Essential DIY Refrigerator Maintenance And Repair Tips

These maintenance steps will prevent most refrigerator breakdowns.

Essential DIY Refrigerator Maintenance And Repair Tips

Spend 30 minutes on these simple maintenance steps to keep your fridge running in tip top shape.

It's hard to believe, but six simple maintenance steps will prevent almost 100 percent of refrigerator breakdowns and eliminate those service calls.

Take these steps and you can forget about spoiled food, lost time waiting for repair people and shelling out $70 an hour plus parts for the repair itself.

In this story, we'll show you how to keep your fridge humming and trouble-free.

And we'll also tell you what to check if a problem does occur.

You can eliminate more than 70 percent of service calls with this simple cleaning step (Photos 1 and 2). Skip this chore and you'll be contributing to your appliance repairman's retirement fund. Not to mention handing over $5 to $10 a month extra to your utility company because the fridge isn't running efficiently.

Do it twice a year or more often if you have shedding pets. Their fur clogs up the coils fast.

Condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. These coils cool and condense the refrigerant. When the coils are clogged with dirt and dust, they can't efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge.

Clean the coils with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil cleaning brush does a thorough job and will easily pay for itself (look for one at appliance parts stores). The brush is bendable to fit in tight areas. They can be used for cleaning your dehumidifier and air conditioner coils too.

Step 1: Remove the grille
Step 1: Remove the grille
The Family Handyman

Unsnap the grille at the bottom of the refrigerator to access the coils. If your coils are located on the back, you'll have to roll the fridge out to get at them.

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