Regular maintenance saves money, wear and tear on refrigerator

By Joel Wensley
Today we’re going to share a few tips on maintaining your refrigerator for longer life and a more efficient operation. Considering that it’s running 24 hours a day, a refrigerator has the potential to waste a lot of energy if not properly maintained.

We’ll start at the door by checking the seals and the gaskets. Found on the refrigerator and freezer doors, gaskets are designed to seal in cool air and to keep out warm air, which is vital to the efficiency of your fridge. So it’s important to make sure that the seals are clean and don’t leak out all the cool air.

One way to test it is to shut a dollar bill in the door, then see if you can pull it out easily. If the bill slips out easily with no resistance, you may want to consider replacing the gasket, or first, try cleaning it with a vinegar and water solution.

Next, let’s pull the fridge away from the wall so we can access the cooling coils. Dusty condenser coils cause a refrigerator to work harder, which translates into higher energy bills and a shorter life expectancy for it. To prevent this from happening, use a vacuum brush to remove dust buildup from the coils every three months.

Now we’ll want to clean the drain hole and drip pan. Most refrigerators rely on a drain hole and drip pan to remove condensation, so it’s important that these are clean and allowed to remove water like they should. Clean any food particles and mineral deposits from the drain hole, then scrub out the drain pan.

That should do it. With a little bit of maintenance, your food should stay cooler with less effort — which means less electricity use and lower utility costs.

(Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a contributor on Fox 2 News on WJBK-TV Channel 2, and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.)