Important Refrigerator Maintenance
When it comes to making your home more energy efficient, cleaning your fridge’s condenser coils or fan might be one of the cheapest ways to accomplish just that. It’s a task that doesn’t require much in the way of technical equipment or know how, rather you just need to know where to look. By keeping your fridges condenser coils or fan clean, you could improve its energy efficiency by as much as 9kWh a month. Things you’ll need for the job: Stiff Brush - Vacuum Cleaner with a Hose Attachment - Flashlight - Screwdriver - Dust Mask
1. Unplug your fridge or turn the power off at the breaker. If you’re going to be working near any sort of an electric motor, it’s best to make sure that there is no power running to it while your working in or around it. After all, safety first! To get to the power cord you might have to pull the fridge away from the wall. Once you’ve found the plug, simply unplug it. If you elect to turn the power off at the breaker, simply open up the home’s
STEPS 1 AND 2
breaker panel and find the switch that controls the power to fridge and flip it to the off position (it should be labeled).
2. Locate the fridges condenser coils or fan. Depending on the design of your fridge, its condenser coils or fan could be in one of two places. They will either be in the front or back of the fridge and will likely have some sort of grate or covering to help protect them from collecting dust and lint. New fridges may have internal coils. If you don’t find the coils in the rear or the bottom of your fridge, this may be the case for your fridge.
STEPS 3 AND 4
3. Remove the grate in front of the coils or fan. In some cases the protective grate simply snaps in and out of place. If this is true of your fridge, gently pull on the grate until it pops free. However, if your fridge’s protective grate is held in place by screws you’ll need to remove those first. After you’ve removed the screws with your screwdriver the grate should lift free. Time to strap on the dust mask, if you haven’t already.
4. Scrub the protective grate and GENTLY clean the coils and/or fan. By now, it should be very apparent just what needs to be scrubbed. So take your stiff brush and remove any dust or other debris as best you can. Be sure to remove as much as you can, since any left over dust or debris will prevent the condenser coil from working as efficiently as possible. However, be careful to do this gently so as not to dent or damage any coils in the process.
5. Clean up. Now that you’ve likely created a giant dust bunny on your floor, take your vacuum and run it both on and around the condenser coils or fan. Be sure to suck up any debris that has fallen down onto the floor during the cleaning process. Remember, the idea is to remove as much of the debris as possible. After you’ve gone over the area once, take your flashlight and give your coils or fan a thorough visual inspection. You may have to go back and re-scrub any areas that were particularly dirty.