Refrigerator Condenser Coil: Is That The Problem With Your Unit?

24 February 2018
 Categories: , Blog

How long has it been since you pulled your refrigerator out of its space and cleaned the condenser coil on the back of it? If your refrigerator isn't working as well as it should, it's probably time to get those coils clean. Here are some tips to clean it before you need to call for refrigerator repair.

Why do dirty condenser coils cause refrigeration problems?

The function of the condenser coil is to provide the unit with a way to release heat that is formed during the cooling process. When the coil becomes encased in dirt, the heat cannot dissipate and the unit will not stay as cool as it should.

What problems can dirty condenser coils cause?

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Lights turn on, but the refrigerator isn't cooling
  • The unit kicks on and off often
  • The unit fails to maintain a steady, cool temperature
  • The unit never stops running

If you've been experiencing one, or a combination, of these issues, your best bet is to pull the refrigerator out and get that condenser coil cleaned up immediately.

How is a condenser coil cleaned?

Look for someone to give you a hand pulling the refrigerator out away from the wall. Get a large sheet of cardboard and place it on the floor as close to the feet of the refrigerator as possible. Tilt the unit back to lift the front legs off of the ground and slide the cardboard under the feet. Now, slide the unit out away from the wall. The cardboard will make it easier to slide and protect your flooring from damage as you work.

Once the unit is out away from the wall, unplug it. Failure to unplug the unit puts you at risk of electrical burns and electrocution.

Now, get your vacuum hose and brush attachment. Suck as much of the dirt off of the coils as possible. If the coils haven't been cleaned for a while, this might not be enough cleaning power to remove the dirt from the coils to allow the heat to escape. If this is the case, get a bucket with very hot water and a few drops of liquid dish soap.

Use a scrub brush to gently scrub the coils. Blot as much water off of the coils as possible and allow the unit to fully dry.

Once it's dry, plug it in and allow it to run for a bit. If this didn't fix the issues that you've been experiencing, talk with your local appliance repair technician for assistance.