This will not be the sexiest thing you do this month, but it just might be the most important. Hidden somewhere on your refrigerator is a winding, zig-zaggy section of tubing called a condenser coil — it's there to take air from the room and make it cool enough to keep the food and supplies you store inside the fridge fresh. Over time, the coil collects dust and dirt (and pet hair—so much pet hair) from around the room, and the build up can make it hard for the coil to release heat and do its main job of keeping things cool.
If you don't clean your condenser coil regularly (around twice a year), you could be throwing away money ($5 to $10 a month) to power your inefficient fridge. And if you're a homeowner, you should know that dirty coils will lead to frequent and costly repairs, and ultimately a shorter life for your hardest working — and very expensive — kitchen appliance. So today, let's grab a vacuum and take a second to give our fridge a little clean up...
TODAY'S 20-MINUTE TASK
Vacuum Your Fridge Coils
First things first: Unplug your fridge, or cut off power to the breaker (your food should be fine inside as long as you don't open the fridge).
Next — because every refrigerator is different — you're going to want to locate the condenser coil on your specific model. Your fridge coil might be on the back of the fridge, behind a kick plate or grille on the front or back of the bottom, or maybe even behind a panel on top of the fridge. If you're not sure where the coil is located, a quick search online with your specific make and model should uncover a direct answer (and if you're lucky, a YouTube tutorial).
Once you've found the coil, you can gently vacuum around it with a small attachment on your vacuum hose, sucking up any dust and hair you see from the area. (But while you're in there, take care to not knock anything out of place or bend any of the lines.)
When you're done, just remember to plug in and power the fridge back up.
If your fridge coil is hidden, hard to get to, or you'd just rather outsource this chore, you can always call a pro to come clean the coil for you. It'll be much cheaper and easier than dealing with repairs down the line.