4 Key Ways to Help Your Fridge Last Longer

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A refrigerator is one of the most expensive appliances in your home. It’s a big investment and one of the keys to a functional home. So here are four ways to keep help it last longer.

One of the most expensive and vital appliances we buy for our homes is the refrigerator. We often take these products for granted until they break or die altogether. It’s a good idea, then, to take steps to help your fridge stay in top condition and last as long as possible. 

Doing this will reduce the risk that you’re left in the lurch with your cold food melting or going off. It will also help ensure you don’t have to outlay funds on a new appliance until it’s really time to do so. Here’s what you can do today to help extend the life of your refrigerator.

What's Inside?

Position Your Fridge Correctly

fridge

Wherever possible, be careful about where you position your fridge in your kitchen. Sometimes there’s only one space for it to fit, so you don’t have a choice, but when you do, locate the machine away from heat sources like ovens and stoves. The reason for doing this is that the refrigerator’s motor will have to work harder than necessary if it’s near hot machines and thereby has to try to keep itself even cooler due to excess external heat. 

Also, if you have a spare fridge that you keep in the garage, consider moving it to your basement or some other area. Garages typically get very hot in summer unless they’re properly insulated. Your machine will work overtime to stay cool in this kind of environment and will have a shortened life as a result. 

Keep It Level

fridge in the kitchen

Wherever you position your fridge, make sure it’s also sitting level. If the machine isn’t aligned correctly, it likely won’t close properly. If so, air will escape from leaks – even small ones – and the fridge’s motor will again have to run hard and continuously to keep the inside cool. 

Check your refrigerator at least once or twice per year to be sure it remains level. Homes shift and settle over time, so even though the machine may be level upon initial installation, it can end up out of alignment without you realizing it. 

Clean the Machine Well and Repair It As Necessary

clean fridge

If you want to extend the life of your refrigerator, clean it thoroughly and often. While you likely already clean the inside of the machine occasionally to wipe up food spills and the like, also pay attention to the outside. In particular, vacuum and/or wipe over the coils on the back of the fridge. These are part of the cooling system and, over time, accumulate dust, food particles, pet hair, and more. This build-up makes the machine run less efficiently, so clean these coils a few times per year. 

Also, clean your door seals every so often to get rid of the dirt and grease that accumulates on them from human fingers and the machine’s surroundings. Use warm soapy water and a cloth on all the seals you can access. Plus, if you have an older device that doesn’t have an auto-defrost option, you will need to defrost it manually.

If you notice your fridge playing up, always get it seen to by a professional sooner rather than later, too. Look out for signs such as the machine making loud or strange noises, emitting funny smells, lights failing, or your food going off quickly because the temperature isn’t cold enough. 

The quicker issues are looked at by an electrician or other tradesperson, the sooner things can be rectified. This will help the machine to keep working for you in the long run. Keep in mind, too, that you may not need to pay for such repairs out of your own pocket. Your fridge may still be under warranty when something goes wrong with it. Alternatively, ask a provider, “What does a home warranty cover?” and you’ll learn that these products usually pay for the costs involved with repairing or replacing appliances and systems as they age. 

Avoid Placing Things on Top of Your Fridge

no fridge on top

Many people use the top of their fridge as a storage space. This is understandable, but if you do this, you’re not giving your machine the best chance of having a long life. Avoid placing things on top of your refrigerator because doing so can stop the warm air that flows from the top from escaping. In turn, the motor will have to work harder, and it could soon overheat. 

Follow the simple yet effective tips listed above, and you will prolong the life of your refrigerator considerably. You should also find that you have less food wastage over time, as the fridge will run optimally and keep items fresher for longer. 

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