Regular fridge maintenance will prolong the life of your unit by many years. By doing a few basic things a few times a year your fridge will look better, cool better, use less power, and last longer.
The number one preventative measure for a longer lasting fridge is simply keeping it clean.
Dirt, debris, dust, food stuffs, and unwanted pests can all impact on the performance and lifespan of your fridge.
The following basic cleaning measures should be performed every six months if you want your fridge to well and truly outlive the warranty that your supplier has given you.
Keep the door seal clean: Use a mixture of one part white vinegar and 4 parts warm water. Use cotton buds and dip them it into the mixture. Clean all of the crevices in your door seal thoroughly making sure to remove any lodged food particles and stains. An old toothbrush works wonders in removing grime.
If there is mould or mildew in your seal then make a small mix to eliminate them with the use of eucalyptus oil. Just use a small bowl of cold water and half a dozen drops of eucalyptus oil. Wipe the entire seal using a clean cloth dipped in the mixture. Repeat if necessary, and ensure the mixture penetrates the crevices of the seal. The eucalyptus oil will also help your seal to remain supple and stop it from cracking and rotting.
If your seal is beyond repair then contact your supplier for a new seal. They are easy to fit and there are multiple videos on You Tube showing how easy it is to replace your own seal.
Remove dust from the coils: The coils are known as both the condenser and evaporator. In high end units they are made of copper and help the refrigerant in the system to cool quickly. In cheaper units they are made from steel, aluminium, and a mix of copper. There are fans that blow air onto the coils to help the refrigerant inside the piping to cool so that a fridge can come down to temperature as quickly as possible. When these coils get covered in dust and cobwebs they cannot release heat as efficiently. Your job is to gently clean these coils with a soft brush attached to a vacuum cleaner, or with a soft paint brush. The fans will also need to be cleaned to prolong their life. Ensure that you unplug the fridge first, before removing the back or front plate to access the coils. Contact the manufacturer to ascertain the correct procedure to clean your particular unit. Remember that there is a high risk of electrocution and no fridge maintenance should be performed whilst the fridge is plugged in.
Clean the grates on front-venting units: Fridges that breath at the front rather than the rear are designed to be built into cabinetry. These units suck cool air in, and blow warm air out. Over time the grates that sit at the bottom of the unit will accumulate dust, debris, and pet hair. Clean these grills and grates out every 3 months using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
Clean the fridges interior: See the Bar Fridges Australia blog on cleaning your fridges interior. Keeping the interior vents clean that allow air flow throughout your fridge is a must. Here’s the link.
Keep your fridge full: A well-filled fridge will actually use less power and operate less of the time. This is due to the fact that each time the door is opened the cold air inside your fridge will rush out, and warm air will rush in. The process is known as osmosis. Filling bottles of water and placing them in any empty spaces will greatly reduce the amount of osmosis taking place, as the cold liquid inside the containers cannot escape the fridge. Less warm air to re-cool each time the door is opened will prolong the life of the compressor and fans, and also reduce your electricity bill.