Home » How to Maintain Your Refrigerator: 3 Ways to Make It Last

How to Maintain Your Refrigerator: 3 Ways to Make It Last

Learn about the 3 ways to maintain your fridge and when to call on your home warranty provider for help. | SHW blog

When it comes to summertime, our refrigerators work incredibly hard. We often worry about the AC keeping the house cool but forget another appliance which keeps its contents ice cold 24/7. Without the fridge, families have lots of trouble keeping order in the home.

There are common warning signs when your fridge begins to act up, and if you notice a mechanical mishap, submit a claim for your home warranty.

We’ll send a repair technician in no time. You can also receive your free quote today for future coverage on your home appliances and systems. Call 860-288-4791 to get started.

Signs Your Refrigerator is Dying

The symptoms aren’t always clear, but there are four common signs your fridge has a problem.

  • Ice maker does not work.
  • The fridge sweats so that the floor is wet.
  • The back coils are burning hot.
  • Temperatures are too high or too low.

If you have these troubling signs, it’s not always too late. Make sure you follow how to maintain the refrigerator and keep track on a routine schedule to get the most out of the lifetime of your fridge.

Smiling woman taking a fresh lemon out of the fridge thanks to her home warranty. | SHW Blog

How to Maintain the Fridge

Just like all appliances, the fridge requires unique attention. Many people think maintaining your refrigerator comes with a few simple tasks, like adjusting the temperature, cleaning your spilled food or keeping ice from forming in the back, but these just scratch the surface.

For households that frequently cook at home, keeping your food refrigerated is an important task. Routine fridge maintenance will also help you cut down on your electricity costs by helping it run more efficiently.

1. Clean the coils.

Maintaining your refrigerator can start with checking the coils. You might notice the back of your fridge excessively heating up which is a common sign the fridge is working extra-hard to keep your food cold.

Start by making sure there is no debris blocking the back of your fridge, such as cardboard or items that may have fallen behind the fridge. Then, clear the back of your fridge by using a bristle brush and vacuum to clean the area for buildup and dust. This should be routine maintenance for you to check on at least twice per year, especially before and after summer time when your fridge works the hardest. If you still notice your fridge is working extra hard, it might be time for a new fridge.

2. Clean or replace the door seal.

The seal around the door is called the gasket. This rubber seal can become damaged over time and may prevent the door from fully closing. 

First, check for debris in the way and use a cloth with cleaning supplies to clean around the door for grime build up. If your door has trouble closing or if you notice damage around any part of the seal, you may have to replace the gasket. Petroleum jelly is a quick fix to pack small tears with a sealing material. If you notice multiple tears, then it will have to be replaced. 

In order to completely replace the door seal, be sure to check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for the correct type of seal. Once you have the right type of seal, measure twice and cut once, unscrew the current gasket from around the fridge, and install your new one. Remember to shut off the power to your fridge before installing.

3. Clean or defrost the inside.

You might notice strange odors in your fridge or excess frost around the inside. It’s best to routinely defrost the inside of your fridge to prevent this built-up when you notice it.

To defrost and clean the inside, you will have to turn your fridge off, empty it, allow the frost to melt, and then clean the inside. Use standard all-purpose cleaners to clean the inside of any food buildup while wiping away the moisture. This will get rid of any traces of food and help your fridge run more efficiently.

Tips to Make Your Fridge Last Longer

In addition to maintenance, there are a few simple tricks to make sure you’re not pushing your fridge too hard. These will help make your refrigerator last, but remember, it’s even more important to conduct routine maintenance.

  1. Don’t overfill your fridge or keep it empty. This will make your fridge work too hard or could be set too cold when it’s not needed.
  2. Keep it away from the heat. Don’t place your fridge directly next to a warm area of your home, such as the oven or beside a heating vent.
  3. Don’t store heavy items on top of your fridge. This could decrease its efficiency for cooling off the back coils.

If all else fails, it could simply be time for a new fridge.

When to Replace the Fridge?

Refrigerators don’t last forever, and they’re very important to every household. The lifespan of a fridge can last all the way up to 19 years, but this is in the best possible circumstances.

Luckily, with a home warranty, repair or replacement is covered on your fridge no matter how old it is. Your home warranty will cover all home appliances and systems detailed under the terms of service despite their age. Just keep in mind, if you’ve had any previous repairs you will have to provide those records to Select Home Warranty.

In cases such as coils that are hot to the touch and inside refrigerator temperatures that won’t keep your food cold enough, it’s likely time to get a new fridge. That’s when Select Home Warranty is here to shield your home and your wallet.

Don’t forget – you can have your refrigerator covered by a home warranty in the case of an appliance breakdown! Get your free quote today or call 860-288-4791.