The refrigerator is among the most neglected of household appliances, because usually it runs forever with little repair. However, it often consumes the most electricity among your home’s appliances. You can improve the performance and extend the life of your refrigerator with simple maintenance.

The condenser coil of a refrigerator transfers heat to the air of your room. You should clean the coil with a vacuum or soft brush once or twice a year. The coil is located behind or underneath the refrigerator; it’s a serpentine apparatus with small fins. The fins’ narrow spacing catches lint and debris. A small tube connected to your vacuum will quickly collect this dirt.

Viewing and accessing the coils is often as simple as snapping the plastic cover off the lower front of the refrigerator. Often there is also a small fan that moves air across the coils. The fan should also be carefully cleaned or vacuumed after you unplug the unit.

Cleaning the coil and fan will aid in heat transfer and shorten the refrigeration compressor’s run time. This will save electricity and lengthen the life of your refrigerator.

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