There are a number of reasons your refrigerator may break or start playing you hot and cold. Fridges may have revolutionized how we enjoy and consume food, but they are expensive, to name one of the many issues with replacing your unit entirely.
If you’re like most of us and not quite ready to make the investment that will be a new ice box, here are three cost saving things you should consider first if your fridge breaks.
Save your food
When your refrigerator inevitably slows or begins to break down, go for the low hanging fruit of action, and save your food. Preferable as it may be, the good news is, a majority of the items you keep in your fridge do not necessarily need to be there to stay good. For example, fruits, vegetables, condiments, potatoes, and bread products can all be left out, and they will survive.
You can place them on your counter out of the way or on a shelf, but avoid putting some things in a closed cabinet, as many fruits, vegetables, and breads can react to light and moisture. You certainly don’t want your fruit overripening and then spoiling before you can get it back where it belongs.
For the dairy items, as well as meats, and leftovers that need to be kept cold, you should prepare a cooler to temporarily store these perishable food products. Once it’s full, use ice to fill between the food items throughout. The combination of the cold food items stacked together, and the temporary, and, ironically, original refrigerating mechanism of loose ice encapsulating your food stuff will keep everything cold for at least several hours. If you have a chest or deep freezer, this will work to rehome most of your meats and leftovers, and, in case you didn’t know, you can also freeze cheeses.
However, make sure eggs go in a cooler to and remain cold, and, for the items you place in the cooler, be sure to check in frequently, adding ice as needed. Keeping the food consistently cold is vital to maintain food safety.
Clean Your Refrigerator
Once all of the food is out of your refrigerator, wipe out the fridge and unplug it. This will give you a chance to decide what you should do next with a clean slate - or at least fridge shelf.
Next, pull the refrigerator away from the wall, if you can, and vacuum the coils on the back. Sometimes a buildup of dust and debris can negatively impact how the refrigerator is running. Once you’re done here, before you heat up about needing a new fridge, plug things back in, and give it some time to cool down.
If there is a lot of ice built up in the freezer, give it a chance to thaw and melt. Like dust, a buildup of ice in the freezer’s system can impact its temperature and regulatory capabilities. Seeing ice buildup may indicate a bigger problem, usually addressable with some servicing, but letting things thaw as the first course of action before hiring a repairman may save you some money or at least buy you some time should you inevitably need a new fridge.
Call For Help
Of course, if cleaning and a dethaw, followed by a hard unplug and reset fails, your next call will likely need to be to an appliance repair shop. Unless you have a background in freon or the technical knowledge needed for fridge repair, you don't have a lot of time before your food starts going bad, so it is important to respond productively once you realize your refrigerator isn’t running. While not needing to chase it for once may be nice, an experienced and knowledgeable repair person will be able to tell you if the appliance is worth the save or better replaced.
Should you find yourself at this crossroads of repair and replacement and looking for someone trusted and experienced in appliance repair, a search of your area likely won’t leave your case cold. For example, a top result for a general search in Oregon is Portland appliance repair, an appliance repair company out of its namesake. Reviews show their experience and substantial work history has earned their brand a strong reputation for quality, go-to service.
A broken fridge doesn’t mean you have to stress: making sure you’ve taken steps to troubleshoot or choosing a company you can trust with repair will help you - and your fridge - chill.