What Maintenance Should Be Done On A Refrigerator?

The maintenance of a refrigerator involves cleaning the coils, replacing the water filter, checking the door seals, and defrosting the freezer. These tasks can help extend the lifespan of the appliance, improve its efficiency, and prevent food spoilage. In this article, we will explain how to perform these maintenance tasks and why they are important.

Cleaning the Coils

The coils are located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator and are responsible for cooling the refrigerant that circulates through the system. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on the coils, reducing their ability to dissipate heat and forcing the refrigerator to work harder and consume more energy. To clean the coils, you will need a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and a coil cleaning brush. Follow these steps:

  • Unplug the refrigerator from the power source and move it away from the wall if necessary.
  • Locate the coils and remove any protective cover or panel that may be blocking them.
  • Use the vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dust and debris from the coils and the surrounding area.
  • Use the coil cleaning brush to gently scrub the coils and remove any stubborn dirt. Be careful not to damage or bend the coils.
  • Replace the cover or panel and plug the refrigerator back in.

You should clean the coils at least once or twice a year, depending on how dusty your environment is. This can help you save up to 10% on your energy bill and prevent overheating and breakdowns.

Replacing the Water Filter

The water filter is located inside the refrigerator or under the sink and is responsible for removing contaminants and impurities from the water that is used for drinking and making ice. Over time, the filter can get clogged and reduce the water flow and quality. To replace the water filter, you will need a new filter that is compatible with your refrigerator model and a wrench or pliers if necessary. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the water supply to the refrigerator and locate the filter. It may be in the upper right corner, the lower left corner, or behind the kick plate of the refrigerator.
  • Remove the old filter by twisting it counterclockwise or pushing a button to release it, depending on the type of filter. Some filters may require a wrench or pliers to loosen them.
  • Discard the old filter and insert the new filter in the same position. Twist it clockwise or push it until it clicks, depending on the type of filter. Some filters may require a wrench or pliers to tighten them.
  • Turn on the water supply and run the water dispenser or the ice maker for a few minutes to flush out any air and debris from the system.
  • Reset the filter indicator light or timer if your refrigerator has one.
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You should replace the water filter every six months or sooner if the water flow or taste changes. This can help you ensure the quality and safety of your water and ice and prevent clogging and leaks.

Checking the Door Seals

The door seals are located around the edges of the refrigerator and freezer doors and are responsible for creating an airtight seal that prevents cold air from escaping and warm air from entering. Over time, the seals can get worn out, cracked, or dirty, compromising their effectiveness and causing the refrigerator to lose temperature and waste energy. To check the door seals, you will need a dollar bill and a cloth. Follow these steps:

  • Open the refrigerator or freezer door and place the dollar bill halfway between the door and the seal.
  • Close the door and try to pull out the dollar bill. If it slides out easily, the seal is loose and needs to be replaced. If it stays in place or requires some effort to pull out, the seal is tight and working properly.
  • Repeat this test on different spots along the seal and on both doors.
  • If the seal is dirty, use a cloth dampened with warm water and mild soap to wipe it clean. Dry it thoroughly with another cloth.

You should check the door seals at least once a year and replace them if they are damaged or loose. This can help you maintain the optimal temperature and humidity inside the refrigerator and freezer and save up to 10% on your energy bill.

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Defrosting the Freezer

The freezer is located at the top, bottom, or side of the refrigerator and is responsible for keeping the food frozen and preventing bacterial growth. Over time, frost and ice can build up on the walls and shelves of the freezer, reducing the available space and affecting the performance and efficiency of the appliance. To defrost the freezer, you will need a large cooler, a towel, a spatula, and a hair dryer. Follow these steps:

  • Unplug the refrigerator from the power source and empty the freezer of any food. Transfer the food to the cooler and cover it with ice or frozen gel packs to keep it cold.
  • Place the towel on the floor in front of the freezer to catch any water that may drip from the melting ice.
  • Use the spatula to scrape off any large chunks of ice from the walls and shelves of the freezer. Be careful not to damage or scratch the surface of the freezer.
  • Use the hair dryer to melt any remaining ice from the walls and shelves of the freezer. Move the hair dryer back and forth and avoid directing the hot air at one spot for too long. Do not use any sharp or metal objects to chip away the ice, as this can damage the freezer and cause leaks.
  • Wipe the inside of the freezer with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild soap to remove any dirt and residue. Dry it thoroughly with another cloth.
  • Plug the refrigerator back in and return the food to the freezer. Adjust the temperature settings if necessary.
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You should defrost the freezer at least once a year or whenever the ice buildup is more than a quarter of an inch thick. This can help you free up space and improve the efficiency and lifespan of the appliance.


The maintenance of a refrigerator is not a difficult or time-consuming task, but it can have a significant impact on the performance, efficiency, and durability of the appliance. By following the tips and steps outlined in this article, you can keep your refrigerator in good shape and prevent costly repairs and replacements. Remember to clean the coils, replace the water filter, check the door seals, and defrost the freezer regularly, and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained refrigerator.