A refrigerator is an investment, and like most large appliances, it should run well for many years. Unfortunately, there are things that can go wrong that will ruin the fridge or necessitate repairs. Knowing the mistakes that are most likely to damage your fridge can help you avoid them.
#1: Ignoring the coils
On the back of your fridge are the condenser coils, which are responsible for keeping your unit cold. Over time, dust, pet hair, and general dirt collects on these coils. This makes them less efficient and can cause the motor to overwork, which can then burn out the fridge prematurely. Once every six months, or more often if you live in a dusty area or have pets, pull out the fridge from the wall and vacuum the coils, as well as underneath the fridge. When you push the fridge back into place, make sure to leave some space so that air can circulate behind the unit and around the coils.
#2: Not inspecting your gaskets
Around the fridge and freezer doors are rubber gaskets, whose sole job is to ensure a tight seal when the door is shut. These gaskets tend to attract dirt and crumbs during regular daily use, which can prevent them from sealing well. This then causes your fridge to work harder to stay cool, with the result of the motor burning out early. Wipe down the gaskets as part of your weekly cleaning routine. Then, inspect them for any damage. Cracked or torn gaskets must be replaced, as should those that have become warped so that they no longer seal properly. The manufacturer should carry replacement gaskets.
#3: Laying the fridge down during transport
If you move or must simply move the appliance to a different area, don't lay it down flat. The coolant will run out of the condenser and in some cases the oil will also run out of the motor. Coolant out of the condenser isn't usually a major concern – simply place the fridge upright and allow the coolant to drain back in overnight before plugging in the fridge. The concern is if the oil runs out of the motor. This can gum up the internal workings and in some cases it may get into the coolant lines, which will prevent the fridge from cooling down properly. Instead, use a furniture dolly to move the appliance and keep it upright or near upright at all times.
For more help, contact an appliance repair contractor in your area.