Do Refrigerators Need a Tune Up? You Must Know

The short answer is yes, refrigerators need a tune up at least once a year to keep them running efficiently and prevent costly repairs. A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home, and it consumes a lot of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, refrigerators account for about 4% of the total household energy use. Therefore, it is essential to maintain your refrigerator properly and ensure that it is performing at its best.

What is a Refrigerator Tune Up?

A refrigerator tune up is a routine maintenance service that involves checking and cleaning the various components of your refrigerator, such as the coils, the fan, the door seals, the thermostat, the ice maker, and the water filter. A refrigerator tune up can help you:

  • Save money on your energy bills by improving the efficiency of your refrigerator
  • Extend the lifespan of your refrigerator by preventing wear and tear
  • Avoid food spoilage and waste by keeping your refrigerator at the optimal temperature
  • Protect your health and safety by preventing mold, bacteria, and fire hazards

How to Perform a Refrigerator Tune Up?

You can perform a basic refrigerator tune up yourself by following these simple steps:

  • Unplug your refrigerator and pull it away from the wall
  • Vacuum and wipe the dust and dirt from the back of the refrigerator and the condenser coils. The coils are usually located at the bottom or the back of the refrigerator, and they help to dissipate the heat generated by the compressor. If the coils are dirty, they will make the compressor work harder and use more energy.
  • Clean the fan blades and the motor with a soft brush or a cloth. The fan helps to circulate the air inside the refrigerator and keep it cool. If the fan is clogged or noisy, it may need to be replaced.
  • Check the door seals for any cracks, tears, or gaps. The door seals are the rubber gaskets that seal the refrigerator door and prevent the cold air from escaping. If the door seals are damaged, they will allow warm air to enter the refrigerator and make it work harder to maintain the temperature. You can test the door seals by closing the door on a dollar bill and pulling it out. If the bill slides out easily, the seal is loose and needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Adjust the thermostat to the recommended setting. The ideal temperature for the refrigerator is between 37°F and 40°F, and for the freezer is between 0°F and 5°F. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature and adjust the thermostat accordingly. If the thermostat is faulty, it may cause the refrigerator to run too cold or too warm and affect the quality of your food.
  • Clean the ice maker and the water filter. The ice maker and the water filter are connected to the water supply line, and they can get clogged or contaminated over time. You should clean the ice maker and the water filter every six months or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can use a vinegar solution to remove any mineral deposits or bacteria from the ice maker and the water filter. You should also replace the water filter regularly to ensure that you have clean and fresh water and ice.
  • Plug your refrigerator back in and push it back to the wall. Leave some space between the refrigerator and the wall to allow proper air circulation.
See also  Can You Install Vinyl Flooring Yourself?

When to Call a Professional?

While you can do a basic refrigerator tune up yourself, you may need to call a professional if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Your refrigerator is making unusual noises, such as buzzing, humming, clicking, or rattling
  • Your refrigerator is leaking water or coolant
  • Your refrigerator is not cooling or freezing properly, or it is cycling on and off frequently
  • Your refrigerator is frosting or icing up excessively
  • Your refrigerator is emitting a bad odor or smoke

A professional refrigerator technician can diagnose and fix any problems with your refrigerator and perform a more thorough and comprehensive tune up. A professional tune up may include:

  • Checking and repairing the electrical wiring and connections
  • Checking and recharging the refrigerant level and pressure
  • Checking and replacing the compressor, the evaporator, the condenser, or any other parts that are worn or damaged
  • Lubricating the moving parts and applying anti-corrosion treatment
  • Calibrating the temperature and defrost controls

How Much Does a Refrigerator Tune Up Cost?

The cost of a refrigerator tune up depends on several factors, such as the type, size, model, and age of your refrigerator, the extent of the service, and the location and availability of the technician. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a refrigerator repair in the U.S. is $200, with a typical range of $100 to $400. However, the cost of a refrigerator tune up may be lower or higher depending on the specific situation. You can get a free estimate from a reputable and licensed refrigerator technician in your area by using online platforms such as HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, or Thumbtack.

See also  Can I Use Drill as Rotary Tool? Must Know


A refrigerator tune up is a worthwhile investment that can save you money, time, and hassle in the long run. By performing a regular refrigerator tune up, you can improve the efficiency and performance of your refrigerator, extend its lifespan, prevent costly repairs, and enjoy fresh and safe food. You can do a basic refrigerator tune up yourself by following the steps outlined above, or you can hire a professional refrigerator technician to do a more thorough and comprehensive tune up. Either way, you will be doing yourself and your refrigerator a favor.