Your refrigerator puts off the heat while chilling your food, and your refrigerator has to work harder if the air around it is hot. An overworked fridge wastes energy (and your money) and might have a shorter life. Fortunately, keeping your refrigerator cool can be simple with these 5 refrigerator maintenance tips:
Let it breathe. Leave space around the refrigerator for its hot air to move up and away:
- All top-mount models require 3/8 inches on the sides.
- Dynamic condenser models need 3/8 inches at the top.
- Static condenser models — the ones with a black coil on the back — require 3 inches at the top and 1 inch at the back between the condenser and wall.
Don’t make things worse. Avoid installing your refrigerator in direct sunlight or next to a range, cooktop, or wall oven.
If you have a refrigerator in a room that heats up during the summer, such as a storage room or garage, take steps to keep the room temperature under 110°F. Otherwise, the refrigerator always runs, forcing the compressor to cycle on the overload protector. That translates to warmer temps inside the refrigerator and freezer.
Remove dust. If your model has exposed condenser coils on the back, pull it away from the wall a few times each year and vacuum dust from the coils.
If the condenser is under the refrigerator, the condenser fan pulls in air through the front grill on the left side, passes the air through the condenser and over the defrost water pan, and returns into the room on the front right side. To keep the air flowing, remove dust and dirt on the floor near the air inlet grill and make sure nothing is lying in front of the refrigerator.
Mother was right. As your mother used to say, close the door! As you load food, remove food or ponder what to eat, keep the door open as briefly as you can. When you close the door, make sure nothing inside the refrigerator blocks the door from closing all the way. If the power goes out, keep the door closed as much as you can.
Empower it. If you have a refrigerator in a storage area or garage, it must be plugged into its own dedicated 115-volt, 60 Hz, AC-only electric outlet. Otherwise, it struggles to do its job without sufficient electricity, and that decreases appliance performance.