How to Up-Keep Your Own Older Appliances

2 Refrigerator Maintenance Tips

Refrigerators are one of the most indispensable appliances in the modern world. For that reason, nothing could be more frustrating than a broken fridge. Luckily, you can avoid costly refrigerator repairs by learning a few a few simple maintenance tips. If your home has a refrigerator, read on. This article will introduce two ways to keep it going strong.

Clean and replace door gaskets

The gaskets are those rubbery strips around the perimeter of the fridge and freezer doors. As you may already know, those gaskets can get pretty dirty if they go unattended for too long. What you may not realize, is that dirty gaskets reduce the efficiency of the seal and are more prone to degradation than clean gaskets.

Be sure to regularly wipe your door gaskets clean with a warm soapy rag. This will help keep them from becoming worn and brittle. That said, even well-maintained gaskets will need to be replaced every few years. If you notice your gaskets are loose, sagging, or torn, make a point to purchase new ones. You will quickly recuperate their cost as savings on your electricity bill.

Clean the condenser coil

The condenser coil is responsible for removing heat from your fridge and transferring it to the air. When condenser coils become dusty and dirty, they aren't able to perform this task as efficiently, meaning your fridge will consume more energy in order to keep itself cool. Cleaning your coils is therefore a great way to reduce your monthly electric bill and extend the life of your refrigerator. In fact, it is estimated that regular coil cleaning can eliminate more than 70% of refrigerator repair calls.

Depending on the age of your refrigerator, the condenser coil may be in one of two places: either mounted to the rear or the bottom of the fridge. Rear-mounted coils are more common on older refrigerators; on most newer models, they are located below.

Before you attempt to clean your coils, you must be sure to disconnect your refrigerator from the power supply, either by unplugging it, or by shutting off the applicable breaker. Once you've done this, move your fridge into the position that gives you best access to the coil.

The cleaning process is fairly self explanatory. If you wish, you can purchase a flexible cleaning brush designed especially for condenser coils. But it is also possible to clean them perfectly well--and save money--using a broom, paintbrush, and/or vacuum cleaner. Once clean, move the fridge back into place, reconnect the power, and give yourself a big pat on the back. You did it!