Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cleaning Your Refrigerator Condenser

Did you know your refrigerator is the most used major kitchen appliance in your home? It gets used so much, its used even when you aren't using it. Unlike any other major appliance, it has to be operational and functioning without a hitch 24/7/365. Whether you are home, at work, out to dinner or gone on vacation, you need your refrigerator running consistently, or you could potentially lose several hundred dollars worth of food outside of 24 hours if it stops cooling entirely. One of the marvelous things about refrigerators is that they require very little maintenance, more or less a "plug it in and forget about it" convenience. One thing that needs to be done on an annual basis at least, more often for households with pets that shed hair, is to clean the condenser coil on your refrigerator. The condenser coil is a vital part to the operation of your refrigerator.  Its purpose is to release the heat collected from inside the appliance into the cooler ambient air surrounding the refrigerator. If the condenser gets too dirty with dust and pet hair, a few things can happen that make it harder for the refrigerator to do what it is designed to do. The first thing that can happen, on refrigerators that do not have a static coil attached to the back of the refrigerator (normally painted black, and was more common on older refrigerators, though some new models still utilize this style), cooling air typically flows through the condenser before blowing over the compressor. If the condenser is clogged and little or no air can flow through it, the compressor does not get cooled as much and runs hotter, which can actually affect the interior cabinet temperatures and even shorten the useful life of the compressor. Something else that can happen is the dust and pet hair becomes insulation, which then prevents the condenser from releasing the heat, making the entire refrigerator work harder just to maintain normal cold temperatures. Condenser cleaning is one of the many refrigerator services we offer to all of our customers on a regular basis, however, should you choose to tackle this task yourself, we can help you there as well. Just follow these steps and perform this at least once a year, more often if you have pets that shed.

1. WARNING!! To avoid property damage, personal injury or even death, first and foremost, remove the refrigerator from power, either by unplugging the appliance from the power outlet, or by shutting off the circuit breaker to the refrigerator. In order to unplug the refrigerator, and to aid in condenser cleaning, you will have to CAREFULLY slide the appliance away from the wall, be careful to prevent damage to all types of floors. Be sure to turn off the water supply to the refrigerator and disconnect the water line at the connection behind the refrigerator. If you have a built in style and cannot pull it away from the wall, you will have to shut off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse.
2. Find the condenser coil. It will be located in one of three places: attached to the outside back of the appliance like a large grid of tubing; folded up and located either at the bottom of the appliance; or on higher end built in models it is normally located on top of the refrigerator. These last two are found by removing either a toe grille in front, and/or the machine compartment cover behind the appliance; or if its located on top, removing or lifting the cover.
3. Using a vacuum and an appliance brush, ( roughly 3' long with stiff plastic bristles at one end) CAREFULLY clean the dust away from the condenser, taking care not to damage the tubing, or the cooling fins, necessitating costly repairs. Clean off any dust or debris you may see on the fan blades. DO NOT use a liquid cleaner of any kind on any component in the machine compartment area.
4. Replace the toe grille in front, the machine compartment cover in back, and / or the cover at the top-front of the refrigerator.
5. Reconnect the water lines, turn on the water supply, return the unit to power, and carefully slide refrigerator back into position, taking care not to roll over the water line or the power cord.

We can perform this task for you, either as a standalone service, or while we are there fixing your fridge. When you need Refrigerator Repair in Chicagoland, A Fast Local Refrigerator Repair is your smart choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Want other refrigerator tips? Tell us what kind of tips you would be interested in reading about.