You depend on your fridge and freezer to keep food and drinks safe from bacteria and other problems. But as outdoor temperatures heat up this summer, your fridge can be subjected to additional strain. You don’t want your food to go bad because your refrigerator went out! While you should be sure to know a fridge repair expert before summer starts, understanding a few summer maintenance basics can help you avoid many problems altogether. Here are a few ways to keep your fridge working great, even as it gets hot outside.
Cool Storage Areas
Many households will keep an additional refrigerator in a garage or outdoor shed to better manage their food storage needs. While this may seem like a sound practice in theory, it can quickly become problematic for your refrigerator. In general, it is recommended that you store a refrigerator in areas where the temperature never gets over 43 degrees Celsius. On a hot summer day, heat can get trapped inside a garage or shed, causing temperatures to easily exceed this amount.
When this happens, the refrigerator will need to run almost constantly, which greatly increases the risk of a burnout.
While storing your refrigerator indoors (or in a basement) is the best option, there are still steps you can take to keep temperatures down inside your garage. Installing additional insulation and weatherstripping can help prevent heat gain. Unplugging other appliances in the area can also reduce the heat buildup. In some cases, additional air conditioning or a fan or vent may be needed to improve cooling.
Allow For Clearance
Your fridge naturally produces heat as it operates during the day. That hot air needs somewhere to go — and if your fridge is wedged in tight among other appliances and storage, the air will get trapped in place and further contribute to the summer heat buildup.
Instead, make sure you have a few inches of empty space around your refrigerator. When possible, try to have maintained this clear area around all sides. Even a seemingly small gap will make it much easier for hot air to move away from the fridge.
Keep It Clean
When most people think of cleaning their refrigerator, they think of wiping up a spill or removing any crumbs from the inside shelves. But exterior cleaning can also play a big role in keeping this appliance operating properly throughout the summer months.
Fridge owners should give extra attention to their unit’s condenser coil. A dirty condenser coil can force the refrigerator’s compressor to work harder than necessary, eventually resulting in damage to the system. Condenser coils are typically found on the back of the refrigerator or behind the unit’s kick-plate — the exact location will be noted in your owner’s manual. By routinely brushing off and dust or debris from the condenser coils (when the unit is turned off, of course), you can keep your unit working properly.
Keep It Full
Interestingly, a full refrigerator is much easier to keep cool than an empty one. This is because a full fridge greatly reduces how much space can be filled by warm air when you open the refrigerator door.
Because of the higher risk of failure during the summer, however, it is recommended that you use your “outdoor” fridge to store beverages and other items that won’t immediately go bad should your unit experience any maintenance problems.
Better Performance, Less Maintenance
By following these basic tips, you can keep your refrigerator from being overworked during the summer months. As you do this, you won’t just be able to avoid unexpected maintenance mishaps — you’ll also be able to lower your electricity bills during the summer! Small and simple things can make a big difference. Get started on them today so you and your fridge can have a great summer.