How To Maintain Your Refrigerator
The most essential piece of equipment in the kitchen, make sure your fridgeis running efficiently for better food storage and to keep energy costs down.
GIVE IT ENOUGH ROOM by allowing at least a 10mm gap at the sides and 20mm behind. If the fridge is in direct sun, install a blind to screen it. Better still, ventilate the fridge space to the roof void or through outside walls.
CLEAN IT INSIDE AND OUT every four to six months, working from the top down and cleaning one shelf or area at a time. Wipe the interior with a mild detergent solution or bicarb soda.
WASH REMOVABLE SHELVES in the sink with warm water and detergent, but let glass shelves come to room temperature first to avoid cracks.
CLEAR THE DRAIN HOLE at the base of the fridge and wipe the door seals, taking care to clear all dirt from the grooves.
WIPE THE COILS and around the motor every three months as dust can cause the unit to run poorly. Unplug the fridge, pull it out and use the vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment.
KEEP IT LEVEL to make it efficient. Raise or lower the feet or castors using an adjustable wrench, or turn the levelling screws with a shifter. Use a spirit level to ensure that the fridge is balanced.
CHECK DOOR SEALS twice a year to keep food fresh and energy costs down. Close the door on a sheet of paper then try to pull the paper out. If there’s little resistance, the seal isn’t working. Coat the flat surface with petroleum jelly, or completely replace a stiff or cracked seal.
Keep the freezer well stocked
A well-stocked freezer isn’t just good news for mealtimes, it also keeps your freezer running at maximum efficiency as there’s less circulating air that has to be cooled. Fill empty spaces with containers of water. They will not only improve your freezer’s performance but also help to keep the contents cold for longer in the event of a power cut.
Choosing a new model
Refrigerators are switched on and running 24 hours a day, all year long. They account for about 20% of the electricity used in the average home, so it definitely pays to make sure they run as efficiently as possible.
When you need to replace your fridge, choose one with the highest energy rating you can afford and look for the energy-saving logo. The most efficient new models can save about two-thirds of the power used by a 10-year-old fridge.