Your freezer will likely be working double-duty during the summer. In addition to its usual contents, it will probably be loaded with popsicles and other goodies that help you keep cool when the temperatures are scorching. There’s also the risk of a major freezer meltdown when it gets overloaded during hot months, which definitely isn't convenient when you have swimming parties, vacations, and relaxation to attend to. These five easy-yet-essential tips for freezer maintenance can help you keep your freezer in good shape and help decrease your energy costs.
1. Regularly clean the coils
The coils behind your freezer help keep things running smoothly, but dust, pet hair, and other debris accumulate on the coils over time. If not maintained, they make your freezer less energy efficient, and can eventually result in burning out the freezer’s compressor. Use warm, soapy water to clean the coils once a year. Make sure you unplug it from the wall before you decide to start scrubbing.
2. Defrost occasionally
Even freezers that self-defrost can accumulate excess ice, which will damage the operation of the freezer. Besides that, this ice often accumulates stale and unpleasant odors. You’ll have to remove everything from the freezer to allow it to defrost, and then consider increasing the temperature by a few degrees to slow the build-up of ice. You can defrost twice a year, but should do so more often if ice accumulates in excess of 1 inch.
3. Maintain your gaskets
The gaskets surrounding your freezer door may need to be replaced occasionally to make sure that the freezer is maintaining a tight seal. If air is leaking from the freezer, it overworks the compressor, which could shorten the life of your freezer. If your gaskets are in good shape structurally, a thorough cleaning with soapy water will help remove dirt and grime that prevents a good seal.
4. Make sure there’s plenty of space
Even if the space for your freezer is tight, you’ll still need to make sure that there is enough room on all sides for air to properly circulate. If it can’t, your freezer will be overworked. Most freezers need at least one inch of extra space on all sides for good air circulation.
Keeping your freezer in good condition is beneficial for both your pocketbook and your sanity. When you’re shuttling kids to day camp and soccer practice, a freezer meltdown is the last thing that you need. These easy steps can help make sure that your freezer stays chilly even when the mercury is rising.
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