In the average American home today, the refrigerator surely deserves an award for its ability to supply years of nonstop food preservation and convenience. Although these appliances have been in use consistently for nearly a century now, most people know surprisingly little about them. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge can lead to less efficient performance or even serious repair issues. If you would like to learn more about your home's refrigerator and how to use it for optimal performance, the following pro care tips are a great place to begin.
Resist the urge to overfill
Unlike chest and upright home freezers which work best when filled, the refrigerator relies on the circulation of air between stored foods to make sure they are all kept at a safe temperature. Overfilling the appliance can interfere with cold air movement, prevent proper cooling, and allow humidity issues to form, making the appliance work even harder.
Pro care tip: Make it a point to organize your fridge before each shopping trip to remove foods that are past their prime, clear out space, and encourage optimal air flow.
Give it room to breathe
Modern refrigerators have been expanding in size as the demand for more food storage space has increased over the past few decades. These design expansions can lead to instances where the appliance barely fits. Owners often make the mistake of pushing the appliance too far back, until it is flush with the wall behind it, in order to prevent it from sticking out beyond the edge of nearby kitchen cabinets.
This too-close proximity to the wall can prevent the appliance from achieving proper air flow around the coils. When insufficient air flow is a continuing problem, your refrigerator's components will have to switch on and run more often than they should, using extra energy and increasing the amount of wear they receive.
Pro care tip: Always maintain a two-inch space between your fridge and the wall behind it so that your fridge can operate at maximum efficiency without overworking its components.
Keep the coils and surrounding area clean
The refrigeration coils for most home refrigerators are located on the back or underneath the appliance. If these coils become covered in household dust or pet hair, they will not be able to perform their job of cooling and condensing the refrigerant your appliance uses to keep your food properly chilled.
Pro care tip: Make it a point to pull out your fridge at least once per month and vacuum the coils, as well as the areas behind and underneath the appliance to help keep it running efficiently.
Refrigerator breakdowns are inconvenient and can quickly spoil hundreds of dollars of food. If it has been a while since your fridge was serviced or you just feel it may not be operating as efficiently as it should, scheduling a service call with an appliance service like D& S Appliance as soon as possible is a wise move.