The refrigerator is one of those appliances that we all take for granted, by and large, and don’t fully appreciate its importance in our everyday lives until something happens and it stops working. What follows are several interesting facts about the refrigerator and how they may help you understand this important home appliance a little better.
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First, what temperature range is normal for your refrigerator? Your refrigerator ideally should be between 36 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (your freezer should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit). Be careful not to pack your refrigerator too much as this will reduce air flow resulting in less cooling capacity.
Second, did you know that most refrigerator models made today allow you to move the door from one side to the other. This can be very handy depending on where you must place the appliance. It is an easy task to accomplish, but if you have any questions, you should consult the owner’s manual. If you no longer have the manual, but know the model number, you can order a replacement manual from most parts stores (both online and offline).
Third, federal law now mandates that before disposing of your old refrigerator, the refrigerant must be removed. If you need help with this process, you should contact your local appliance repair business. Also, as a public safety measure, you should remove the doors to the refrigerator and freezer compartments if placing the appliance to the curb on trash day. Keep in mind that most retailers will take your old refrigerator and dispose of it properly when you buy a new one from them saving you the hassle of proper disposal.
Fourth, the amount of space, or “breathing room” required for your refrigerator depends on the model you have. If you see a grid-like apparatus on the rear, you should leave a minimum of one inch between the wall and the refrigerator. Otherwise, you can place the unit flush up against the wall.
Fifth, it’s always a good idea to get the right size refrigerator for you and your family. If you go too big, you will waste energy and money; too small and you spend much of your time rearranging food. A good rule of thumb is that two people typically require eight to ten cubic feet of storage with an additional one cubic foot for each additional family member.
Lastly, it is not normal for your refrigerator to run nonstop. When this happens, it can mean different things: You may not have enough clearance for proper air flow. A door may be ajar or have a bad seal. The unit may be low on refrigerant. There may be a defective thermostat. There may be other factors to consider if you run into this problem, but the best bet is to consult your owner’s manual for guidance.
The next step would be to contact an appliance repair shop. However, keep in mind that the typical lifespan of a refrigerator is anywhere between 14 and 17 years. It may simply be time to replace your unit.