortless way is to close the fridge door on a dollar bill. Once you close the door, try removing the bill without opening it. If you can remove it, you may need to replace your door seals since they are in poor condition.
Swap Out Water Filters
You should replace these filters every three to nine months, although the timing depends on how much water or ice you consume. A solid rule of thumb is to replace your water filter every six months.
Clean the Coils
The coils on the back of your refrigerator are in charge of heat removal. You'll have to move your fridge to get to the coils, and you should unplug it before cleaning them. Then, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the dust or wipe it away with a soft brush.
Clear Out the Drip Pan and Drain Hole
Your refrigerator uses a drain hole and drip pan to eliminate condensation. Your owner's manual should feature directions for removing mineral deposits from the drain hole. Also, you'll need to empty the drip pan and clean up any debris.
Once a Year
Try to schedule these activities on the same day each year. That will help you remember to conduct these necessary functions that can benefit your refrigerator.
Make Sure the Fridge Is Level
Using a bubble level, test the top of the refrigerator on all four sides. If the fridge isn't level, adjust the feet in or out until it is. This action improves food storage and cooling efficiency, and it prevents the door from swinging open or closing on its own.
When your freezer or refrigerator accumulates frost, empty it. A little bit of ice on the walls of your freezer is fine. However, when there's enough ice to block out space for food, you may have a problem. Defrost the refrigerator completely and use cups of warm water to accelerate the process.
Wipe off the defrosted walls with vinegar and try to change your fridge settings to minimize frost formation in the long term. When you notice the buildup happens quickly (over a few days or weeks), you may need to get the entire defrost system repaired.
Warning Signs To Look Out For
Even when you do perform preventative maintenance, you still need to be on the lookout for potential problems. There are many different warning signs that could show that your refrigerator is malfunctioning. Recognizing these early warnings helps you address an issue before it spirals into something worse.
Too much condensation is typically a sign that your refrigerator isn't chilling correctly. When you see condensation collecting in or around the fridge, you should call a repair person to prevent your food from spoiling.
Overheating from the motor suggests that the refrigerator is working harder than it needs to. Excessive heat in the condenser could cost you hundreds of dollars in electricity bills.
Food Constantly Spoiling Early
Your food may spoil much faster than the expiration date would indicate. Fast spoilage is a clue that your refrigerator isn't keeping the temperature stable enough to preserve foods and keep them fresh.
Freezer Failing To Become Adequately Cold
The purpose of a freezer is to store food and beverages below freezing temperatures. However, when it doesn't become cold enough inside, there may be an issue with the unit's cooling system that you should fix right away.
Some areas of the refrigerator may be colder than others. For example, the top shelf may be freezing, yet the bottom shelf could be warm, or vice versa. Cold spots in your refrigerator can spoil some food or add extra thawing time to your meal prep.
When you follow the ultimate refrigerator maintenance checklist, you can be sure to extend the lifespan of your appliance. Town Appliance has the best freestanding fridges for sale when it comes time to replace your refrigerator in your home. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our products.