Monday, June 8, 2009

Extending the Life of Your Refrigerator

A fridge is one appliance just about everyone has, it works to keep our food from spoiling by keeping it cold and protected. It is often forgotten about but can be a huge energy sucker if not properly maintained as it has to work doubly hard in order to do its job. This risks early burn out or malfunctions. There are super simple steps we can all take to ensure these things do not happen!

☼ Clean inside -- No need to keep muck cold, make sure the shelves are free of old and expired foods. It is also good to clean up spills or leaks as they happen to avoid bacterial growth. Once the shelves and drawers are grime free make sure the temperature is set somewhere between 36 to 38 degrees (Fahrenheit).

☼ Keep it stocked -- To maintain the temperature and avoid overworking the motor keep the fridge full. A good trick I used to do is when I was running low on groceries, but also too lazy to go buy them, was to fill up a few pitchers or gallon jugs of water. Filtered tap water, ice cold, is also really yummy and better than buying lots of plastic bottles so it is a double benefit!

☼ Clean under and around -- Maintaining a functioning condenser coil is vital to the survival and smooth operation of a fridge. Unplug the fridge and pull it out. Dust and / or vacuum under and behind the machine to remove dust and particles. Every six months is a good schedule for this maintenance.

☼ Check the gasket -- That rubber piece attached to the door should be free of grime to ensure a proper seal and interior temperature. If it looks yucky grab a damp towel and wipe it down. Dish soap is mild enough to not wear the rubber and works great to degrease.

☼ Level the feet -- To make sure the fridge is operating properly and not throwing heat to strange areas make sure the unit is level with the floor. Most fridges have feet on the front that adjust by screwing up or down.

☼ Keep it cool -- by making less trips to open and close the door the fridge will not need to work as hard to maintain its coolness. When making dinner or otherwise grabbing items from the fridge try to gather as many as possible in one trip.

Making sure all of these steps are taken will keep energy costs down and extend the life of this snazzy, uber cool appliance for years to come!


ginger said...

i like this...there are some things we just never think of and this is one. i need to dust underneath mine right now, i've been sprinkling diatomaceous earth around it because we have ants really bad in the summer...REALLY bad this year, so i should clean that up.

Jenn said...

Ooh, what is diatomaceous earth? I must google it to see if it would be a good review item for here :) Thanks for the info Ginger!

Karen said...

Grabbing as many things as you can from the fridge at one time is known as the "Rachel Ray Manuever" LOL Great tips :)

ginger said...

you'll get more information from google than you will from me, but i can tell you that if you get some for your own pest control then you must make sure it's food grade. there are 3 grades and the food grade is what's used in homes to deter pests like ants, spiders and (ahem) bed bugs...the reason i got it. it's apparently the best thing for those little effers. it doesn't kill right away, but it gets on them and dries them out so they die a short time it's not poison, it sucks them dry. eeewwwww, right? and it's called food grade because it's mixed in with livestock feed to kill any bugs in their food. that kind is safe for pets, my birds have been fine and i've been using it since you know when.

as far as i know, it's made from fossilized bacteria and the like and it's ground into a fine, fine powder...feels and looks like a white dusting powder or ash. i haven't seen any critters except ants...although, i do sweep up a couple dozen ant carcasses every couple of days in the kitchen and bathroom because of the stuff.