For a fridge, the secret to a long healthy life is clean coils. The condenser coils are supposed to cool and condense the refrigerant. But when they become clogged with dust, pet hair or other matter, they can no longer release the heat efficiently, causing the compressor to work harder and longer than it should, which wastes energy and shortens the life of your refrigerator.
You should clean your condenser coils at least twice a year. They can be located underneath, on top of, or along the back of your refrigerator. Remove the grill covering the coils by unsnapping it or removing the screws. For back-mounted coils, simply roll the refrigerator away from the wall to access them.
Use a coil cleaning brush along with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment to remove all the dust, dirt and pet hair that have accumulated around the coils. While you’re at it, remove, empty and clean the drain pan underneath the fridge. Over time the water here can lead to mold and foul odors, not to mention potentially damaging your baseboards and flooring if it overflows.
Once you’ve replaced the drain pan and grill cover, plug in the unit and roll it back into place, if necessary. Then open the fridge, remove your favorite beverage and give a toast to this under-appreciated, hardest working appliance in your home.