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How to Clean Refrigerator Coils in 4 Easy Steps
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As with most appliances, it’s important to keep up with routine refrigerator maintenance to avoid unwanted repairs down the road. One of our refrigerator repair experts’ top maintenance tips is to clean refrigerator coils every 6 months. (More often if you have pets.)

Why You Should Clean Refrigerator Coils

Why is condenser coil cleaning so important? Well, that requires a little knowledge of how condenser coils work. The coils release heat as refrigerant runs through them. This helps maintain consistent temperatures in your unit.

When dust builds up on these exposed coils, they can’t release heat. This buildup is essentially suffocating your refrigerator and can lead to these common problems:

  • Refrigerator warm but freezer cold
  • Refrigerator runs constantly
  • Refrigerator makes loud noise
  • Premature Compressor Failure

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Refrigerator Coils

If you notice any of the problems listed above, or just want to improve overall refrigerator efficiency, learn how to clean refrigerator coils here! You can perform this task yourself in four easy steps.

These are the materials you’ll need to clean refrigerator coils:

Step #1: Unplug Refrigerator & Locate Coils

Before you clean refrigerator coils, the very first thing you should do is unplug the unit. This is for your safety. Then, put on your facemask. There will be a lot of dust and debris, and you don’t want to breathe that in!

Next, pull the unit away from the wall and locate the condenser coils. The location varies for each make and model, but they are easy enough to find. Usually, the coils are located at the base of the refrigerator or in the back. Many refrigerators have a removable grill at the bottom. Remove the grill and you will see the coils.

Note: If you’re having trouble locating your refrigerator’s coils, refer to the user manual.

clean refrigerator coils
Image from Green Living Ideas

Step #2: Vacuum the Coils

The next step to clean condenser coils requires a vacuum. Use the long, narrow hose attachment on your vacuum to remove as much debris as you can. If you’ve never cleaned the coils, this step is crucial.

We do recommend cleaning refrigerator coils every six months. However, if you have pets, you’ll have to do this more often. When vacuuming, note how much pet hair and dander is caught in the condenser coils. Check on them every few months to determine the best cleaning schedule for your refrigerator.

Step #3: Brush Coils Clean

By now, you’re probably thanking us for recommending that face mask! Grab your appliance cleaning brush (you can purchase one from Lowe’s here) and brush away any remaining dust and debris that you couldn’t reach with your vacuum.

Make sure to run it through each curve and crevasse of the condenser coils. This step will take the longest, but it should be easy enough with the cleaning brush.

Step #4: Vacuum and Reposition Unit

Now that you’ve loosened and removed the more stubborn dust on your coils, use your vacuum once again. Run the nozzle over the coils one more time and then clean up any debris that ended up on the floor.

Once you’re sure you’ve cleaned up all the remaining dust, plug your refrigerator back into the wall. Carefully move your unit back into place. Be careful not to scrape or damage your floors or cabinetry.

Note: It can take up to 24 hours to notice a difference in your refrigerator’s performance once you clean the coils. You’ll notice the temperatures throughout the unit will be much more consistent.

If this job seems too big for you, we offer a refrigerator maintenance program. We’ll not only clean condenser coils for you, but we’ll also perform a full inspection to ensure your unit is in perfect order. Call Moore Appliance Service to schedule your appointment today!

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Serving North Carolina throughout Moore, Lee, Cumberland, & Hoke Counties

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