Maintain your fridge and freezer

A little maintenance can help you save

Your refrigerator and freezer are the two appliances in your home that use the most electricity. The good news is that you can help cut-down on their electricity use by keeping them well maintained and by ensuring their set at the ideal temperature.

Replace fridge and freezer door seals

Materials and supplies

  • Paper
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring tape
  • Door seal
  • Screwdriver
  • Baby powder
  • Hair dryer

Skill level

Intermediate

Time required

2 hours

Gaskets on your fridge or freezer deteriorate over time, and if the door doesn't seal properly, this can waste a lot of energy. Here's a step-by-step guide to replacing a fridge or freezer door seal:

  1. Start by checking if your door is sealing tightly:
    1. Place a piece of paper between the door and the refrigerator as you close it. If you can move the paper freely in the door, the fridge is not sealed tightly.
    2. You can also place a flashlight inside the fridge or freezer and turn it on, then close the door. If you can see light around the door gasket, it is not sealing properly.
  2. If you decide to replace the gasket, write down the make and model number of your refrigerator and measure the size of the door.
  3. Shop around to find a replacement seal for your appliance. Local hardware retailers, appliance retailers, and the manufacturer’s website are all good places to look for replacement parts.
  4. To replace the seal:
    1. The seal is held in place on the door with screws. Locate and loosen the screws, but do not remove them from the fridge or freezer door.
    2. You should be able to slide out the door seal after you've loosened all the screws.
    3. Gently slide the new seal in place along the fridge or freezer door and then tighten the screws.
  5. To prevent the new seal from sticking, apply baby powder around the hinge corners of the door seal and where the seal slides to prevent sticking.
  6. Check the new seal for gaps using a sheet of paper or flashlight. If you find some gaps, you can fix them with some weatherstripping. You can also use a hair dryer to soften and stretch the seal.

Use a fridge and freezer thermometer

Materials and supplies

  • Fridge thermometer

Skill level

Beginner

Time required

20 minutes

If set to the appropriate temperature range, your fridge and freezer will keep your food cold without over-chilling or causing freezer burn. Use a fridge and freezer thermometer to make sure your appliance is as efficient as possible.

  1. Place the thermometer in a visible spot inside the fridge or freezer.
  2. Allow 15 minutes for the thermometer to adjust.
  3. Check the reading. The ideal temperature range is between 1 to 4°C for the refrigerator and -15 to -18°C for the freezer.
  4. If your appliance is outside of this range, adjust the temperature dial and then recheck the following day.
  5. Your fridge or freezer work more efficiently when they are full, as the cold items help keep others items cold. If your fridge or freezer isn't full, fill plastic jugs of water and place them inside to help maintain a low temperature.