Part of enjoying fresh drinks and food involves knowing how to take care of your fridge. Here are refrigerator maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.

The average refrigerator costs anywhere between $375 and $1,100, but more sophisticated ones can cost more.

Because refrigerators are a big investment, it’s important you take care of this important appliance. If your refrigerator malfunctions, all your food can go bad.

Read on to learn about these refrigerator maintenance mistakes to avoid.

1. Lack of Ventilation

Your refrigerator works hard to keep your food cold, but all that work causes your refrigerator to create some heat in the motor.

To keep working properly, your refrigerator needs to release that heat. You will notice there are vents in the back of your fridge that feel warm to touch.

When the vents get blocked by dust and debris, it leads to poor ventilation. If the heat cannot escape the fridge, it will lead to malfunctions and costly repairs.

2. Failure to Close the Door

While it might seem harmless to leave the door open of your refrigerator as you gather all of your ingredients, this will have negative effects.

When you leave the door of your refrigerator open, or it doesn’t close properly, it will cause the temperature to rise.

The motor will need to work harder to keep the inside of your refrigerator cold, which can overheat the motor.

If the door is broken or you notice cracks, it’s important you get this fixed right away to prevent further damage to your refrigerator. Also, it’s important you make it a habit to always close the door of your refrigerator.

3. Overfilling

Although it’s a great feeling to see your refrigerator full of food to feed your family, too much of it is bad for the motor.

To keep all of your food cold, the air needs to circulate properly. If you overfill your refrigerator, the cold air won’t be able to get to all of the areas of your refrigerator.

Take your time organizing your food when you return from the grocery store to ensure you don’t pile food too high.

4. The Temperature Is Too Low

While you might be tempted to set the refrigerator’s temperature too low, this can have negative effects on the life of your refrigerator.

If the temperature is too low, the motor will have to work overtime to keep your food cold. Although it might seem like the opposite would happen, it’s also common for your food to freeze and ice to form in the interior of your fridge if the temperature is too low.

To prevent this issue from happening, never set your fridge at the lowest temperature. Check the owner’s manual to learn the best refrigerator temperature you need. The recommended temperature is between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Refrigerating Hot Food

While you should never let cooked food sit out too long before putting it in the fridge, you also don’t want to refrigerate hot food.

When you place a hot pot of food in your refrigerator without allowing it to cool first, it will cause the temperature to rise.

The temperature of the refrigerator will rise, but the temperature of the perishables inside will rise as well.

Also, the motor will have to work harder to bring the temperature inside the fridge back to normal.

6. Lack of Cleaning Schedule

You take the time to clean the stovetop, oven, and the inside of your microwave, so your refrigerator should be no exception.

Ensure you add the refrigerator to your kitchen cleaning schedule for optimal performance. Whenever you clean your fridge, ensure you clean the drainage system fo make sure there are no clogs.

If the drainage system clogs, the fridge will start to leak, and you will be left with a mess on your hands.

7. You Allow the Coils to Accumulate Dirt and Debris

The coils in the back of your refrigerator are one of the most important components of your refrigerator. Condenser coils keep the refrigeration working by removing the heat from the interior.

Because your refrigerator is usually against the wall, it’s not always easy to clean behind or under it. You will find the condenser coils at the bottom of your refrigerator.

To get to the coils, you will have to remove the grille at the back of the fridge. Although it’s not always an easy task, you will have to remove the dust and debris from the coils.

Use a vacuum and clean it using a bristle brush for better results.

8. Failure to Replace the Torn Gasket

When you open the refrigerator door, you will notice a rubber seal that runs along the door frame’s interior.

The gasket helps prevent the cool air from escaping the inside of the fridge, and it also prevents the warm air from coming in.

If you notice you have a torn gasket, it’s essential you repair it right away. Replacing old parts is necessary to avoid high energy bills and excess strain on the motor.

9. You Don’t Perform a Defrost

After many years of wear and tear, you can expect frost to build over the interior coils.

Without getting rid of the frost, it will prevent the efficiency of the thermal transfer between the refrigerator components.

If your refrigerator is an older model, you might have to perform a defrosting periodically. Some of the newer models have a self-defrost feature, so this step is not necessary.

10. Not Replacing Refrigerator Filter

If your refrigerator has a water filter, it’s important you replace it right on schedule. How often you replace the refrigerator filter will depend on the type of filter you have.

Not replacing the filter on a schedule will affect the taste of the water, but it can also lead to bacterial growth.

Avoid These Refrigerator Maintenance Mistakes

Now that you know about these refrigerator maintenance mistakes to avoid, you can extend the life of your refrigerator.

Remember to replace the filter, don’t overcrowd the fridge, clean the coils, replace torn gaskets, and more.

For more useful household tips like this, check out the rest of our blog.