Sometimes a little can go a long way. Your refrigerator is no exception. Regular maintenance can save you money on your electric bill and add years to your refrigerator’s life. Did you know that refrigerators are usually the most energy-consuming appliance in your home – around 14% of your home’s energy consumption? If spending a few minutes maintaining your refrigerator could contribute to energy saved (and ultimately a little more cash in your pocket), would you do it?
When the condenser coils on your refrigerator are caked with dust, they have to run harder and longer, which results in more money shelled out for your utility bills and a shorter lifespan for your refrigerator. These coils are usually located underneath the refrigerator. Before you begin cleaning, be sure to unplug your refrigerator. Then remove the cover panel to reveal the coils. Grab your vacuum and carefully use the narrow nozzle attachment along with a long-handled bristle brush to clean out all the dust and debris. Replace your grille, and plug your refrigerator back in. It is really that simple! Cleaning the coils should be done twice a year or more frequently if you have a lot of pet hair in your home or your refrigerator is located in an especially dusty area such as a garage.
The gaskets on your refrigerator and freezer doors can also use some periodic cleaning and inspection. They are designed to seal the door shut so that the cold air can’t escape and the warm air can’t get in. Damaged or dirty gaskets can compromise the door’s seal and reduce the efficiency of your fridge. Check the gaskets thoroughly for damage or cracks, and clean them with vinegar (this helps prevent the growth of mildew). You can also shut a dollar bill in the door to check the seal. When you pull the bill, the seal should create resistance. If you find any damage or your dollar bill is removed easily, you should replace the gasket.
So pull out your refrigerator, and get to work. You will be surprised how painless it really is to keep your refrigerator running efficiently!