Saving Energy—Refrigerator Maintenance

How To Clean Refrigerator Coils And Why It Matters

Your refrigerator is one of the largest, most-used appliances in your home. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance - just simple cleaning of the coils, which disperse heat. If the coils are allowed to become covered with dust bunnies, gunk, and pet hair, they can’t get rid of the heat properly and the fridge won’t run efficiently. A bigger problem can happen because of this -- the compressor could burn out from having to run constantly because of the grime coating the coils. This can be a very expensive problem. A good cleaning once or twice a year can save you a bundle in repair costs down the line, and save on energy usage all year. Items needed: Vacuum cleaner with hose; a damp cloth

  1.  Locate the refrigerator’s coil Locate the refrigerator’s coil, a grid-like structure, or fan that will likely have a covering or grate protecting it. The coil is usually concealed behind the front toe tick or in the back. Some newer models have internal coils, so if you don’t find them in the front or back, this may be the case with your fridge.
  2. slide the refrigerator away from the wallIf the coil is in the back, slide the refrigerator away from the wall, removing the plug from the electrical outlet, when possible. You may also need to disconnect the line to the water dispenser or icemaker to allow enough room to work.
  3. Gently vacuum and clean the coil. Using the brush or crevice attachment, carefully vacuum the dust and dirt wherever you see it. Gently vacuum and clean the coil.If you have pulled the fridge out, vacuum and wipe down the sides and back of the refrigerator and the floor.
  4. Once the floor is dry, plug in the refrigerator and rearrange the power cord and supply lines so they don’t get a kink or become stuck under the weight of the refrigerator.plug in the refrigerator Slide the refrigerator back into place. Be sure to replace the toe kick panel, if it was removed.

Do The Dollar Test

Do The Dollar TestIf your refrigerator or freezer seals/gaskets are worn, you are losing cold air -- and money.

To check if the door seal is tight, open the door, partially insert a dollar bill, close the door, and slowly pull out the bill. If there is little resistance, you probably need to have the gaskets replaced.