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Your fridge is probably the most important appliance in your home - it's the center of your kitchen, you use it every day and it can affect your dining experience. Besides, a refrigerator is a big investment! So shouldn't you be doing everything you can to keep it in top shape?
Tips to organize your refrigerator
If you've just bought a new fridge you love, or want to increase the mileage of your trusty old fridge, there are a few things you can do to maximize your time together and make your fridge more efficient than ever. Try these five tips to extend the life of your refrigerator and make it work at its best.
Cooling coils are the beating heart that keeps your fridge ticking. They can usually be found behind or under the device - two places where a lot of dust, dirt and pet hair accumulates. These coils keep your food cold and your fridge working as it should, but when they get buried in layers of goo, their performance will drop sharply. If the buildup gets bad enough, the coils can even burn out completely! Every few months, be sure to vacuum the coils and remove any stray debris to reduce the extra strain on your refrigerator.
It can be tempting to use the top of your fridge as an extra shelf to store stray cereal boxes and other snacks for easy access, but resist the temptation! Your refrigerator releases excess heat through the top of the unit (which is why it always feels a little warm to the touch). Placing things on top traps heat, forcing the motor to work harder to maintain the optimum temperature inside the device. This can cause serious damage to the refrigerator and the food stored in it over time, so play it safe and keep the top clean.
The world of refrigerators' best kept secret is that refrigerators work much better when full! It sounds counterintuitive, but it's true - as the items in the refrigerator cool down, they help to lower the temperature of the entire appliance, allowing the refrigerator itself to relax a bit and do some of the work. Now it's teamwork! So don't be afraid to do a little more next time you're prepping dinner. The more food you have in your fridge, the less strain you put on the fridge motor, so you keep your fridge in better shape for longer.
The quickest way to a fridge full of spoiled food is a problem with the fridge seal that goes unresolved for too long.
Best way to keep your refrigerator look new
The gasket (or seal) along the inside edge of the refrigerator door keeps all cold air out and all warm air out. Leaks or gaps in the gasket can not only lower the temperature of the refrigerator enough to allow bacteria to grow on the food, but also force the refrigerator to work double duty trying to make up for lost cold air.
Fortunately, it's fairly easy to detect a loose seal - just put a half dollar in the door and close it. If the bill slips easily, the seal needs repair. Usually, a thorough scrubbing of the gaskets with soapy water and a sponge will remove any debris that will prevent proper sealing.
The best thing you can do to keep your fridge running at its best is regular maintenance. Cleaning loose debris, soaking and scrubbing the shelves well, and defrosting your freezer regularly will do wonders for keeping your fridge in good shape. Most modern refrigerators prevent frost or condensation building up quite well, but if food is put into the fridge or freezer while it is still hot, or if liquids are stored uncovered, moisture can get into the system and jam the operation. To be on the safe side, you'll want to defrost everything once or twice a year and make sure your fridge gets some TLC every month.
Refrigerators need "thermal mass" (aka lots of stuff) to maintain low temperatures while using less energy. Cold foods and drinks help absorb the warm air that comes in when you open the door. If you're the out-of-home type or if your fridge is too big for your needs, put a few jugs of water in it. Just make sure you don't clog up your fridge too much. Some air must circulate around the objects.
If the power goes out, an easy way to lose all the energy saved is to open the door every hour in a panic to check the food. An unopened refrigerator will keep food safe for four hours; the freezer will keep its temperature for 48 hours if it is full and 24 hours if it is half full.
A loose seal on the refrigerator door allows cool air to escape, wasting energy and causing the refrigerator to work harder than necessary. First, make sure the seals are free of food particles. They should be cleaned about twice a year with a toothbrush and a solution of baking soda and water. Then try the dollar test: lock the bill in the door so that half is inside and half is outside. If it slips out easily, you may need to have the door seals checked by a professional.
Whether you're looking forward to living a long and happy life with your new fridge, or want to put off buying a new fridge for another year, these tips will help you get the most out of your fridge for as long as possible.
But if you've tried all these tips and you're still seeing your refrigerator's performance drop, it may be time to invest in a new one. Start fresh with a fridge that's equipped with all the latest self-defrosting and energy efficiency technologies and use it for a long, long time, starting with these tips from day one. If you're looking for a refrigerator that will last, look no further than your favorite local home appliance store! Drop by or give us a call to get all the information you need about the refrigerator of your dreams.
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