25 October 2016

Preventative Maintenance Tips for your Refrigerator

Defy Side by Side refrigerator

Preventative Maintenance Tips for your Refrigerator 

Guest post by http://www.columbiascappliancerepair.com/

Purchasing a new refrigerator can be quite a task. Researching the sheer number of types and brands can be quite a daunting task. First you have to decide the type of refrigerator that you want: French Door Refrigerator, Side by Side Refrigerator, or Bottom Freezer Refrigerator. After you select the type of refrigerator that you want, then comes a harder decision, the brand. Maybe you know someone that recently purchased a refrigerator and because they rave about their refrigerator, you select a similar brand. Or, maybe you google refrigerator reviews and select the “top” reviewed brand. However you end up selecting your refrigerator, at the end of the day you begin to realize the importance of conserving the investment of your time and money. If you already have a refrigerator, the importance of conserving its life and importance can’t be understated.

Enter Preventative Maintenance (PM)…….
So what is preventative maintenance? Preventative maintenance is performing maintenance on a piece of equipment so that the likelihood of failure is lessened. Don’t be afraid, of the word “maintenance”, because changing the oil in your car is also considered to be maintenance. If you change the oil in your car, then you have the ability to perform some of the Preventative Maintenance Items for your refrigerator. And like changing the oil in your car, you can always go to your local appliance repair shop to help you perform the PM items that you may be hesitant about. This will allow you to preserve your brand new or used refrigerator for as long as you can. Now, here’s the top 3 Preventative Maintenance Items that you can perform on your refrigerator. They won’t be in any specific order, these are just some of the important items that are easy to perform, but play a huge role in increasing the life of your refrigerator. 

You may already know some of these tips, but I will elaborate on the reasoning behind them. In my experience understanding the “why” of something helps you to better recognize the importance of accomplishing this task.

Top 3 Preventative Maintenance Tips

Clean the Coils in your Refrigerator. This tip is probably a popular one, but let’s dive into the reasons behind cleaning the condenser coils, the locations of these coils, and the frequency of cleaning these coils.  The condenser frequently has air passing over it. Debris, hair, dirt and etc., gets caught in the condenser coils from the room air. When this happens, the compressor will work twice as hard (or maybe more), to maintain the temperature that you have your refrigerator set. Because the compressor has to work harder, the service life will decrease causing it to fail prematurely. Now you have to call a repairman….
The condenser coils are mainly located in two areas on most all types of refrigerators: underneath the refrigerator and at the back of the refrigerator. If the condenser is underneath the refrigerator you should unplug the refrigerator, and with someone to assist, slightly tip the refrigerator over, so that the coils are visible. Note that you may have to remove the contents of the refrigerator. If the coils are located at the back of the machine, unplug the refrigerator and slide forward. There may be cardboard or a metal plate covering the area. Once the area is visible, you can use a vacuum with an attachment to clean the coils, and you can also use a condenser coil brush. This brush is sold in most appliance shops.
Lg Refrigerator Dirty back air vents

Depending on the amount of people, pets, and the cleanliness of your floors, this these coils should be cleaned every 3 months.

Inspect/Clean or Replace Door Seals/Gaskets. Here is another common preventative maintenance item that I’m sure you’ve heard about, but let’s look closer at the benefits, and the frequency of inspection etc. of your door seals. The door seals or gaskets are usually made of rubber with a magnetic strip and is found in inside the door frame. The primary purpose of a door gasket or seal is to ensure that the door is closed shut, ensuring that warm moist air won’t be able to get inside the refrigerator. This also ensures that the cold air generated inside the refrigerator is not allowed to escape. It is very difficult for your refrigerator to maintain cold temperatures inside when cold air is escaping and warm air is allowed to enter. This will cause the energy needed to maintain the set temperature to increase. This increase in energy will translate to an increased electric bill, as well as potential premature failure of refrigerator components due to a need in increased output. Seals should be inspected to ensure proper conditions. If the seals are damaged or beginning to fall off the frame they should be replaced immediately.

When you receive the seals that need to be replaced before installation make sure that gaskets are not twisted or warped. If needed use warm water or a hairdryer to make the gasket is as straight as possible. There are usually 3 types of installation styles for door seals. The first style is one in which the gasket is pushed into a groove around the parameter of the door. The second style is one in which the gasket is held behind a liner by a retainer lip found on the refrigerator. The last style of installation is by loosening the screws and fitting the gaskets between the inner and outer door panels. Once installed make sure that there is no gap between the gasket and frame, over time the door seals will flatten. Petroleum jelly can be used to ensure that the seals won’t bend near the hinged area.

If a new door seal is not needed, make sure that the gaskets are thoroughly cleaned. Debris can get caught in the rubber stopping the door from closing fully. The gaskets or door seals should be inspected every 2-3 months.

Check the Refrigerator’s Internal Temperature. This is probably a preventative maintenance item that is not as common as the prior two items. You should regularly check your refrigerator’s internal temperature to ensure little variation throughout the day. A food thermometer can be used to verify the consistency of the temperature over time. It would be a good practice to verify the temperature between 2-3 hour increments. During this time, it is important that the refrigerator door remained closed for the duration the increments. 3 trials should be enough to verify any fluctuations in temperature that may occur. If your refrigerator is running and the temperature has dropped only 3-5 degrees, the refrigerator’s cooling process is in great condition. If there are large fluctuations, the first two items, as well as other troubleshooting techniques may be needed. If there is any issue with temperature fluctuations, an appliance repair technician should be used to check the refrigerator’s functions.

These are just 3 of the main preventative maintenance items that can be of great help when it comes to preserving your refrigerator. Preventing problems from happening, is very important, and could end up being a great investment for your new or used refrigerator. If you enjoy the tips as well as the explanation click here to learn more tips. These tips include preventative maintenance measures for other home appliances.