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Five Maintenance Mistakes That Could Be Detracting From Your Refrigerator's Efficiency

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Improving the efficiency of your refrigerator can significantly lower your utility expenditures on your kitchen. 

Unfortunately, many homeowners make some common refrigerator maintenance mistakes that cost them money and cause the perishable goods they store in their refrigerator to go bad faster.

The following are five of these mistakes:

Going years without a defrost

Over time, frost will build up around the interior coils of your refrigerator. This frost could detract from efficiency of the thermal transfer that takes place between refrigerator components. 

Frost accumulates not only on the coils, but also along the interior walls of a refrigerator. Frost along the walls accumulates especially easily in older refrigerator models. 

A newer refrigerator model may have a self-defrost features that makes it so that you don't have to worry about this maintenance task. However, you will probably have to do a periodic defrost if you have an older model. For optimal refrigerator performance, you may want to consider defrosting as often as once every week

Keeping the temperature too low

It's recommended that refrigerator temperature be kept at between 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the temperature lower is a waste of energy. Keeping the temperature higher could lead to premature food spoilage. 

Neglecting to replace a torn gasket

Your refrigerator gasket is the rubber that runs all along the door and creates a seal between the interior wall and the door when the refrigerator closes.

This gasket is important for preventing hot air from getting inside your refrigerator and for preventing the cold air inside from exiting the unit. Over time, a refrigerator gasket is likely to become torn or obstructed by debris.

Inspect your gasket periodically and have it replaced if you notice any imperfections in the seal to maximize your refrigerator's efficiency. 

Allowing condenser coils to accumulate dirt and debris

Condenser coils play an important role in keeping your refrigerator cold by removing heat from the refrigerator's interior. However, they can't do this as effectively if they become covered by dirt and debris. 

Condenser coils are typically located at the bottom of your refrigerator beneath the grille at the back of the unit. This grille must be snapped off so that the coils can be cleaned with a bristle brush and vacuumed. 

Designing your kitchen so that your refrigerator is kept right up against walls and cabinets

Your refrigerator needs air to flow freely into it through vents to work effectively. If you have your refrigerator placed right up against your walls, air flow is restricted around the unit.

Make sure that there is at least 1 inch of space surrounding your refrigerator for optimal air circulation and efficiency.