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6 Common Refrigerator Maintenance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Refrigerator Maintenance

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day is November 15th each year.

This is a day meant to help people prepare for the coming holidays and the influx of food that comes with them. But you shouldn’t wait for the holiday each year to pay attention to the cleanliness and health of your refrigerator.

Only cleaning out your fridge once per year is one of many refrigerator maintenance mistakes people make. This can lead to a shortened lifespan for your fridge and to more expensive repairs.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the biggest refrigerator maintenance mistakes that people make, and how you can avoid them.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Overfilling

Speaking of the holidays and the food that comes along with them, overfilling a refrigerator is one of the biggest maintenance mistakes that people make. In order to function your fridge needs to be able to circulate the cold air so it can reach everything in the fridge.

Overfilling leads to restricted airflow and usually results in uneven temperatures throughout. These uneven temperatures put an extra strain on the fridge motor and are one of many signs that you may need a refrigerator repair.

Avoid making this mistake by making sure that no food items are blocking the vents inside the fridge and that there’s room for the air to circulate.

2. Not Cleaning Enough

Although it’s sometimes overlooked, you’re supposed to have a regular cleaning routine for your fridge. Not cleaning it enough can lead to germ and bacteria growth which can ruin your food at best and cause food poisoning at worst.

To avoid this, be sure to clean your fridge regularly. Some things you should pay extra attention to are the condenser coils at the back of the fridge, the gaskets around the doors, and the drainage system.

If the condenser coils get too clogged with dust and debris they aren’t able to do their job which will likely lead you to need potentially costly repairs. If the gaskets get too dirty it can make it so they can’t fully seal the door and can lead to permanent damage to them.

If the drainage system gets clogged it can cause leaks on the floor around the fridge. This can both damage your floors and present a slipping hazard.

3. Leaving the Door Open

Another big mistake people make is leaving the fridge door open. This allows the cold air inside to escape and the warm air from outside to get in. Once again, this leads to the motor having to work much harder which can cause it to overheat and leads to damage.

This isn’t only about the human error of leaving the door open for too long, but also when the gasket isn’t sealing properly. A faulty gasket causes the same problem, but continuously.

Avoid this mistake by not leaving the door open any longer than is necessary, and by routinely checking that the gaskets are in good condition. If they’re damaged, repairing the refrigerator damage is critical. You can attempt the fix by yourself, or consider hiring a professional service.

4. Setting the Temperature Too Low

Even though a fridge may come with a setting that is extra low, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it. Fridges have an ideal temperature setting and if you deviate too far from it they will need to work harder.

Setting the temperature too low can lead to your food freezing, which can ruin certain foods. It can also cause ice to build up on the interior surfaces of the fridge which can then lead to more damage.

Some commercial fridges now come with more sophisticated thermostat controls built in, but residential fridges will mainly consist of a temperature dial. Avoid making this mistake by either checking the refrigerator manual for the normal refrigerator temperature setting or by contacting a professional to ask.

5. Not Positioning for Ventilation

Part of how refrigerators keep food at safe, cool temperatures is by expelling any heat from the interior of the fridge. If the fridge isn’t positioned with proper refrigerator ventilation in mind there won’t be room for the vents to get rid of that hot air and it can cause the fridge to malfunction.

There are usually vents on the back and top of your fridge and they need room to breathe, so you don’t want to place the fridge directly against a wall or other piece of furniture. Additionally, you don’t want to cover the top of the fridge with anything that is going to block those vents.

This is another time when you need to pay extra attention to the cleanliness of your fridge because when too much dust and debris gets into those vents they aren’t able to do their jobs. The dust can clog them making it much more difficult to expel the hot air.

6. Refrigerating Food That’s Still Hot

While it can be tempting to put still warm food into the fridge so you can be done with the after-meal clean-up, this is another mistake. You of course don’t want to leave food sitting out for too long, but putting it in the fridge before it’s cooled will also cause problems.

Adding the warm food to the cool fridge raises the overall temperature in the fridge, as well as the temperature of the items around the warm food. This can spoil foods that are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and again makes the unit have to work harder to maintain its cool temperature.

Don’t Make These Refrigerator Maintenance Mistakes

Whether you’re in a commercial kitchen or in your home, doing regular refrigerator maintenance is critical to extending the life of your refrigerator. Be sure to avoid making these refrigerator maintenance mistakes and you’ll be that much closer to keeping your fridge in good working order.

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are in need of appliance repair services, we can help! Get a job quote from us today.

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