Your fridge is likely one of the hardest working appliances in your home, as well as the one that is most overlooked when it comes to maintenance. It quietly runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This can lead to a lot of wear and tear on the motor, compressor, and other components. Fortunately, most fridges can continue to serve for many years if you catch problems early enough for a prompt repair.
#1: Uneven temperature
If the fridge or freezer compartment begins showing signs of uneven temperature or failure to maintain a set temperature, you need it looked at right away. If you are unsure, try placing a couple of thermometers in different locations of the fridge. For example, place one in a produce drawer, one on the top shelf, and one on a lower shelf. If the readings are more than a degree different, then it's time for a repair.
#2: Ice or condensation buildup
There are two things that lead to moisture buildup – improper cooling or leaving a door open. If you know the latter didn't occur, then the problem is the former. Most modern fridges are self-defrosting, which means you should never have more than a thin film of ice and condensation should never be an issue.
#3: It's getting noisy
Most fridges are quiet. You may hear a hum as the compressor runs or the momentary switching of the ice maker in motion, but little else. If it starts to rattle, squeal, or make grinding noises, one of the mechanical components is going out. In some cases, it is something small, such as an ice maker motor. In other cases, you may need a compressor repair or replacement.
#4: A hot exterior
Some refrigerators feel slightly warmer on top – this is why many people place bread on top of the fridge to rise – but the temperature variance is not severe. If the sides or top of your fridge begins to feel noticeably warmer, something is overheating. Often, the cause is the condenser coils on the back. They likely need a good vacuuming. If the heat persists, get repair help.
#5: Your fridge is older
An older fridge can keep running well with regular maintenance. If your fridge is more than ten years old, consider a maintenance call for a tuneup and inspection. You should also research the energy efficiency of your unit. If it isn't up to modern standards, it may be better to replace it.
For more help, talk to sub-zero repair services in your area.