How to Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

It’s an appliance you use every minute of every day, whether you’re home or not—your refrigerator. Refrigerators are a vital part of our household, but they can also be significant users of electricity. To help your refrigerator run at its optimal efficiency, you should clean its coils annually, or every six months if you have pets in the home. The coils often trap dust and hair and when this clings to the coils, it reduces your refrigerator’s ability to run at its peak performance level, thus using more electricity than it should.

Vacuum Cleaner with Brush Attachment
Warm Water

Cleaning Your Fridge’s Coils:

1. Unplug your refrigerator and pull it away from the wall for easy access.

2. Locate your refrigerator’s coils. In older models they can often be found on the back of the unit. Coils in newer models may be located in the front on the bottom of the unit located behind the kick plate.

3. If necessary, use the screwdriver to remove the back cover or kick plate to access the coils.

4. Use the vacuum cleaner with brush attachment to remove any accumulated dust, hair, debris from the coils.

5. If there is still remaining dirt or grime, use the warm water and sponge to gently remove from the coils.

6. If removed in step three, replace the back cover or kick plate.

7. Plug in your refrigerator and replace to its original position.

With refrigerators comprising an average of 9 percent of a home’s energy usage, it’s important to keep it running at peak efficiency. Also, remember to keep your refrigerator’s temperature setting between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit to help reduce energy consumption. And if you’re looking to buy a new unit, look for the ENERGY STAR label.