Is your refrigerator running? Well, it might not if you don’t clean its coils at least once a year. Dust buildup is the enemy of household appliances, whereas airflow and cleanliness are the keys to appliance longevity and efficiency. Major appliances such as refrigerators, as well as baseboard heating units, will function optimally if you take the time to clean them once a year.
How to Clean Refrigerator Coils
The coils underneath and behind your refrigerator are dust magnets. The dust on the coils acts as insulation, which prevents the fan from removing heat well. Cleaning the refrigerator coils will help the refrigerator operate at its greatest efficiency. Move the refrigerator away from the wall so air can circulate behind it. This will increase its energy performance.
Pull out the refrigerator by grasping both sides and gently wiggling it toward you. Afterwards, reach behind and pull the plug (don’t worry -- your food will survive for the short time it takes to clean). If you have an ice maker, shut off the water supply first in case the hose comes loose.
Use a long, thin tool known as a refrigerator coil brush to remove dust around the condenser coils. Then carefully vacuum with a brush attachment. Some refrigerators have their condenser coils behind a removable grille in the front. If yours does, snap off or unscrew the grille and clean the coils.
How to Clean Baseboard Heating Fins
Baseboard heating systems function at optimal performance only if they are kept clean. Vacuuming up dust improves airflow, efficiency and energy conservation. Keeping the furniture and drapes out of the way also improves airflow around baseboards and radiators. These systems depend on air flowing through the fins that surround the pipes or heating elements. Blocked airflow from dust buildup or an obstructed heating unit compromises the performance of the entire system.
Find the fins by opening the covers that surround the baseboard convector. Vacuuming and brushing the fins, and straightening any that are bent, ensures efficient airflow.
Although it is a pain to think about cleaning those hard-to-reach places in your home, it’s really just that simple.