Use the energy saver switch on newer models. This controls an electric heater built into the front perimeter of the cabinet. In humid weather it keeps moisture from collecting there, but is seldom required in the dry winter months.
When putting freshly washed vegetables into the fridge, dry them before hand. Excessive moisture can make the appliance work harder and use more energy.
To find out if your refrigerator is keeping the proper temperature, put a container of water on the middle shelf. Let it stand over night and then test the water temperature. Because the air temperature varies so widely, this is the only accurate way to find out. Also see 'The Cold Facts' for the proper way to set your controls.
If you have to transport the fridge you can lay it on its side (after securing its shelves and doors). After moving, it should be left to stand upright at least an hour before plugging it in. This is because when horizontal, the oil in the compressor will seep into the refrigerant lines plugging them. The idea is to give the oil time to settle back into the compressor harmlessly. However, the less time it's on its side and the less jostling it gets in that position, the better.
If you're planning to leave a refrigerator unplugged or turned off for a length of time, be sure to keep both doors ajar. Put something between the door gaskets and the front frame of the cabinet and use masking tape to hold the doors in place. Moist air trapped inside the fridge will produce mold and mildew that will be difficult to clean out.
Frequently clean the door gaskets and the mating refrigerator surface. Any sticky buildup will put added stress on the gasket material and lead to premature failure.
When storing items in the door, place the heaviest items closest to the hinge side. This will minimize the distance these items travel when the door is opened and closed, reducing stress on the door and inner door panel.
To increase cooling efficiency and reduce power consumption on a manual-defrost fridge, defrost it often. However, DO NOT use a sharp object to break up the ice. The refrigerant gas travels through tubing molded into the freezer box (evaporator), and is easily punctured. Major repairs will be required to fix it and if the fridge is not unplugged immediately, moisture will be drawn into the compressor. In this case it will certainly not be economical to repair.
On frost-free models with a condenser fan motor, clean the dust from the fan and condenser area periodically. Excessive build-up can lead to premature compressor failure and does result in higher energy consumption.
Do not attempt to use regular plumbing solder to repair copper or steel refrigerant lines. This requires special silver-alloy solders such as Silfoss or silver solder to withstand refrigerant pressures. In addition, once tried, it may not be possible to remove the household solder to weld the lines properly.
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