Q:

What can you do to extend your refrigerator's lifespan?

A:

Quick Answer

Regular cleaning of the condenser coils can triple a refrigerator's life. Replacing damaged or worn-out gaskets also extends a refrigerator's life and helps it work more efficiently.

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Full Answer

The condenser coils should be cleaned at least once a year. To clean them, unplug the refrigerator and remove any protective grille or covering from the coils. Use a refrigerator brush or broom, or use a vacuum extension, to free lint and dirt from the coils. Finish by wiping the coils with a soft cloth, being careful not to snag the coils. Vacuum or sweep up any debris on the floor and wipe the grille or cover clean before putting it back in place.

Inspect the rubber gaskets around the refrigerator doors regularly for cracks or other signs of damage. Replace damaged gaskets according to the owner's manual. If there are no cracks, test the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If the paper slides out easily while the door is closed, the gasket is worn out and needs replacement. Extend the life of the gaskets by wiping them with white vinegar to remove mildew and mold and by coating the leading edge of the gaskets with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

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