How To Clean The Condenser Coils On Your Refrigerator Before The Summer Heat Arrives

Posted on: 8 June 2015


The condenser unit on your refrigerator can get a workout on hot summer days. The heat makes the condenser unit work harder than normal to keep your foods cold in the refrigerator. If the coils on your condenser unit are covered with dust and dirt, it will have to work extra hard to keep everything cold. The extra work can eventually cause the condenser motor to burn out and the refrigerator won't be able to keep anything cold at all. You should clean your condenser coils before the summer heat arrives. Here is how you can clean the condenser coils on a refrigerator.

You Will Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Soapy water
  • Rags

Unplug Refrigerator

For your safety, make sure the refrigerator is unplugged before cleaning the condenser coils and fan.

Old Refrigerators

Coils are typically located on the back of the old refrigerators and are easy to reach. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the dirt and dust off of the coils. You can use a soft bristled brush to agitate and loosen difficult to remove dust and dirt. If you need to, you can spray soapy water on the dust and dirt to soften it up. You can use rags to wipe off the dirt and dry the coils. Be careful to not damage any of the coils. Damaged coils can cause the refrigerant to escape and lead to costly repairs to fix the damage.

New Refrigerators

The coils in new refrigerators are typically located on the bottom part of the refrigerator. You can get to the coils by either removing a front or back access panel on the refrigerator, or you may have to tip the refrigerator backwards to gain access to coils underneath the refrigerator if there aren't any access panels. Once you gain access to the coils, clean them just as you would an old refrigerator.

Newer refrigerators usually rely on a fan to circulate air through the coils to cool them down (unlike old refrigerators, which rely on the natural air movement in the kitchen to cool the coils). You will want to clean the fan of dust and dirt as well.

Cleaning the coils on your refrigerator can help to extend the life of the condenser unit. If you feel uncomfortable taking this project on by yourself, you should call an appliance repair service company like Central Appliance Service to do it for you before the hot weather sets in.