There are a few key areas of your refrigerator that need to be maintained on a regular basis to prolong the fridge's running life. Here are some of the important areas to check when caring for your fridge. 

Maintain the Seal

The rubber seal on your refrigerator needs to be airtight to ensure that the appliance runs efficiently (and cool air doesn't get out). The refrigerator seal can become faulty over time if the material dries out and develops tiny cracks. Or, the entire seal can become loose from the door getting opened and closed repeatedly. 

There are a few things that you can do to prolong the life of your seal. Make sure that there is no food residue on the seal, which in itself can cause air leakage. You can use a toothbrush to gently remove food particles. You can also test the strength of your refrigerator seal by placing a dollar bill (or a piece of paper) in the door and seeing if it falls out immediately. If it does, it's time to call your refrigerator repairman to replace the seal. 

Clean the Coils

On the back of your refrigerator, the condenser coils are a central part of your appliance's cooling system. However, they can become more inefficient over time as they collect grime and dust. Be sure to clean them once a year. It's best to leave this up to a professional to avoid damaging the coils. 

Keep it Cool

There are also several things that you can do to keep the fridge cool with little effort. For instance, be sure that your fridge is near full; objects in your fridge will help to retain the coldness much more than air, which will go rushing out of the fridge whenever you open the door. If you don't have enough food to fill the fridge, you can still keep it full by using gallon jugs of water. This tip can help extend the running life of your fridge by creating less strain on the cooling components. 

Check the Thermometer

Another trick to maintaining your fridge is to check the internal temperature using a standalone thermometer. If your refrigerator's temperature isn't reading close to the temperature it's set at, this could indicate a number of problems with the power supply and condensers. Have a repair person troubleshoot to make sure your machine is running efficiently. 

A well-maintained refrigerator can help to prevent energy waste food spoilage, so a few minutes devoted to your fridge can go a long way. Follow these steps to keep your appliance in great shape.