The refrigerator and freezer are two of the most important aspects of any home. They keep your food from spoiling, they might allow your to food prep for the week, and they keep your beer cold in the summer.
It is important to understand briefly how the appliance works so you can quickly fix it if it goes wrong. You don’t realise how much you depend on your refrigerator until it breaks down, especially in a hot country. The loss of food, hiring a tradesman or replacing the appliance altogether is very expensive and time-consuming. This article will cover how to take care of your fridge and freezer so this never happens!
What are common signs that something is wrong?
If you’re aware of the noise (or lack of) from your refrigerator, when it suddenly makes a unique and strange noise then this is a sign that there is a problem. In this case, it is likely that the control board needs replacing. This can be done by a layperson with some research, but if you aren’t good with these things, it is better to leave it to a professional.
Not cool enough
The main objective of a fridge and freezer is to keep a cool environment of a fixed temperature. It is worth checking the temperature now and again to ensure that it is at the desired number. This is possibly the most common way that a fridge or freezer breaks and needs repairing – or simply better care on a day-to-day basis.
It simply doesn’t work
If this is the case, sometimes it is possible that it couldn’t have been prevented. A core fundamental breakage, perhaps in its wiring, is often best left to a professional. This isn’t actually all that common, though. Often, it will be a minor issue that has progressed into a major one over time because the fridge/freezer was not maintained properly.
How to maintain and take care of your fridge freezer
Above were the main problems that tend to occur. Below are some things we can do regularly to prevent these issues and breakdowns. There are also fridge fixing guides available for more in-depth coverage.
Defrosting your freezer
Defrosting your freezer can be a bit of a pain. Some newer fridges have auto–defrost, but many do not. Looking out for a few inches worth of frost is a good indicator that it needs defrosting. Doing so will instantly make the freezer vastly more efficient. It is also a common way people break the tray doors, by struggling to pull it out when it is frozen shut.
To defrost, leave the door open and place a bowl on the floor that will catch the water from the drain spout. Hairdryers are not necessary, patience is, but to speed things up a hot bowl of water inside can do the trick!
How to organise your fridge and freezer
It is healthy to not overfill the fridge too much, and to allow for some spaces on each shelf. Nevertheless, it should still be closer to being full than being empty (explanation below!). Overloading the door shelves is also a common way to break them. The bottom of the fridge is the coolest, this is for meat, and the door trays are the warmest, this is for condiments!
This may come as a surprise, but filling your freezer close to the maximum is actually preferable than having it only 30% full with most models of freezers. There is less energy and stress on cooling a smaller area when the space is relatively full. This way, your food will remain more fresh and frozen, whilst consuming less energy.
Your fridge and freezer will operate better in the part of the room that is coolest. Or more importantly – keep it away from any sources of heat such as a radiator. Additionally, allowing for space around the back of the appliance for air to circulate is also worth considering.
Checking the door
It is obvious to not leave the fridge door open, everybody knows this. Even when searching around for food, try to be as fast as possible. But it is also worth checking the seals now and again. If there are holes developing in the seals around the door, warm air could be coming through, making your fridge work harder to keep the temperature cool.
Cleaning the coils
The coils are a key part of absorbing the heat out of the fridge in order to lower the temperature. Cleaning the coils on the fridge occasionally is a great way to ensure your fridge can always achieve its objective of low temperatures.
The refrigerator should always be between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 Celsius to 4.4).
Freezers on the other hand should usually be kept at 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 Celsius).
Good brands to shop for
If you are shopping for a fridge or freezer replacement, it is worth looking for the most reliable brands, even if it does mean paying a premium. It may save you more in the long run. Here is a list of the least serviced (but highly sold) brands, making them the most reliable: