Monday, August 13, 2012

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

Running refrigerator caught by the tail.
...then you better go CLEAN it. Seriously, this is no laughing matter, go clean your refrigerator coils before it stops running. Maybe we need a little background.

Yesterday I was out push mowing the lawn (we're talking actual push mowing, not the wimpy gas engine push mowing) when out came Mrs. K with a glass of water. What a wife. Unfortunately, she was also bringing out some bad news. When she was getting ice for the water, she noticed that the freezer was going all wicked witch of the west. That's melting for those of you non-Wizard of Oz people.

So I finish mowing, come inside and open the fridge. Sure enough, I was not met with any coolness whatsoever. The first thing I did was call my father who has fixed a myriad of things over the years (probably broken even more, but I never hear those stories for some reason). Unfortunately refrigerator breakdowns were not something he had tackled.

Being the financially responsible (cheap) individual that I am, I immediately started taking things apart. When I took off the front bottom plastic piece, I was a little surprised at what I found. It looked like my fridge was wearing a giant wool slipper. No wonder it stopped working. We just finished the hottest July ever and my fridge is decked out in a winter fur coat. At this point I'm just glad the whole thing didn't start on fire and burn the house down.

So let this be a lesson to you people who still have working fridges, don't forget to clean the coils every now and then. Personally, I'm putting a six month reoccurring reminder on my to-do list, so that this doesn't happen again. Clean yours more frequently if you have pets. Apparently the previous owners of our house were pasturing sheep in the kitchen. Not only will cleaning the coils help prevent your fridge from expensive breakdowns, it will also increase its cooling efficiency and decrease your electric bill. I've read anywhere from $5 to $10 per month. I can't wait to see how much lower mine will be after removing the fur coat.
This was all that was left of the sheep after our fridge ate it. Some wool and a treat.
Here's another cost saving tip just in case your fridge is closing in on breaking down from neglect like mine. Don't be afraid to do a little googling and tear things apart to see if it is an easy fix. You could save hundreds of dollars by not needing a service call from an appliance repairman. Just make sure to unplug things before you play too much. Mrs. K did about three minutes of googling while I was tearing things apart. She told me to shake a certain part and if it rattled we needed a new one. I shook, it rattled, now we are trying to find a new one. Hopefully, we can turn this from a couple hundred dollar professional job to a $40 part replacement. Fingers crossed.
Well there's your problem.
When was the last time you cleaned your refrigerator coils? 

16 comments:

  1. Yep my fridge gets a nice fur coat in the back if left unchecked too long. Damn cats. I'm not too concerned about it since I rent this apartment though. I guess I still should clean it occasionally just to keep my electric bill low.

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    1. One of the benefits of renting. While still massively inconvenient, a broken fridge isn't quite as hard on the wallet.

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  2. I am honestly scared to look to see how many sheep our fridge has eaten. With previously having a long haired cat and now an outside dog that some how seems to leave her entire coat every time she steps in the house we will be putting this on the to do list for sometime in the next two weeks. A little savings on the electric bill would be nice too since it went up by $10 this month for some reason.

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    1. With two recent pets, I would be afraid to look too. Don't forget to add a reminder to whatever system you use for next time.

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  3. Hmmmm .... this could be exactly why my relatives fridge goes on the fritz so often. For sure I am going to pass this information on!

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    1. It's possible. If nothing else they could save a little money on the electric bill.

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  4. Those sure are some pipes you have! P90x you say? WoW! No wonder you were able to catch your fridge!

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    Replies
    1. Ha, actually it's been awhile since P90X.

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  5. I though those were the infamous Push Mowing Pipes.

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  6. Replies
    1. Maybe not more but at least as many.

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  7. I am so glad I'm not the only one with dog bones under the fridge (and stove!).

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    1. We're probably the only people that have dog bones under the fridge with no dog. I should probably go look under the stove now that you mention it.

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  8. I can totally agree with everything in this post. Unfortunately I read it a month too late. Our fridge had to go. Sure it was 22 years old, but aren't those things suppose to run for like forever? I also recommend you check under your stove, too.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm afraid of what I'll find.

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