Performing regular maintenance on your refrigerator will help it last longer and work more efficiently. Each year you should carefully clean the condenser coils on the outside of your refrigerator, which regulate the thermostat and keep your food cold. Listed below are directions on the proper cleaning of the condenser coils of your refrigerator. You will need a refrigerator coil cleaning brush,  a flashlight and your vacuum cleaner with attachments.

1. Make sure any foods and/or liquids in your refrigerator are secure to avoid spillage.
2. Shut of the circuit breaker for the refrigerator. Move the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug from the electric outlet. If you have an ice maker and/or a water dispenser, it would be prudent to shut off the water.
3. The condenser coils in an older refrigerator can be found on the back, while the new refrigerators have coils on the bottom. When you find the coils, you may see a fan, which you will also need to clean.
4. Before you start, check once again to make sure the power is disconnected. You can never be too careful.
5. Use the crevice tool on your vacuum to gently vacuum the dirt and dust from the coils and the fan. Be careful you do not damage the coils.
6. Use the brush to lightly brush away any dust and dirt the vacuum cannot get.
7. Sweep and vacuum behind the refrigerator periodically to help keep the dust and dirt from returning too quickly.
8. Reconnect the power and water, and then return the refrigerator to its place. Make sure that air can flow around the back.

Properly cleaning the condenser coils regularly will save you money in the end because your refrigerator will run more effectively. Most of the time we take our refrigerators for granted, until they quit working. What makes it worse is finding out that with a little maintenance the problem could have been avoided. So, avoid that by devoting around an hour to care for your refrigerator before it breaks. It will save you time, money and headaches down the road.