6 Habits That Will Slowly Damage Your Refrigerator
Your refrigerator is one of the most frequently used appliances in your home. While refrigerators may look like one of the more sturdy appliances in your home, they are extremely delicate, with a lot of sensitive parts, and can easily fall into disrepair if not taken care of properly. Employing some basic preventative maintenance habits can add to the lifespan of this typically expensive appliance.
It is understandable that most people prefer to overlook appliance maintenance chores. It really isn’t the most exhilarating task. But if you continue to put it off, it could result in your refrigerator malfunctioning and may require costly repairs down the road. To save yourself the headache and repair costs, it is suggested that you take a proactive approach to properly maintaining your refrigerator and giving it the extra TLC it so rightfully deserves.
Bad Habits That Are Slowly Damaging Your Refrigerator
While routinely cleaning out your refrigerator is a great idea, it isn’t the only maintenance habit you should adopt. We’ve put together a short list of dos and don’ts, as well as effective solutions, so your refrigerator will stay in stellar working condition for years to come.
Bad Habit #1: Overstocking Your Refrigerator
Overstocking your refrigerator is a bad habit that is all too common, especially when you have fresh groceries to unload. When you overload your refrigerator it can make it more difficult for the refrigerator to regulate the interior’s temperature and keep things cool, which may result in food spoiling faster. When the refrigerator is forced to work harder it can put unneeded strain on the compressor and condenser coils, which could lead to your refrigerator overheating.
- Solution – Leave enough room for air to circulate freely so you’re not overburdening your refrigerator. A good rule of thumb is keeping your refrigerator about 75% full. Another good habit to adopt is to remove old food before you go grocery shopping, leaving room to restock your fridge with new, fresher items.
Bad Habit #2: Forgetting to Routinely Clean the Condenser Coils
It is said that homeowners can avoid nearly 70% of all refrigerator repairs if they simply cleaned their condenser coils at least once a year. Your condenser coils can easily become caked with dust, debris, and pet hair if not properly cleaned and maintained. When the condenser coils become covered in grime it will prevent the refrigerator from effectively dissipating heat, which will force the compressor to work overtime to cool the unit. This not only puts more unneeded stress on the working components of your fridge, but it can result in higher energy bills as well.
- Solution – The solution is rather simple, but will take a little finesse and knowledge. First, you need to locate the condenser coils, which are either on the back of the refrigerator in traditional models, or above a silver service grate on Sub-Zero refrigerators. After you locate the coils, you’ll want to very gently remove any debris that has accumulated with a soft brush. Be sure to not damage the coils, as they are delicate and can bend if too much pressure is applied. To get an in-depth understanding of how to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils, here is our how-to guide for effectively cleaning your condenser coils on your Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Bad Habit #3: Not Changing the Water Filter Enough
The water filter is another fragile feature inside your refrigerator. If you have the type of fridge that has an ice and filtered water dispenser on the refrigerator door, then it would behoove you to regularly change the filter. Not only will this ensure that your drinking water and ice remains free of contaminants, but it will prevent sediment from building up in the pipes running through your refrigerator. The basic understanding that you don’t want your refrigerator to be working harder than it needs to be is the common thread to maintaining the more intricate components of your refrigerator.
- Solution – Refer to the user’s manual of your brand and model of refrigerator to know what water filter you need to buy. It is likely that you can purchase a new water filter straight from the manufacturer. It is recommended that you change your water filter every six months. If you only have an ice maker, and no water dispenser, you still need to change the filter to be certain that your ice is free of pollutants.
Bad Habit #4: Not Regularly Cleaning the Fridge
Regularly cleaning your fridge, both inside and out, may slip your mind because you’re simply too busy. We get it! That being said, making sure that your fridge is free of sticky spills, food splatters, and hardened food particles will ensure that you aren’t exposing yourself and your family to bacteria or food poisoning. As far as the functional aspect of cleaning your refrigerator goes, if food spills or splatters accumulate on the seal of the refrigerator door it can lead to degradation and cracking of the sealant, which will result in leaks. This will force your fridge to work overtime to cool the interior and cost you more in electricity.
- Solution – The solution is pretty self-explanatory, but frequency matters. It is recommended that you clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator every two weeks. While the first time may be a bit labor-intensive, the more frequently you clean your refrigerator the easier it will become. If you want to get more in-depth, we’ve created a helpful guide for deep cleaning your Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Bad Habit #5: Improperly Storing Food
Have you ever taken warm leftovers and moved them directly into the fridge? Well, you may be surprised to find out that doing so could unintentionally harm your refrigerator. Similar to setting the temperature too high, when you store hot or warm foods inside the refrigerator without allowing them to cool first could force your refrigerator to work extra harder to cool the interior.
- Solution – Allow your leftovers or food to safely cool on the counter, covered, before placing them in your refrigerator for safe and sanitary storage.
Bad Habit #6: Not Checking Refrigerator Door Seal
This one is important. The seal to your refrigerator door is vital to the functionality of your fridge. If left unchecked, they could start to deteriorate, get brittle, and crack. Thus causing them to break down and be unable to properly seal in cool air. This leads to a massive waste of energy, as your refrigerator has to work harder to operate.
- Solution – Regularly check the seal around your refrigerator door for any signs of wear and tear or cracking. If you notice that your refrigerator door isn’t resisting as much when you try to open it, and the suction feels weak, it may be time to call a professional to come and replace the seal.
Once you get in the habit of routinely maintaining, cleaning, and inspecting your fridge, it will become second nature to you. With a little effort and some trusty household tools, you will be able to keep one of the most important appliances in your home running smoothly and safely for the long haul. If you suspect that your refrigerator is starting to act up, like it isn’t cooling properly, or food is spoiled before the expiration date, or there are strange sounds coming from it, you may want to get a professional refrigerator repair technician to come check it out.
Who to Call If Your Sub-Zero Refrigerator Isn’t Working Properly
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Wilshire Refrigeration is abiding by all of the CDC recommendations so that we can continue to provide the high-quality service our clients are used to. We have stepped up our safeguards. All of our refrigerator repair technicians are fully outfitted in the appropriate preventative gear and are closely monitored for any symptoms of the coronavirus. Wilshire Refrigeration will go above and beyond to ensure that your environment is left unaffected when we come to service your appliances.
Wilshire Refrigeration is the only factory certified service provider for Sub-Zero refrigerators and appliances in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. If you need to get your Sub-Zero serviced, we’re the people to call. 800.427.3653