Open Fridge with food inside it

Refrigerator and Freezer maintenance 101

Learning about your homes appliances may seem boring but it’s a good idea in order to make sure they are maintained so they do not break down on you. Two of the most depended on appliances in your home are the Refrigerator and Freezer. How do freezers work? How do refrigerators work? Let’s get to know them and how they work.

How Do They Work?

The common misconception is that the refrigerator and freezer keep things cool.

The fridge and freezer are actually not keeping their compartments cold, but rather absorbing the heat from the items and open air inside them. The coolant (refrigerant) absorbs the heat, which reduces the temperature inside the fridge and freezer compartments. This process is done through coils, moving the refrigerant through them raising its temperature until the refrigerant becomes a liquid and flows through the coils inside the fridge and freezer compartments. As it flows through them it cools down the inside of the fridge and freezer. The refrigerant absorbs the heat that is inside the fridge and freezer. Then the refrigerant evaporates and goes back into the compressor and the process repeats itself, keeping your food fresh or frozen.

What’s Likely to Break?

Everyone wants to have a reliable refrigerator, however here are the top 5 things that go wrong in your refrigerator are usually the fridge or freezer not being cool enough, the ice maker not working, strange noises, ice or water dispenser not working, or just plain not working. These things can happen to any fridge regardless of make or model. Knowing how to handle a few things on your own is a good idea to help save some money.

If your fridge or freezer isn’t keeping your food cool or frozen a few things to check our first are: the door seals, adjust the temperature, try cleaning the coils off. If the door seals are worn, the cool air might be escaping and you might need to replace the door seals. This is a pretty easy fix and inexpensive. If you turn the temperature down and it still isn’t keeping cool you might need to replace the thermostat. If you try cleaning the coils and it still isn’t cooling properly you should call in a professional to check it out.

Ice Cubes melting - IcemakerNo ice coming from your icemaker can be frustrating, but your food won’t spoil over not having ice made for you. You can ignore the problem and use ice trays like our parents did and move on with your life or if you know a little bit about how your ice maker works you might be able to diagnose the problem. If you do not know how your ice maker works and having premade ice is a must, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to help you discern if it is a motor or a kinked valve etc.

If strange noises are coming from your fridge it is likely the control board needs replaced. If you know how to do it, great! If you aren’t sure, you might need to call in a professional.

Ice or water are not coming from the dispenser anymore. Check the filter. If the filter hasn’t been changed in a while that may be blocking your water or ice from coming out. If you change your filter and still are not able to get ice or water to come through the dispenser you should check the water valve from your home into the fridge to make sure you are still getting water into your fridge. Be sure to shut off the water source before checking to see if water is still getting into your fridge! If water is getting into you fridge and you have replaced the filter and there is still no ice or water in your dispenser, it might be time to call in a professional.

If your fridge is just flat out not working your fridge could have experienced a power surge and it blow out the control panel. If you are familiar with how to replace a control panel, switch it out. If you are not you might want to call in a professional to do it. Also check your homeowners insurance policy, sometimes they will cover a replacement due to a power surge. However it is likely the deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy is more than a new control panel or a new refrigerator.

Maintenance Tips

Here are some refrigerator maintenance tips and freezer maintenance tips to keep them working properly here are a few key tips: Keep your fridge and freezer full! An empty fridge or freezer has to work harder to maintain the cool temperatures. Routinely clean the coils. Make sure the temperature of the fridge is between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Your freezer should be kept at 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t just open the doors and stare into your fridge or freezer leaving the doors open makes your fridge work harder to keep your food frozen or fresh!

A full fridge is a happy fridge

A full fridge is a happy fridge!

Top Rated Refrigerators

If you need to replace your refrigerator be sure to do some research on which one will be the best buy for your money. Also keep in mind you should measure to make sure the fridge you buy fits into the space you have available. According to Amazon.com five star rating system the top rated brands are Kenmore, Midea, Danby, GE and Fridigaire.

Protect Your Investment

It’s weird to think of your refrigerator as an investment, but it is! The purchase alone isn’t always cheap but it likely will ‘keep’ your food fresh and frozen. Having a reliable freezer to keep your food frozen without damaging it is important! Imagine if you had to replace all the food in your fridge or freezer! That is easily hundreds of dollars worth of frozen or fresh food. Having an appliance you can rely on is important, not just for your pocket book but your health as well. If your food starts to spoil and you eat it, you can get sick!

Along with making sure you maintain your fridge and freezer consider getting a home warranty to cover those unexpected expenses like the control panel going out, replacing refrigerant, or a thermostat. Having a home warranty not only would cover your refrigerator and freezer, but all of your other home appliances as well. With the average cost of repairing a refrigerator being over $100, it is important to see what a home warranty service agreement will cover: Select Home Warranty’s Bronze Care Package includes: clothes washer and dryer, garbage disposal, refrigerator, stove or oven, built in microwave, cooktop, and dishwasher. Total Protect Home Warranty offers plans not as tier levels but packages like an appliance package versus a home system package or the combination of both. You can personalize your home warranty coverage needs. Remember that if you do not maintain your appliances and they show signs of neglect that the home warranty coverage may not cover an issue if it could have been avoided with proper maintenance and care.

 

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