The average life expectancy of a standard refrigerator is anywhere between 10-20 years. But if you’re wondering how to make your refrigerator last longer, we’re here to tell you that it’s not rocket science. With a little bit of extra care and maintenance, your fridge can function without problems for upwards of 14+ years.
Without further ado, here are the top four ways to make your refrigerator last longer!
Keep Your Fridge Clean
The best thing you can do for your fridge is to keep it clean inside and out. How often do you actually clean your fridge? If your answer lies somewhere between “When it starts to smell…” or “When something spills,” it’s not nearly enough. To keep your food safe and your refrigerator energy-efficient, deep clean it every three to four months.
In addition to cleaning the interior with soap and water, here are a few other ways you can make your refrigerator last longer by cleaning it!
Vacuum the Condenser Coils
The condenser is the heart of your refrigerator, as this component is responsible for removing heat — essentially keeping your refrigerator and its contents cold. Unfortunately, the coils are known to collect dust, dirt, and other debris that can reduce their effectiveness. If they get clogged, it could potentially lead to a breakdown.
One of the best ways to make your refrigerator last longer is by vacuuming the coils every six months. You can use a soft brush attachment to gently remove any debris without damaging these delicate parts. The coils are usually located underneath the fridge or behind it, depending on the make and model of your appliance.
Clean the Door Gaskets
The quickest way to ruin your refrigerator is by leaving the door open and forcing the motor to work harder to maintain the set temperature. And while you would never do this on purpose, it might be happening without your knowledge.
The gasket, or seal, along the refrigerator door is what keeps the cold air in and the warm air out. When this seal is damaged, it won’t be long before you have to call for refrigerator repairs.
Gently clean the gaskets with soapy water and a sponge to remove any debris that might prevent them from sealing properly. Then, make sure the seals aren’t loose by sticking half a dollar bill into the door and shutting it. If the bill slips out, you should consider calling an appliance repair specialist to examine the gaskets closely and see if they need replacing.
BONUS: Defrost the Freezer Regularly
Don’t forget to take care of the freezer when you’re looking for ways to make your refrigerator last longer! Follow the same maintenance steps and go one step further by defrosting at least once a year.
Frost buildup in the fridge or freezer doesn’t just impact food quality — it can also diminish your appliance’s efficiency. This will weaken your refrigerator overall. If you constantly struggle with frost buildup and turning the temperature down doesn’t seem to help, get in touch with a refrigerator repairman.
Don’t Keep Your Fridge Empty (Or Too Full)
The best-kept secret to making your refrigerator last longer is keeping it fully stocked. It might sound counterintuitive, but cold food items can actually help keep the temperature of the whole unit down. This will give your refrigerator’s motor a much-needed break, and the less the motor runs, the less likely it is to experience wear and tear.
On the other hand, it’s important not to overfill your fridge. Too much food will not only lead to issues with air circulation but can also cover the fans. Not to mention that it will cause you to keep the door open longer as you rummage through the fridge looking for a specific food item.
So, if you want to know how to make your refrigerator last longer, just remember that it’s important to strike a good balance between having too little versus too much food inside of it.
Keep The Top of the Fridge Clear
When you have a small enough kitchen, it’s tempting to use any available surface as storage — and your fridge certainly has a lot of empty space at the top. Resist the urge to store food items or kitchen accessories on top of your refrigerator. Anything left up there can interfere with your unit’s ability to dissipate heat.
Don’t Put Hot Food in the Fridge
We bet this is something you heard all the time from your parents as a kid. Now, it’s your turn to tell the members of your own family to not put hot food in the fridge — if you want to extend the life expectancy of your appliance, that is.
Hot foods not only make your refrigerator work harder but also create moisture that can get into the system and cause a malfunction. Always wait for the food to cool down before putting it in the fridge. It’s a little more time-consuming, but it’s a very simple way to make your refrigerator last longer.
Learn How to Make Your Refrigerator Last Longer With Appliance Doctors
As the Cayman Islands’ leading refrigerator installation and repair experts, we know a thing or two about how to take care of the most important appliance in your home. If you’re having trouble getting your fridge to work properly after checking the temperature, cleaning the coils, or following any of our other maintenance tips, contact us today!