A refrigerator is an essential household appliance that helps us keep our food fresh and safe to consume. However, as with any appliance, it requires regular maintenance to function optimally. One of the most critical yet often overlooked maintenance tasks is cleaning refrigerator coils. In this guide on how to clean refrigerator coils, we’ll address common questions like “How do you clean a condenser coil on a refrigerator?” and “How often should you clean refrigerator condenser coils?” while showing you how to keep your fridge running efficiently.
Why Learning How to Clean Refrigerator Coils Is Important
A dirty condenser can force your fridge to work harder to stay cold inside. Over time, this can cost you money by allowing your food to spoil more quickly. if left unchecked, it can also cause a full-on refrigerator breakdown. That’s why this quick and easy task is a no-brainer for saving money and avoiding repairs.
What are Refrigerator Condenser Coils?
Refrigerator coils, also known as condenser coils, are located at the back or bottom of the fridge. These coils help dissipate heat generated by the compressor, allowing your refrigerator to maintain the desired temperature inside. Dust, dirt, and pet hair can accumulate on the coils over time, reducing their efficiency and making your fridge work harder.
Does Cleaning Fridge Condenser Coils Help?
Absolutely! Refrigerator coil cleaning improves its efficiency, reduces energy consumption, and extends its lifespan. Regular maintenance, including cleaning the coils, can save you money on energy bills and costly repairs.
Step-by-Step Guide to How to Clean Refrigerator Coils:
The good news is that condenser coil cleaning only takes a few minutes using a few simple tools you likely already own.
Tools and Supplies You’ll Need:
- Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
- Refrigerator coil brush (optional, but highly recommended)
- A soft cloth or microfiber towel
- A flashlight (optional)
- Unplug the refrigerator: Safety first! Always unplug your refrigerator before starting any maintenance work. This will protect you from electric shock and prevent damage to the appliance.
- Locate the coils: Before you learn how to clean refrigerator coils, you’ll need to find them. The refrigerator condenser coil location is usually on the back or underneath the appliance. If they’re on the back, you’ll need to pull the refrigerator away from the wall. If they’re at the bottom, you may need to remove a protective grille or cover.
- Remove the protective grille (if applicable): If your refrigerator has a grille covering the coils, gently remove it. This may require unscrewing or unclipping the grille from the fridge.
- Inspect the coils: Use a flashlight to inspect the coils and determine the extent of the dust and debris buildup. This will help you decide the best cleaning method.
- Vacuum the coils: Attach the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner and gently vacuum the coils. This is one effective method to answer the question, “What can I use to clean refrigerator coils?” Be careful not to damage the delicate fins on the coils. Vacuuming helps remove loose dust, dirt, and pet hair.
- Use a refrigerator coil brush (optional): For a more thorough cleaning, use a refrigerator coil brush. Gently insert the brush between the coils and move it back and forth to dislodge any stubborn dust and debris. Vacuum the coils again to remove the loosened dirt.
- Wipe the coils: Use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to gently wipe the coils and remove any remaining dust or dirt. Be cautious not to bend the fins or damage any nearby components.
- Replace the protective grille (if applicable): Reinstall the protective grille or cover, making sure it’s secure.
- Plug in the refrigerator: Once everything is clean and dry, plug your refrigerator back in and push it back into place, if necessary. Give it some time to reach the desired temperature before placing food back inside.
How Often Should You Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils?
As a general rule, you should clean your refrigerator condenser coils at least once or twice a year. However, this frequency may vary depending on factors such as:
- The environment: If your home is prone to dust or if you have pets, you may need to clean the coils more frequently – every three to four months.
- Usage: If your refrigerator is heavily used, it may require more frequent cleaning to maintain optimal performance.
- Manufacturer’s recommendations: Always follow your refrigerator manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintenance, as this can vary between models.
- Age of the appliance: Older refrigerators may require more frequent coil cleaning to maintain efficiency and extend their lifespan.
Cleaning refrigerator coils is a simple yet essential maintenance task that can significantly improve the performance and lifespan of your appliance. By following this guide on how to clean refrigerator coils, you can ensure your refrigerator operates efficiently, reducing energy consumption and saving you money on utility bills and costly repairs. Make it a part of your routine home maintenance schedule, and your fridge will thank you.
And if your refrigerator does fail, contact the local refrigeration repair professionals at Big Lake Appliance for fast service you can trust!