Refrigerators are very common household appliances that stand in one corner of the kitchen and do their work without making a sound. But just like any other electrical appliance, these also require maintenance and repairs. Though refrigerators don’t create many problems on their own if they do, it can cost a lot of money to get them repaired.
The ancestors of modern-day refrigerators worked on a similar principle but were quite different in the structural organization. During the earlier times, all the refrigerators used to have their condensers on top of the refrigerator compartment. This allowed adequate airflow to help keep the condenser coils cool and efficient.
But this also made the refrigerators look not so pretty as they do now. As the refrigerator industry evolved, manufacturers started placing the condenser coils at the bottom or at the back of the refrigerator.
This was a very convenient location for the condenser coils but also a problematic one as the airflow in this region of the refrigerator is generally very limited. This creates one major problem. The hot air tends to rise up and flow around the refrigerator increasing its temperature which becomes worse when the condenser fan doesn’t work properly as the condenser coils are completely dependent on the fan for heat exchange. This also increases the accumulation of dust in the condenser region and the fan blades.
How to increase the lifespan of the refrigerator?
Repair costs for a refrigerator can go pretty high depending upon the damage, but all the repairs can be actually avoided in the first place if regular maintenance is done. The most expensive and important part of any refrigerator is the condenser. Keeping the condenser in good shape is the sole reason for doing regular maintenance of your refrigerator.
The general problems that might occur with any refrigerator condenser are overheating issues. These issues are generally caused by inadequate airflow around the condenser coils resulting in overheating and in some cases complete failure of the coils.
If no maintenance is performed most of the bottom condenser refrigerators will work fine for a few years but once the coils get jammed with dust and debris, the whole refrigerator will start causing trouble. If yearly maintenance is performed, cleaning all the areas surrounding the condenser coils and fan, and removing any debris from clogged areas, the lifespan of the refrigerator can be increased by a significant margin
Reaching all the areas of the condenser can be a bit tricky as it is situated in a not very convenient location, but you can use a coil cleaning brush generally available in a hardware store for under $10. These brushes are about 15-18 inches long with wide enough bristles to clear the condenser coils thoroughly. Moreover, after cleaning the coils with the brush, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any remaining dust and debris.
Cleaning the condenser has positive effects on the functioning of the refrigerator as the condenser works without any obstruction, releasing heat efficiently and thus requires less energy.
A major part of the efficiency of the refrigerator is played by the interior components. The internal compartment of the refrigerator is kept insulated from the atmospheric temperature which is ensured by a rubber gasket attached to the inner side of the refrigerator door. This gasket prevents any exchange of heat between the inner and outer surfaces of the refrigerator. If your gasket is broken or has small cracks in it, then it can cause major issues in the performance of the refrigerator. Sometimes, the gasket is in good condition but it doesn’t shut down as tightly as it used to.
To test if your gasket shuts down and creates an insulated environment or not, just take a dollar bill and try to move it around the gasket while the refrigerator door is shut. If the bill slides freely over the gasket then the gasket is faulty and needs to replaced. If you have slight cracks or tears on the gasket you can use a silicone filler to fill up the cracks and punctures. But make sure that the cracks are small and manageable as larger the cracks, the harder it gets to repair the gasket.
One more thing that you can do to increase the lifespan of your refrigerator is to never use any sharp object to pick ice from the interior coil. Using sharp objects may puncture the coil resulting in permanent damage to the coil which can only be fixed by replacing the entire coil. This can significantly increase repair costs.
Also, make sure that your heat drain pipes are clean and free of any kind of dust and debris. Clogged pipes can decrease the efficiency of even the best refrigerators in India, increasing the power consumption as the refrigerator needs to work harder to make up for the loss in efficiency.