Refrigerator Dangers - Part One Of Two

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

How many of us can live without a fridge?  I would guess none! We kind of like ours - we have one in the kitchen, and a second in the basement along with two upright freezers.  And they are all full!  We have over 100 cubic feet of refrigerated space in our house!  Oh, I forgot the small one in the Redskin Room (the Cuchihuasi, a Quechua word which means Hog House) for sodas.

A very important regular maintenance which you should undertake regards the refrigerator coils.  A fan runs often sending air over the coils.  This fan can draw in dust over time.

How often do you clean yours?  How often should you?

The rule of thumb for cleaning used to be once a year.  Has that changed?

Where are your coils?  In an older fridge, prior to 1990 or so depending on the model, they are accessed from behind.

On newer models they are underneath, and accessed from the front.  Some are on top.

NOT cleaning the coils dramatically affects efficiency and performance.  A very old fridge, which people used to put in the basement or garage when they got a new one, could cost $1.50 or more every day in electricity!  Very new fridges cost $25 - $50 per year!  SO IT IS BEST TO GET RID OF VERY OLD MODELS.  But, old or new, efficiency is affected by dirtiness, as with any compressor mechanism.

Replacing any old fridge is VERY GREEN.  It is "green" because it dramatically saves money and energy.  The best way to "go green," as they say, is to unfetter a free-market economy to innovate and improve consumer products to pursue profits.  If a company invents or improves any product such that end users will save big bucks from better efficiency, those end users will flock to that new product.  Profits result!  "GREEN" is the very essence of free-market economics.  Pure and simple.  But I digress!

What do you need to clean your coils?

A screwdriver, a vacuum cleaner with its attachments, and soapy water.

The steps:

1.  Pull out and unplug your fridge.  If you have a new model and the coils are on the bottom you may not have to pull it out.  The coils are behind the kick plate on the bottom front.

2.  Remove the cover plate.

3.  Take your vacuum and whichever attachment looks best, and clean the dusty coils.  The brush attachment for upholstery works well.

4.  If it has been a while since the last cleaning, you may need to use some soapy water.  Expect grease.

5.  Replace the cover plate, clap your hands, and say, "Done!"  You can raise your fist in triumph too...

How often should this be done?  If your coils are underneath and in front, just walking by kicks up dust, which gets sucked into the underside and over the coils.  So probably once a year.  If they are behind you have an older model and SHOULD REPLACE IT!  But if you can't you should also clean once a year!

My recommendation:  DO IT!  If you don't clean your coils you are literally playing with fire.  You are certainly playing with higher electric bills.  Your appliances account for about 12% of your monthly bills.  Why not have them operating efficiently?

The next post:  More Dangers!  You might be surprised...

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mike Leibel 11/10/2010 07:48 AM
  2. Jennifer Dulmaine 11/10/2010 09:46 PM
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Comments 22 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,169,418
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Thanks Gilda, um Tish!  Actually, in the olden days, it was recommended that you clean your fridge coils 4 times a year!

Jen - sure, pass it along!  It is good info.

There you go Don.  Although, if the TV is in the front of the fridge and you unplug the fridge you are out of luck...

November 11, 2010 05:35 AM
Rainmaker
229,341
Reuben Saltzman
Minneapolis Home Inspections
Structure Tech Home Inspections

Good advice, Jay.  I only get to cleaning my fridge about once every two years, but hey, at least I do it.

November 11, 2010 05:37 PM
Rainmaker
1,169,418
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Mine is a year old this October Reubs...  Should I get around to it?

November 11, 2010 07:10 PM
Rainmaker
572,502
DeeDee Riley
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA

Great info Jay.  Hopefully you don't mind if I ad a link to it to my Facebook page.  FYI-I saw your part 2 first actually and didn't see a link to this one there. It was great info as well!!! You might want to link them to each other.

November 12, 2010 01:19 PM
Rainmaker
1,169,418
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

DeeDee - thanks for the tip.  I will!  Glad you enjoyed them both and sure, put it on Facebook!

November 12, 2010 02:30 PM
Rainmaker
1,169,418

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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