Make sure that you plug your refrigerator directly into a wall outlet. It is best not to use an extension cord, however, if you absolutely need to do that, be sure to use a heavy-duty extension cord that is rated for the amperage of your unit and be sure that it is properly grounded. Check your owner manual for additional specifications.

Refrigerators should be “installed” or located away from heat sources such as radiators,  cooking ranges or windows that get a lot of sunshine. Make sure that airflow to the compressor and the cooling coils is not blocked or restricted. It is not recommended to locate your unit on top of carpeting given that most refrigerators have condensers located underneath the unit. Carpeting retains heat that can cause the compressor in your refrigerator to overwork.

If you are planning to be away for an extended period of time (several months), it is recommended to discard all perishable food, empty the freezer and the refrigerator, turn it off and leave the ajar (slightly open).

Make sure that you do not over-fill your fridge – this can prevent the circulation of cold air that is used to regulate the temperature and can lead to spoilage of food due to inconsistent temperatures.

Food should be covered or wrapped before being placed in the fridge to prevent it from drying out and from emitting odors. If food spoils, make sure that you remove it immediately to prevent foul odors.

Keep the interior of your refrigerator and freezer clean. This is best done by removing all food as well as shelves and drawers. It is best to use a mild detergent or baking soda dissolved in water to wash the interior using a soft cloth followed by a damp cloth to remove soap or baking soda residue. Also, clean the shelves and plastic parts in a similar manner or wash them in a sink or tub. Just be sure not to place glass parts in hot water as they may crack. Avoid use of any abrasive cleaners to prevent scratches.

It is important to clean the condenser coils (usually located underneath the unit). Clean gently using specially designed brush to remove buildup of dust. Do this regularly as buildup of dust can cause overheating.

The door gasket(s) are used to seal the doors when closed. These need to be cleaned regularly to maintain proper temperature and system efficiency. Clean using mild detergent and then remove soap residue with a damp cloth.

Keep the area around the refrigerator clean and free of debris and make sure there are no blockages that may prevent proper airflow.

Follow the above tips to prolong the life of your refrigerator and to avoid unnecessary and costly repairs.