The cost of replacing a non-working refrigerator is a major expense for most families. Depending on the size and model, a typical refrigerator purchase from a home improvement store or appliance retailer can range from several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The good news, however, is that a refrigerator that suddenly becomes unable to cool the interior to the desired level for safe food storage may not actually need to be replaced.
Crowded conditions inhibit proper cooling
Families who discover that milk spoils within days of purchase or that some refrigerated foods have frozen while others are too warm may not actually be experiencing a problem with their refrigerator. Instead, the problem may be in the way they are using their fridge.
In order to work efficiently and provide the proper temperatures throughout the interior of the refrigerator, chilled air must be able to circulate freely throughout the food storage compartments, including between stored foods. If the refrigerator has become a repository for takeout pizza boxes, cases of soft drinks, and other bulky containers, the chilled air may be unable to circulate correctly, causing warmer and cooler zones to form. Food placed in these zones may spoil quickly or experience damage from freezing.
Homeowners who are experiencing uneven temperatures inside their refrigerator and food waste because of it can try repackaging bulky items and rearranging stored food to increase space and circulation. It can also be helpful to install inexpensive refrigerator thermometers in the trouble spots so that it will be easier to monitor temperature changes in the future.
Door seal issues cause loss of refrigerated air
If the door seal on your refrigerator is dirty or has become damaged in some manner, it can also be the cause of temperature issues that contribute to food spoilage. This happens when the seal is no longer able to effectively keep cold air inside the food storage department due to crumbs and dirt that builds up on the surface or when the material it is made of becomes cracked or hardens and loses its ability to form a tight seal. To determine if the door seal may be causing temperature issues on their fridge, homeowners can run their hand slowly along the perimeter of the door to see if they can feel escaping cold air. If so, cleaning the seal or having it replaced may be all that is needed to help restore the refrigerator to proper working order.
To have a new door seal installed, or to have your refrigerator serviced or repaired, contact an appliance service such as D& S Appliance.