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By Kevin Hartmann October 1, 2021

FAQ: How do I Maintain my Refrigerator?

Appliance care might not be a top-of-mind concern for most people, but it should be! Good news though: a little effort goes a long way. In this FAQ series, we explore proper home appliance maintenance care starting with the kitchen! 

Few large appliances get such frequent use as our refrigerators, so it’s crucial to keep them at their best. Routine maintenance helps your refrigerator run more smoothly and efficiently. Proper care prevents breakdowns, keeps odors at bay, and best preserves the quality of your refrigerator contents. So if you want to extend the lifespan of your fridge as much as possible, often about 10-15 years, all it takes is a few simple tasks.

Every Day

  • Cover food: Odors can migrate through the fridge and freezer. Uncovered food can both release and absorb odors. 
  • Deploy help: A box of baking soda typically costs just one dollar: keep an open box in the fridge and freezer to keep things fresh without lifting a finger.

Every Month

  • Empty the ice bin: While you might not think of your ice cubes as ‘food’, you should. Ice can absorb freezer odors and solidify in the bottom of the bin. 
  • Give it some space: Unless your refrigerator is built for zero-clearance placement, make sure there is adequate space on all sides of the appliance.

Every Quarter

  • Inspect door gaskets: Dirty or damaged gaskets cause cold air to leak out, making your fridge work much harder than it needs to, so keep them clean! Use soapy water and dry them off completely. If they are loose, the embedded magnets may need to be replaced or remagnetized.
  • Level up: An unlevel refrigerator won’t close properly, which can strain the motor and cause condensation inside, which can lead to frost buildup on the evaporator. Place a level on the top of your refrigerator, then rotate the adjustable feet on the bottom of the unit until it’s level. Once the seals are cleaned and the unit is level, check for a proper seal by closing a dollar bill in the door. If it slips right out, you may need to have the door seals checked by a pro.

Every Six Months

  • Clean condenser coils: Condenser coils clogged with dust and pet hair stress the compressor and waste energy. It’s easy – unplug your fridge, remove the base grill, and use a coil cleaning brush, vacuum, and/or damp cloth to remove dust and debris. 
  • Replace water filter: A spent water filter can cause clogs and leaks (in addition to subpar water and ice). Check your owner’s manual for directions on how to remove and replace the filter. Next, run a few gallons of water through the new filter to remove any carbon residue. 
  • Clean the drip pan. Typically found at the bottom of the refrigerator, the drip pan should be drained and cleaned thoroughly to clear away the water, food, and mineral deposits.
  • Inspect the freezer for ice build-up. Ice thicker than ¼” calls for a defrost

Sound like a lot? It doesn’t have to be: Set up repeating calendar events for convenient reminders to make sure you don’t fall behind. And if you have any questions regarding what your Arizona home warranty requires to maintain coverage, reach out to any of our friendly customer service representatives.

 

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