Since they’re operational around the clock and require very little in the way of daily maintenance, it’s easy to take refrigerators for granted. However, this doesn’t mean that your fridge can get by with no upkeep. Given how large an investment a dependable fridge represents, it’s in your financial best interest to keep your refrigerator up and running for as long as possible. Fortunately, properly caring for your fridge doesn’t have to eat up a lot of time or money. With the following tips at your disposal, getting the most out of your refrigerator should be a piece of cake.
Invest in a Home Warranty
High-quality refrigerators don’t come cheap. That being the case, if your fridge suddenly finds itself in need of serious repair or replacement, you should be prepared to spend a hefty sum. This is where a comprehensive home warranty can come in handy. A good home warranty will cover all of your household’s big-ticket appliances, thus ensuring that you don’t have to shell out a small fortune every time your fridge (or any other essential appliance) starts exhibiting problems.
Depending on how many years of use you want to get out of a brand-new fridge, investing in an extended warranty may also prove worth your while. While many refrigerators come with manufacturer warranties, these warranties tend to be very limited in scope. Conversely, per their name, extended warranties generally come with much longer coverage periods and cover a much broader range of issues. However, since these warranties often entail adding at least a couple hundred dollars on to an already massive purchase, many consumers are understandably hesitant to invest in them.
Clean the Coils
Refrigerator coils have a tendency to attract a fair amount of dirt, dust and assorted debris. Given their location, these coils are bound to get a little dirty, but when coil-based filth accumulates to an excessive degree, your fridge is forced to put forth more energy. Like most appliances, if refrigerators work too hard for too long, they’re liable to break down. Fortunately, an occasional coil cleaning can help this problem in the bud.
For starters, you’ll need to unplug your fridge and locate the coils. Older refrigerators generally have their coils in the back, whereas newer models have them hidden beneath the bottom panel. With older models, you’ll need to push the refrigerator forward in order to comfortably access the coils, and with newer ones, you’ll need to remove the bottom panel in order to get to them. If you’re unclear on the location of your fridge’s coils, consult the device’s owner’s manual. Once you’re able to comfortably access the coils, use a soft-bristled brush to scrape off any accumulated filth. Next, use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a narrow nozzle attachment to get rid of any remaining dirt. For best results, carry out this process at least once a year.
Check the Door Seal
In order to do its job efficiently, your fridge needs to remain securely shut. If the door seal has worn down over time, cool air is likely to escape, thus forcing the fridge to work even harder to maintain a consistent temperature. Unsurprisingly, this can reduce the device’s lifespan and lead to costly repairs. To ensure that your fridge’s door seal is in peak condition, make a point of checking it on a regular basis.
You can do this by closing the door on a small piece of scrap paper – and taking care to leave enough of the paper outside of the fridge that you’re able to comfortably tug at it. Once the door is closed, gently pull on the paper. If the seal is working properly, a little bit of resistance should prevent the paper from sliding out completely. However, if you encounter no resistance, you’ve likely discovered a weak spot. To stay on top of potential issues, make a point of periodically performing this test around the entire seal.
Many of us fail to appreciate how important our refrigerators are until they exhibit problems or suffer unexpected breakdowns. Since a working fridge is crucial to keeping perishable food items in edible condition, no household should regard refrigerator maintenance as an afterthought. Luckily, keeping your fridge in working condition for the foreseeable future doesn’t have to be pricey, challenging or time-consuming. When it comes to making a refrigerator last, a little bit of consistent effort can go a very long way.