Refrigerators, whether used at home or at your business, require maintenance. The average lifespan of a refrigerator is 13 years. With refrigerator preventative maintenance, you can get more longevity out of the appliance and avoid sudden breakdowns. This refrigerator maintenance checklist is designed to remind you of the important points of care at the recommended time intervals.

Day to Day Maintenance Tasks

Ongoing maintenance can keep your fridge and freezer fresh and running efficiently. For most refrigerators, you need adequate clearance on all sides for ventilation. Covering food can prevent odors from spreading throughout the appliance. However, an open box of baking soda can absorb acids that trigger many odors.

Every Month

Thoroughly clean the interior, removing odor-causing foods and other items, and organizing the refrigerator and freezer. Discard spoiled or expired food. When cleaning the fridge, use a mild detergent to manually clean the shelves, bins, and rails. Cleaning with vinegar will prevent mildew. And while you’re organizing, make sure the air intake and exhaust vents are clear so to not strain the cooling system and consume more electricity.

Every Three Months

Dirty door gaskets make it hard to get a tight seal and cause cool air leakage. If you notice a grimy gasket, clean it with soap and water. Replace or re-magnetize the magnets on loose seals. This is also a good time to clean the condenser coils, which release heat from the back of the appliance. Dust and pet hair should be cleaned away, or else they might strain the compressor and fan. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean the coils, and a coil brush for hard-to-reach areas.

Make sure the fridge is level. If it is leaning from back-to-front or side-to-side, it might not close properly, and condensation can form inside. The motors and door seals can be strained as well. First, place a carpenter’s level on top. If necessary, either rotate the adjustable feet or use a hand wrench to set them in the proper position until the refrigerator is level.

Every Six Months

Refrigerator care and cleaning tasks, including changing the water filter to improve flow to the ice maker and dispenser and limit contaminants, can help your appliance last longer. Change the air filter, to limit food odors and allow air to pass through, and produce preservers to keep fruits and vegetables fresher. The drain hole and drip pan are there to remove condensation. If food and mineral deposits have built up, these components may not serve their purpose, so scrub the drain pan clean at least twice a year.

Other Important Maintenance Tasks

You can manually defrost the system if necessary, although most new refrigerators do this automatically. Defrosting is an important fridge/freezer maintenance task. If there is more than ½ inch of ice in the freezer, just turn the fridge off to allow it to defrost naturally (position a fan towards the interior for faster results). Check the temperature setting as well. The refrigerator should be set anywhere from 37-40°F and the freezer should be at 0°F. And, keep the fridge as full as possible, as cold food and liquids help maintain low temperatures.

Take Advantage of Wilshire Refrigeration’s General Maintenance Program

At Wilshire Refrigeration, we take refrigerator preventative maintenance seriously. Our General Maintenance Program includes a complete inspection plus a vacuuming of condenser coils. Make sure it is part of your refrigerator maintenance checklist and contact us at 800-427-3653 or request service online for the best care and support.