When's the last time you cleaned your refrigerator? Have you ever cleaned it? More often than not the answer is "It's been awhile" or "You have to clean that?"
I'm not talking about cleaning your shelves or your ice bucket. I'm talking about the back side where the compressor (that big black tank) is or underneath the unit where the coils are. This is a simple task that if done two times per year can save you money on your electric bill AND greatly increase your life expectancy of your refrigerator. Think about it; have you ever just turned your refrigerator off because your not using it? Rarely. Your refrigerator runs 24/7 - 365 days per year.
Most modern refrigerators have a condenser fan that keeps the compressor cool. It draws air from the front of the unit (where there is normally a grille) over the coils. However, anything in the air also gets drawn into the refrigerator such as dust, pollen and animal hair and dander to name a few. These things accumulate on the coils under the refrigerator and restrict airflow. Once air flow is restricted, the unit works harder and so do the components such as control boards. Room temperature can also make a difference too. In the summertime with no air conditioning and the oven on your kitchen is hot. That hot air is also pulled into your refrigerator.
So how do you do this you ask? It's easy and quick!
Here's what you'll need:
- Shop Vac or a vacuum with a hose with good pressure. (Air compressors work but cause quiet the mess)
- An appliance brush or any type of long skinny brush that is flexible
- Unplug the refrigerator.
- Take the grille off the bottom of the front (if there is one)
- Run a flexible appliance brush over the coils with one hand and pull the dust towards the vacuum in your other hand.
- Pull the refrigerator out. Most units made in the last 15 years have rollers.
- Take the screws out of the back panel. Most units will have either flat-head screws or hex head screws (such as a 5/16" or a 1/4")
- Once the back panel is off, use the appliance brush to clean around the compressor and the fan then vacuum up any dust, dander or hair back there.
- Put your panel back on, plug in your refrigerator while your back there.
- Push it back in place and put your grille back on.
- Your done! Congrats, now you have a happy refrigerator that will save you money and last longer.
Tired of messing with your old refrigerator and want a new one? Check out these!
If you have any questions please feel free to email us.
Next weeks tip: Changing your washer hoses before they burst!