When I say clean your refrigerator, I am not talking about eating up all those leftovers. The part that I am talking about is the functional part on the back that is up against the wall. For some refrigerators the only time they get cleaned back there is when it is time to move or a favorite toy rolled under the beast.
Cleaning the back of your refrigerator is a once a year task to keep it operating at full efficiency. The grid of small tubing attached to the back of the refrigerator is called the condenser. It is the way the machine gets rid of the heat that it removes from the food storage and beer cooler part.
The object is to clean the condenser so air can flow freely around those tubes. Pet hair, dust bunnies and lint can slow down the removal of the heat making the compressor motor run more than needed. That wastes energy and your money.
Here is a list of the tools you need to do a good job of it.
Duster brush or vacuum brush attachment
A cotton rag or the sock that is hiding behind the refrigerator
Before you start, look inside the refrigerator to see what is going to tip over when you shove the refrigerator around.
Step One Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug it. Pulling the plug and moving the cord out of the way will make the job easier and safer. Pick up all the toys and missing socks that hid back there. No, I do not know why socks hide behind the refrigerator they just do. Stick your hand inside the sock and use it as the rag in the next step.
Step Two The condenser will be the radiator-looking part on the rear of the refrigerator. If you have a pet, expect to see a large amount of animal fur on the condenser.
If a lot of dust, lint or fur is present then clean off with a dry rag (sock) and dispose of it in the trash bag. We suggest using the rag method first to avoid clogging up the vacuum hose.
Use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any buildup on the condenser. The brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner works particularly well at this point. The brush will allow you to get in between all the fins and remove the dust hiding there.
Remember, the condenser is made of thin tubing and is full of a high-pressure gas. So be gentle. If you break the tubing, a simple cleaning could turn into an expensive repair.
Step Three Use the rag and spray cleaner only if there is sticky greasy stuff that will cause the dirt to stick. Since the condensers job is to transfer heat, any residue left by a cleaner could make it less efficient. Do not use furniture polish (example lemon furniture polish) or a dust removal spray. They would leave a waxy residue that will end up attracting more dust.
Step Four Use the vacuum to remove dust from the cover that is near the bottom rear of the refrigerator. It is covering the area where the compressor and electrical components are located. It will usually have ventilation holes in it where dust can hide. While your are bent down there, do the floor too.
Step Five Vacuum the floor and the area where the refrigerator normally sits. Vacuum the sides of the refrigerator. If there is a kick plate floor level grille, at the front of the refrigerator, vacuum it also. Do not remove the kick plate to clean. Some are very difficult to re-install. Once they are off, they tend to stay off.
Step Six Plug in the refrigerator and push back into place. Look inside the refrigerator and see if you were right about which items were tipped over.
Add up your score In the space of a few minutes, you have accomplished a number of objectives.
1. Removed a major accumulation of dust from your home
2. Made the refrigerator operate more efficiently
3. Lowered your electrical bill
4. Found those missing toys and socks.
Take a break you earned it.
Now that you know how easy it is, you have to add it to your spring cleaning list of items to do every year.
Click here for a free money saving report written by the Energy Boomer titled HOW SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT HEATING BILL