My refrigerator was getting old and started humming. Not happily humming as it worked, but angry humming, like it needed attention and didn’t know how to ask politely. Over the years, the refrigerator had been my faithful friend, keeping food and drinks cold and preserved, so it was time to repay the favor with some overdue maintenance. Letting things get worse would mean elevated utility bills, costly repairs, or even a very expensive replacement.
Step 1 - Use a Washington to Save Some Benjamins
The first thing I wanted to do was check the gaskets to make sure they were sealing properly, so I took a dollar bill, closed it half in the refrigerator door, then slid it out. I repeated the process all around the main and freezer doors and found that it was consistently a little too easy to remove. Over the years, the rubber and plastic in the gasket had grown a little stiff and wasn’t pulling tight to the refrigerator casing. If the seal was still good, the dollar bill would’ve been harder to remove. So it was definitely time for a replacement.
Step 2 – Research on the Internet
I hopped on the internet and researched the replacement gaskets for my particular refrigerator. Here’s where you have to be a little careful. If the refrigerator you’re searching for is old enough to need new gaskets, it’s likely not in production anymore. Model numbers change, so keep an eye out for search results that will work for both the latest refrigerator and your model.
After checking and double-checking the correct model numbers (and comparison shopping), I ordered new gaskets for both doors.
Step 3 – Secure in a Snap
When the gaskets arrive, it was time to give the refrigerator a makeover. I laid out the gaskets, making sure they were the correct size and then pulled off the old ones. It was an easy process, completely done by hand, though I had a plastic putty knife close by—just in case.
The new gaskets fortunately snapped right in. I was careful to ensure a proper seal all the way around, especially at the bottom, which was a little harder to get to. After testing by opening and closing the doors a couple of times (and checking with a dollar bill again), I was satisfied the seal had improved.
Step 4 – Give a Spa Day to Your Refrigerator
Since I was already working on the refrigerator, I pulled it away from the wall, unplugged it, and vacuumed all the accumulated dust from around the bottom. My model had a cardboard panel on the back that was easily removed with a nut driver, and I vacuumed the interior workings as well. Check with your manufacturer’s instructions for advice on how to properly clean out your model.
Once the cleaning was finished, I plugged it in, pushed it back to its spot in the corner of the kitchen, and that was it.
So if you hear angry sounds from your refrigerator, take a second before you call a maintenance person. There could just be a quick, relatively inexpensive solution you can do yourself that could keep the refrigerator running smoothly for a few more years.