Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Refrigeration Nation

Get out you vacuums again friends!

I’m sure everyone knows about cleaning out the refrigerator every now and again. It usually happens when it gets a funk you can’t locate or you spill something and have no choice but to take everything out and clean.  (Quick tip: stick an open box of baking soda in both the fridge and freezer to keep the odors down)  But I bet that is the extent of your fridge cleaning knowledge. It was for me.

I am so lucky to have both my father-in-law and brother-in-law going to school right now for HVAC.  This education includes refrigeration units. So recently my fridge was on the fritz and started peeing small amounts of water on the floor.  I freaked out!  My oh-so-wonderful B-I-L took a look for me and in the process taught me a HUGE lesson.

First, below the doors there is this vent looking cover, he took that off.  It is simply held on there with some push clips so it comes on and off very easily.  Next he got down on his belly and took a look at the underside of the refrigerator.  He said “ew.”  He explained to me that you have set of coils down there that coolant run through. Theses coils are what keep the fridge cooled off. He explained that when they get a thick covering of dust and dirt it acts as a thermal layer warming those coils and not allowing them to do their job properly. This totally makes sense right?? So to protect these coils there is actually a grill or grate just like one your car. That grill is in place to catch as much of the dust as possible before it clings to the cooling coils. It’s like the first line of defense. Well apparently the previous homeowner was unaware of this also because there was 9 years of yuck under my fridge.  He used the vacuum to clear off the grill and then my array of different size and shape bottle cleaners to clean off the coils.  He used canned air that you normally use to clean crevices of office equipment to blow out some more chunks.  This was a big ordeal that night. 

Here is the low down on why this happens. Dust moves across your floor, you can’t help it and a lot of times you don’t even see it. But in the case of your fridge it sucks in air from the floor to run past these coils, thus attracting the dust. This includes, and in my case was mostly, dryer lint.  So here is what you need to do, take off that vent located at the bottom of your fridge once a month and vacuum the grate. If you do this and don’t allow your coils to get covered your fridge will not only stay cooler and perform better but it’s going to SAVE YOU MONEY because the machine does not have to work as hard and use as much energy.

And you know what else?? My fridge stopped peeing.
Until next time, happy cleaning.


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