How To Maintain Your Refrigerator

refridgerator cartoon

Image credit: The New Homemaker

One of the larger investments inside your home is your refrigerator. Simple maintenance and cleaning procedures can greatly extend the life and efficiency of it. Here are some pointers to keep your fridge running well now and for years to come.

    1. Clean the condenser coils.
      Dusty condenser coils cause a refrigerator to work harder; which translates into bigger energy bills and a shorter life expectancy for the fridge. To prevent this from happening, use a vacuum or broom to remove dust build up from the coils every three months (once a month if you have pets). Depending on the model that you own, the coils will either be located behind the refrigerator or underneath it. To access coils located underneath, remove the grill at the bottom front of the fridge. To access coils located behind, pull the unit out from the wall.

Be sure to unplug your refrigerator before doing anything with the condenser or coils.


  1. 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 function properly. Remove any food particles and mineral deposits from the drain hole according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. Also, be sure to scrub out the drain pan.

  2. Check and clean the gaskets.
    The gaskets on the refrigerator and freezer doors are designed to seal the cool air in and to keep the warm air out – vital for maintaining cooling efficiency. It is important to make sure that seal is as strong as it should be. Check the gaskets to see if there are any spots that are cracked or otherwise damaged. Shut a dollar bill or piece of paper in the door, and see if you can pull it out easily (the seal should create resistance). If either test turns up problems, consider replacing the gasket. Clean the gasket with an all-purpose cleaner or vinegar, and wipe dry.

  3. Change the water filter.
    Does your refrigerator have an ice maker or a water dispenser? If so, it probably also has a water filter that needs to be changed regularly. Replace your filter every six months or as recommended by the owner’s manual. Something to think about: water pulled through a dirty filter is often dirtier than before it was filtered.

  4. Check for level.
    If your refrigerator isn’t level the doors may not close on their own or may not seal as tightly as they’re supposed to – yet another opportunity for energy loss. Check to see if your fridge is level, by placing a carpenter’s level on top of your unit. If necessary, adjust the feet (by hand or with a wrench) until you achieve a level setting.

In addition:

  • Schedule your refrigerator cleaning on your calendar or use an online reminder service to ensure that you keep up with your regular maintenance.
  • Consult the owner’s manual of your refrigerator to see if there are any additional maintenance items recommended for the model that you own.


If your refrigerator or any other kitchen or laundry appliance needs serviced or replaced, contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us.


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