Why Is Refrigerator Maintenance Important?

By Lyle Weischwill | Jun. 01, 2022 11:45 am PST

Regular maintenance of your refrigerator helps keep the appliance operating efficiently and prevents unexpected breakdowns.

You may be able to perform refrigerator maintenance yourself. Follow these 4 tips from Sears Technician Tom Charland to help keep your refrigerator operating smoothly.

1. Clean the condenser coil.

A contributing factor to poor refrigeration temp is usually caused by a bad or dirty condenser coil. Most condenser coils are located under the front of a refrigerator on the bottom. A condenser coil can be accessed by removing the grill from the front of the refrigerator and getting yourself what’s called a refrigeration coil brush. You can locate a coil brush at Sears PartsDirect. A coil brush is designed to slide underneath the refrigerator from front to rear or left to right. Be careful that you don’t slide this brush too far to the rear because there’s a condenser fan back there that you could contact and cause damage to. Inspect your refrigerator at least twice a year to make sure that coil stays clean for proper operation and proper temperatures in your refrigerator.

2. Inspect the gasket.

Another contributing factor to poor refrigeration temp in the refrigerator or freezer or actual fluctuation of temperatures can be caused by a bad seal or torn gasket. A visual inspection of the gasket around the refrigerator door or freezer should result in a nice, smooth surface with no tears, but the most important part of the gasket is the side wall sealing. If a tear occurs along the side wall, this can result in heat intrusion into the refrigerator liner or the freezer compartment. Heat intrusion in a refrigerator liner will result in moisture buildup on the shelves or in the crisper drawers and then the freezer compartment will actually result in frost buildup.

3. Try the Ice Cream Test.

In most refrigerators, there are temperature settings, and there are recommended settings that are placed on the control board; however, the freezer compartment temperature is the setting that you want to adjust to the consistency of the way you like to get ice cream out of the container. Remember, we only want the freezer compartment to be as cold as necessary to freeze the products. Simply, you adjust your freezer compartment temperature one degree at a time and within a 48 hour period, you inspect your ice cream. If your ice cream is at the consistency of the way you like to scoop it out of the container, you now have adjusted your freezer compartment temperature to run only as long as necessary to freeze the products in that compartment.

After you adjust the freezer compartment temperature, you simply then start beginning to adjust your refrigerator compartment temperature to the way you like the temperatures of your beverages. Once this has been done, you have adjusted your refrigerator and freezing compartment temperatures to make the refrigerator run only as long as necessary for you as a homeowner.

4. Replace the water filter.

If your refrigerator is equipped with a water filter, it’s recommended that the filter be changed out every 6-12 months. Most homes are on a public water supply, which should only result in having to change that filter by the 12 month period; however, there are some homes that are on a drilled well. We call it foreign water. That water filter should be changed out by the six month term. A good indicator when a water filter may need to be changed out sooner or later is by water flow when you’re filling your glass. If there’s a reduction in that water flow or you notice a reduction in your ice making production, usually it’s an indicator that the water filter should be changed.

Find the right water filter for your refrigerator using our convenient Water Filter Finder.

Have a Sears Technician Check Your Refrigerator Annually

In addition to the above maintenance, it’s best to have your refrigerator checked and maintained annually by a service technician. You can also have a Sears Technician maintain your refrigerator instead of performing the maintenance tasks yourself.

Schedule annual maintenance for your refrigerator now. Our Sears Technician will perform the following tasks to help keep your refrigerator in top shape:

  • Check the water filter.
  • Check and adjust temperature controls and air dampers.
  • Test the automatic defrost system.
  • Check and clean the defrost drain system.
  • Clean the condenser coils.
  • Check, clean and adjust door seals.
  • Level the cabinet.
  • Check the ice maker and dispenser system.

Scheduling cleaning and maintenance on several of your appliances at once can save you money. Keeping all of your appliances in top condition will help you save money on energy bills and avoid unexpected appliance repairs. Regular professional maintenance also helps extend the life of your appliances.

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