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A dirty or broken fridge and freezer can transmit foul smells directly into your food (yum), which can accelerate rotting and mold. Check your fridge and freezer twice a year to ensure your food remains fresh and safe to eat, extend the life of this appliance and even lower your utility bills. It's a hat trick!
Need a hand? To hire a professional to maintain your fridge and freezer, visit Angie's List to find the best local service provider to fit your needs.
Clean the condenser coils. The condenser coils are typically located under, above or behind the refrigerator. You want them to be completely free of dust and grime so that the refrigerator and freezer don’t overheat and stop cooling (read: spoiled groceries and a huge pain in the you-know-what). Check out this step-by-step for full instructions.
Clean the drip pan. If the refrigerator has a drip pan to catch condensation, make sure that the drain hole is clean and the pan itself doesn’t smell. If it does, wipe it down with warm water and mild dish soap.
Check the water filter. If the refrigerator/freezer dispenses water or makes ice cubes, check to see if the water filter needs to be replaced. If it's time, read: Change the Water Filter in Your Refrigerator.
Clean the gasket. Check the gasket that seals the refrigerator door to the unit and make sure that it’s not dirty or cracked. If you aren’t sure that it's doing its job, close a piece of paper in the door and try to pull it out. If it comes out easily, it might be time for a new gasket. If it's dirty, clean it with mild dish soap and warm water.
Defrost the freezer. If you don't have a frost-free freezer, it's manual defrost time! For a step-by-step guide through this process, read: Defrost Your Freezer.
Check your coldness setting. Make sure it's set to medium to avoid a defrost problem in the future.