Condenser Coils Cleaning Guide

One of the best ways to keep your refrigerator healthy is to periodically clean its condenser coils.  It is actually a simple task in most cases.  Once you know how to recognize the coils, the job is completely straightforward.  It takes less than a half an hour, so you don’t even have to worry about removing the food, which will stay cool for a few hours.  Doing this just twice a year can prevent over two thirds of service calls.  Also, it makes your appliance much more energy-efficient.

Condenser coils are long tubes that wind back and forth outside of the food storage chamber, dissipating heat.   They are usually black and contort into all kinds of shapes, including coils, zigzags, and loops.  Sometimes they are attached to metal grids that help to dissipate heat.  In older refrigerators, this coil is usually on the back.  In newer models the coils will often be underneath the food storage chamber, accessible either from the front or back.  Inspect your appliance to see what location your condenser coil is in; if you are uncertain, consult your owner’s manual.

The condenser coils are absolutely essential to the functioning of the refrigerator.  This amazing appliance works by transferring heat from the freezer section to the outside through these coils, which are exposed to the open air.  The important point here is that the condenser coils are on the outside, and if the coils get clogged with dirt, dust and hair, they will no longer be able to dissipate heat effectively.  This means that the refrigerator needs to work more to cool the inside, wasting energy and wearing out the appliance.  So it is very important to clean these coils on occasion.

Before you get started, get a vacuum cleaner and a coil cleaning brush ready.  Coil cleaning brushes can be bought for about five dollars at an appliance parts store.

The first and most important thing to do when cleaning the coils is to shut the power off.  You can either shut off the circuit breaker that governs the refrigerator, remove the fuse, or unplug the machine from the wall.

Now that the appliance is shut off, use the brush to gently scrub the coils.  Most of these brushes are flexible, so you can bend it into whatever shape is useful.  Next, use a vacuum to suck up the dust.   Be very careful not to punch a hole in the condenser coils, as they are expensive to replace.  If there is a fan you can clean this as well if you wish, but do not damage the blades.

After you finish cleaning, put your refrigerator back into place and make sure you turn the power back on.  Doing this simple procedure occasionally will make your refrigerator more long living and energy efficient, and will empower you to keep your household running smoothly.