Saying that it can get hot in Florida during the summer is an understatement. From the hot sun rays to the dense humidity, Florida weather is unique. With all that hot weather, it can affect your home and more specifically, your refrigerator. Your fridge houses your favorite foods and drinks, and the last thing you want is to come home after a long day and open your fridge to find that all your food has gone bad. No matter how cool you keep your home, your refrigerator is going to be working hard this summer, which is why we wanted to offer these helpful tips on how to help keep your fridge running this summer. Keep reading to learn more!
Separate Your Appliances
Now we know that sometimes this is completely out of your control, especially if you’re renting an apartment or home, however, if you are able to, keep your fridge away from appliances like the stove or dishwasher do it. The heat that is generated from these appliances can force your fridge to have to work harder in order to maintain its cool temperature. This can then increase your electricity bill, which is something that no one wants. If you can, try to keep your refrigerator in its own section of the kitchen.
Keep Your Refrigerator Stocked
You may think that an empty fridge does not have to work as hard to keep itself cool, since there is nothing in it. After all, there’s nothing to cool, right? This is a myth that has often plagued many refrigerators. Keeping your fridge stocked actually helps regulate the temperature. If you’ve only a few things placed in the fridge, placing large water jugs as placeholders can trick your fridge into thinking it’s full and then it’s not having to work as hard. You save money and keep your fridge happy. It’s a win for both parties!
Inspect and Clean The Gaskets
Most people aren’t paying that much attention to the seal that surrounds the perimeter of your refrigerator door, but you really should. That little bit of either rubber or plastic is an essential when making sure that your fridge is running properly. Also known as a door gasket, the seal can get worn out over time through general wear and tear. You’ll want to clean any dirt off this seal, as the dirt can wear down the seal. You don’t need to invest in any special cleaning product, warm water and soap will work just fine. One of our favorite ways to test your seal is to close a dollar bill in the door so that half of it is sticking out of the seal. If the gasket is not tight enough, the bill will not hold in place. So, if the bill falls, then you know it’s time to clean or even replace the seal.
Don’t Put Hot Leftovers In the Fridge
You may think that you’re being efficient by placing the leftovers in the fridge right after you’ve cooked them, but it’s not as efficient as you think. Placing hot food in the fridge can dramatically raise the temperature, making the compressor work harder to cool the fridge down. Let your food cool down to room temperature, and this will help neutralize the temperature when you put them back into the fridge. Of course, don’t leave your food out for too long, especially meat. The FDA states that food should not be left out of the fridge for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees fahrenheit). A good rule of thumb to have is to let your extra food sit while you eat your lunch or dinner. By the time you’ve finished eating, your food will have cooled down and will be ready to place in the fridge.
Keep Your Condenser Coils Clean
The condenser coils on your fridge release heat, which makes the compressor run. When dust, dirt, and especially pet hair gather around the coils, the system can overheat which causes the compressor to break, and then your fridge cannot keep the food inside it cold. Most coils are located on the back of the fridge, you’ll have to pull the fridge from the wall to access them. You may be able to access them from the front if you remove the grill. Use a vacuum or bristle brush to help clean the coils every few months. You’ll want to be sure to take care of this if you have a pet that sheds frequently.
Cover Your Food
It can be tempting, especially when you’re in a rush, to want to just stash a bowl of food in the fridge without covering it. However, you should really take the extra time to transfer your food into a closer container or tupperware. When your food is left uncovered, the moisture from the food is released into the air and then your fridge is forced to work harder to keep things not only cool but dry. Covering your food will also help it stay fresh and not get weirdly dried out.
Keep Your Fridge At Its Recommended Temperature
When it’s hot outside it might seem like a good idea to crank down the temperature in order to keep your food lasting longer, but this is not the case. The FDA recommends keeping your fridge at or below 40 degrees and your freezer at 0 degrees. Keeping your fridge at a colder temperature than necessary will not only make your electricity bill go up drastically, but it will also make the compressor run longer, which then wears it down faster.
While it’s important to keep your fridge “healthy” in the summer, check out our other blog articles for other helpful tips and tricks to keep it running all year long.
At The Appliance Squad, we have a great team of trained repair workers that are here for any and all of your appliance repair needs. Contact us today with any questions regarding any type of large home appliance; we have experience working with tons of different brands and offer various services. Visit us onsite to learn more!