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Simple Home and Appliance Repairs

By: Mike Thomas

A good rule of thumb for homeowners is to have a regular home maintenance schedule. Your home maintenance tips should include completing upkeep in kitchens, laundry rooms and basements as well as taking care of exterior units such as air conditioners and sprinkler systems. And, as the weather begins to warm you’ll want to pay special attention to the upkeep of your refrigerator.

Preventive methods today, can cut back on an appliance repair or replacement tomorrow.

Perhaps the most often used appliance in a household, the refrigerator also protects the most important resource that your home contains: food. The health of your household is directly linked to the health of your refrigerator. Below are some home maintenance tips to keep your refrigerator in top shape no matter its age.

Avoid the High Cost of Refrigerator Repair

1. Vacuum the condenser coils under your fridge every three months.

If your vacuum has a brush attachment, use it to collect the barbs and dust that will inevitably collect underneath your fridge. These dust balls can find their way into your food or into the ventilation system of the appliance if they are not controlled. Households with shedding pets should perform this upkeep even more often, perhaps once a month.

2. Clean the door gasket and inspect the surrounding seal every three months as well.

The door of your refrigerator must be kept sealed in order to lock out the outside airflow that would otherwise cause your food to have a shorter lifespan. The door gasket must remain clean at all times in order to avoid attracting bacteria and agitating it every time you open the fridge door. Make sure to replace the door gasket whenever it becomes worn beyond repair.

3. Replace the water filter to the appliance every six months.

A clean water filter does more than ensure clean water to the appliance; it also prevents many different types of leaks and clogs from occurring. A clean water filter also helps the icemaker produce cleaner ice. While you are at it, completely replace the ice in your icemaker every three months; old ice absorbs odors.

4. Cover all foodstuffs and invest in a box of baking soda for the fridge.

Covering your food will keep odors from spreading around your refrigerator and freezer. If you are currently dealing with odors in your fridge, baking soda is one of the best investments you can make. An open box will completely absorb the odor - causing materials in your fridge. Be sure to replace it at least four times a year.

5 - Be sure to give your refrigerator space on all sides.

Unless your fridge is a front-vented appliance, it will need some spacing between it and the walls to ventilate and keep condensation from adding to its wear and tear. Six inches from each side should be adequate although some larger, more powerful refrigerators may require more.

Many people do not have the time to perform this maintenance themselves. If this is the case, be sure to include it on a list for your professional to handle or call our home warranty partner for a free quote today.



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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

Home protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations including repairs or replacements of covered home system components and appliances. See contract for details.