Does your compressor seem to be running for longer periods of time? Have you noticed a spike in your energy bill? The fix to your problem may be simpler than you think: Clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils!
When refrigerator condenser coils are clogged with dirt, dust, and pet hair, the compressor is forced to work harder and longer. This can greatly impact the efficiency of your refrigerator, causing the compressor to run longer and cool less efficiently.
The industry standard recommendation for condenser coil cleaning is every 6 months. Pet owners should clean their coils about every 3 months, because pet hair clogs the condenser coils very quickly. We recommend adding a quick “Clean Refrigerator Coils” reminder to your calendar so you don’t forget.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
To clean the coils, you’ll need a condenser coil cleaning brush, appliance glides (optional), and a vacuum. We highly recommend using appliance glides when moving your refrigerator to prevent tears and scratches to your linoleum or hardwood floor.
Condenser Coil Cleaning Brush (get it here on Amazon)
Appliance glides (buy on Amazon)
Most refrigerator condenser coils are located either on the back of the refrigerator or on the bottom (accessed from the front toe/grille panel). Use your Owner’s Manual to determine the exact location of your coils.
How to Clean Bottom Mounted Coils:
1. Carefully move your refrigerator forward and unplug it. Move it just enough to unplug the refrigerator. If your refrigerator is built-in, turn it off at the house circuit breaker.
2. To access the coils, unsnap the grille located in the front of the refrigerator at the bottom.
3. Using the Condenser Coil Clean Brush, carefully brush the coils to remove dust and dirt (do not crimp or puncture the coils!).
4. Vacuum or sweep up the excess dirt. Use your vacuum’s long, narrow attachment for best results.
5. After the coils are sufficiently clean, reinstall the grille.
6. Plug in the refrigerator (or turn on the circuit breaker).
7. Slide the refrigerator back into position.
How to Clean Rear Mounted Coils:
1. Pull your refrigerator forward using the appliance glides. You will need to pull it forward enough to completely access the back of the refrigerator.
2. Unplug your refrigerator.
3. The rear-mounted coils will be visible along the entire backside of the refrigerator and are usually black or gray in color. Carefully brush the coils to remove dust and dirt (do not crimp or puncture the coils!).
5. After the coils are sufficiently clean, plug in the refrigerator and slide it back into position.
This simple, ten-minute chore twice a year can save you hundreds of dollar on refrigerator repair costs. Check out this blog for more information on preventative refrigerator maintenance.