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How to Clean Refrigerator Coils in 3 Easy Steps

clean condenser coils

One of the best ways to keep your refrigerator healthy is to clean its condenser coils periodically. It is a simple task in most cases. Once you know how to clean refrigerator coils, the job is pretty straightforward.

It takes less than half an hour, so you don’t even have to worry about removing the food, which will stay cold 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.

Why & How to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Before we jump into how to maintain condenser coils, it’s important to know what they are and why it’s so important to keep them dust and dirt-free:

What Are Refrigerator Coils?

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, the coils are usually in 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.

Why Do I Need to Clean Condenser Coils?

The condenser coils are 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 critical 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 essential to clean refrigerator coils at least every six months.

clean refrigerator coils
Image from Green Living Ideas

How to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Before you get started, get a vacuum cleaner and an appliance cleaning brush ready. Then follow these steps to clean refrigerator coils:

  1. 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 or unplug the machine from the wall.
  2. Now that the appliance is shut off, use the brush to scrub the coils gently.  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.
  3. 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.

Now that you know how to clean condeser coils, your refrigerator will work more efficiently and will continue to run smoothly. However, if you notice your refrigerator not cooling even after cleaning the coils, give Dave Smith Appliance Services a call today.

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