Refrigerator breakdowns are not only inconvenient, they can result in major losses and wastage once food starts to go bad. While some breakdowns are unavoidable – especially as the refrigerator ages – simple maintenance practices will help to not only prevent breakdowns but also to increase efficiency and reduce your appliance's energy consumption. Learn how you can do this with these simple maintenance tasks:
The gaskets provide an airtight seal around the doors of the fridge to maintain internal temperatures. They often get smudged with food particles with continued use of the fridge. Smudges can cause the gasket to adhere to the frame, so that opening the door causes the gasket to tear, requiring replacement. Therefore, remove smudges as they occur, using a soft cloth and warm water without detergent to maintain the seal. Remember to wipe down the external part of the gasket which can accumulate dust and dirt as well.
Condenser coils are located at the bottom or back of your fridge, and their job is to cool the refrigerant. In time, they get clogged with dust, dirt or fluff, and this reduces their cooling efficiency which means that your fridge will use more energy to run. It will also more susceptible to breaking down since the compressor works harder than it should. Condenser coils should be cleaned at least twice yearly (with the fridge turned off), more frequently if you have pets that shed or you live in very dusty areas. All you need is a coil brush which you can get at your appliance spare parts supplier and also use on your AC coils.
If your condenser coils are under the fridge, the fan is located at the bottom of the fridge towards the back, close to the compressor. It will be covered with a plate that you can unscrew. Fridges that have coils on the back surface won't have a fan. Like the coils, fan plates accumulate dust and other dirt particles. They should be cleaned out using a soft cloth and warm water with detergent.
The freezer vents are the small openings located at the lowest part of the freezer surface, and their job is to circulate air through the freezer. Ensure that your food doesn't block any of the vents, and regularly clean the area around to remove crumbs and other materials that could get sucked through the vent causing a clog. Doing this will help your freezer to have more stable temperatures and hence run more efficiently. Also, do not stock your freezer completely to allow room for air to circulate through the food.