Have your energy bills gone up even though you have not made any big changes to your home? Do you suspect that your refrigerator is to blame? There are a number of reasons why a fridge may lose efficiency over the years. Even if your fridge started off very energy-efficient, it could be burning through far more energy if it is affected by any of these ailments.
The condenser coils in most refrigerators are exposed on the back of the fridge, so they tend to collect dust over time. This coating of dust makes it harder for the coils to operate, as they cannot discharge heat into the air so easily. As a result, efficiency suffers.
Luckily, it's pretty easy to clean your refrigerator's coils. Pull it away from the wall, and just vacuum the coils with the wand attachment on your vacuum. If the coils still look a bit dirty, you can give them a gentle wipe-down with a damp cloth. Do not use any detergents or cleaners as these may attract more dirt or harm the material from which the coils are made.
Gaskets are the rubber seals that run along the border of your refrigerator's doors. They ensure the door fits tightly into the frame and that air does not leak out. If the gaskets crack or chip, they can create air leaks. The more cold air your fridge loses, the harder it has to work to maintain its temperature.
Look over your fridge gaskets carefully. If there are any areas where they are worn or cracked, you'll need to replace the gaskets or arrange to have a home appliance repair company do this for you. In the future, keep a close eye on your gaskets so you can replace them before they fall into such disrepair.
If the fan that blows the cold air into your refrigerator is not functioning properly, it could be using more electricity than it should. Some signs that your fan is struggling include rattling noises coming from the fridge, the fan being on constantly, and uneven temperatures within the fridge.
Repairing a broken fan is not always easy, depending on how badly the fan is actually damaged. Get an estimate from a home appliance repair company. If the cost is too high, you may be better off replacing the entire fridge, especially if it is more than 10 years old.