The fridge is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a home, and it’s important to keep it running smoothly all year long. Here are eight ways to do just that!
1. Keep it clean.
Regularly clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator with a light detergent. Once a month, do a thorough cleaning by emptying the refrigerator and scrubbing all shelves and drawers. If your refrigerator contains a water filter, be sure to replace it as directed by the manufacturer.
2. Check the seals.
The door seals prevent warm air from entering and cold air from leaving, thus it is essential that they be in excellent shape. If they are broken or damaged, air will escape, causing the refrigerator to work harder (and use more energy) to maintain the desired temperature. Regularly inspect the seals and replace them if required.
3. Keep the coils clean.
Dirty coils are one of the most common reasons refrigerators break down. The coils are located either on the back or bottom of the fridge, and they need to be kept free of dust and dirt in order to function properly. Vacuum them regularly (at least once a year) to keep them clean.
4. Don’t overload the fridge.
If the refrigerator is overstuffed, it will have to work harder to maintain cold temperatures. This may lead to greater energy usage and accelerated wear and tear. Be aware of the amount of food you store in the refrigerator, and only keep what you need.
5. Let hot food cool before storing it.
If you place hot food immediately in the refrigerator, the appliance will have to work harder (and use more energy) to chill the food. Allow heated food to cool to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator.
6. Store food properly.
Storing food properly can help it stay fresh longer and prevent spoilage. Be sure to wrap meat and poultry tightly, and store fruits and vegetables in the appropriate crisper drawer. Regularly check expiration dates and throw out anything that is past its prime.
7. Don’t Leave the Door Open!
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: Every time you open the fridge door, cold air escapes and warm air enters. This causes the fridge to work harder (and use more energy) to maintain the desired temperature. So be sure to close the door as soon as you’re done retrieving what you need.
8. Check the temperature.
Most refrigerators are set to automatically maintain a temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but you may need to adjust this depending on your needs. A good rule of thumb is to set the fridge at 38 degrees and the freezer at 0 degrees. Use a thermometer to regularly check the temperatures and make adjustments as necessary.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your refrigerator running smoothly all year long!