Help and advice

How to carry out simple fridge maintenance

The fridge is a key part of the modern kitchen set-up, and it’s absolutely essential for keeping food fresh and fit for use.
It’s also a relatively expensive bit of kit, so the hassle and cost of having it break down, especially earlier than it should, is definitely best avoided.

A simple way of helping your fridge have a long and healthy life is to carry out regular maintenance, which will keep it in tip-top condition, both in terms of function and appearance. Luckily, there’s no need to call in a professional for these jobs, as they are easy to incorporate into your regular household routine.

Cleaning

You probably already know how to clean the inside and exterior of your fridge, but there are a few areas that often get overlooked. For example, the condenser coils on the back of most types of fridges need to be kept free of dust and dirt to function effectively.

While it’s a bit of a nuisance to have to pull the unit away from the wall to be able to clean this area, it should only need doing three or four times a year, and can make a big difference in terms of how well your fridge works. For the best results, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to help you get into all the nooks and crannies.

When you put the fridge back in its place, make sure that there are at least a few centimetres between the wall and the back of the appliance, as this will give the air plenty of room to circulate.

Door checks

The door seal is another important area to keep clean, which can be easily be done with a soft cloth and soapy water. You should also make sure that the seal works properly, as otherwise cold air can escape, and your food could suffer as a result.

If you’re not sure, try shutting a single sheet of paper in your fridge door, and seeing if it’s easy to pull out without opening the door. If it slides out without too much effort, then you should probably get the seals fixed by a professional.

Odour control

You already know that regular cleaning is essential to help keep the contents of your fridge smelling fresh. However, sometimes this isn’t enough for particularly pungent items. If you keep everything covered and still can’t stop certain smells (garlic is probably the most regular offender), a small dish of baking soda can help soak up some of the worst of it.

Energy efficiency

It may seem counterintuitive, but it takes less energy to cool a full fridge than an empty one. If you’re concerned about your energy bills, you should put a few large bottles of water into the spare spaces to cut down on running costs.

You can also adjust the thermostat on your fridge, as setting the temperature lower than three degrees centigrade won’t help food keep for longer, but will use more energy.


© Axonn 2015