Prepare Your Refrigerator for Christmas – a Checklist
For most people, the holiday season means food and lots of it. This means storing, freezing, and keeping many of our favorite traditional meals in our refrigerator units. In other words, there is no better time of year to ensure that your fridge and other kitchen appliances are operating the way they should be. Think about it; Christmas is one of the worst times of the year for you to encounter any problems with your appliance.
So keep reading, and we’ll go over a few important maintenance checks to ensure that you and your kitchen appliance are ready for the holidays!
Makes Sure Your Refrigerator Keeps the Cold
To keep your holidays running smoothly, you’ll want to check and make sure your fridge is properly cooling before starting to prepare any big meals. Check your thermostat to ensure your unit is between 35 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the most optimal temperature range for the interior of your fridge to be at. If your fridge isn’t cooling enough, you may want to check that it is getting enough power, which means inspecting the outlet, power cord, or even just checking to see if the light in the fridge comes on when you open the door.
If your unit is being powered properly but is not in its ideal temperature range, there are several other issues that could be causing your problem.
Examine Your Door Seals
If your unit isn’t cooling food effectively, it could be that cool air is escaping from it. This might be a result of a problem with the unit’s door seals. If the door seals aren’t secured tightly when the door is closed, cool air will escape and warm air may be getting in.
Fortunately, there is an easy DIY test to check whether your door seals are working properly or not. Start by closing the door to your unit with a piece of paper wedged in between the magnetic seals. If you can easily remove the piece of paper with the door closed, your seals aren’t securing tightly enough, which means that cool air can escape. On the other hand, if you encounter resistance when trying to remove the piece of paper, you can be sure your seals are keeping the cool air in.If you do need to replace your door seals, they range in cost from $45 to $75 and are easy enough to install on your own.
Need help finding replacement seals or installing them? Don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Clean The Condenser Coils
If your condenser coils are covered with dust or debris, it will hinder your unit’s cooling process. So with that in mind, you’ll need to periodically clean them to ensure your refrigerator is running as efficiently as it can. To do this, you will need a vacuum and a wet rag to wipe them down. However, you can also order a specialty condenser coil brush, which can be purchased for about $10.
You may want to plan to clean your condenser coils once or twice per year to prevent build-up.
Remove Any Ice Build Up In The Refrigerator And Freezer
The build-up of ice in your fridge or freezer can also inhibit the flow of cool air, causing inefficient cooling. If you are noticing a larger build-up of ice, there are a few things you may want to check. For instance, your door seals might not be closing properly, or your door hinges may be loose, causing warm air to get inside the unit. In both cases, this would lead to a bit of unusual ice build-up. Using a brush is possibly the easiest method for clearing out ice build-up.
However, if the ice build-up is significant, you may choose to remove everything from the fridge, unplug the unit, and let everything melt before giving it a good cleaning.
Broken Temperature Controls
If your fridge is not cooling enough (or if it’s cooling too much), it could be as simple as a problem with its temperature controls, or thermostat. If you’ve tested your door seals, cleaned the condenser coils, and removed any ice build-up, your problem is likely going to be found in your unit’s temperature controls. To test whether your fridge’s thermostat is working correctly, you will need to use an ohmmeter.
First, move your thermostat dial counterclockwise to the zero setting. Then slowly move the dial clockwise until it is set at a temperature that’s colder than the air around the fridge. Your ohmmeter should read somewhere between zero to 0.2Ω.
However, if there is no reading, or a reading higher than that, you’ll likely need to replace your thermostat.
Malfunctioning Main Board
The main control board of your refrigerator controls the defrost cycle, compressor, and in newer models, it might also control several other features as well. Regardless, problems with the main board can cause your unit to run inefficiently. Afterall, these control boards are susceptible to the same issues as the motherboards inside computers. Therefore, power surges and dysfunctions elsewhere in the unit can cause problems with your main control board.
If you notice your fans are running while the condenser is off, this means there is likely a problem with your control board. You will need to replace it, but you should also make sure you know what caused the problem in the first place; otherwise, it may cause a problem with your new control board as well.