The secret to refrigerator longevity is keeping the condenser coils clean. Because they are exposed to the environment, condenser coils should be cleaned at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have pets that shed. When these coils become coated and clogged, they no longer release heat efficiently, which impairs cooling, wastes energy and shortens the lifespan of your fridge.
Before you begin this DIY project, be sure to unplug your refrigerator as it is never a good idea to work on an electrical appliance while it is plugged in. Look for your condenser coils under the refrigerator or running up the back—some built-in models even locate them on top.
Next, remove the grille along the bottom front or roll the unit away from the wall for coils on the back. Then, use a coil cleaning brush, which you can pick up from any hardware store, and/or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove the dust, pet hair and other debris clinging to the coils.
Replace your grille cover and plug the refrigerator back in. Now, open the fridge, grab a cold beverage and enjoy the fruits of your labor.