This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for cleaning the condenser coils in a refrigerator. The condenser coils at the bottom of the refrigerator collect dust during normal use. When dust coats the condenser coils, the coils can't release heat into the surrounding air, so the refrigerator has to work harder to stay cold. The result is decreased efficiency and poor cooling performance in the refrigerator. Clean the coils at least twice a year—more often if you have pets that shed.
This procedure works for many Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux, LG and Samsung refrigerators.
Disconnect the electrical power
Unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator.
Remove the toe grill
To access the condenser coils, remove the bottom front toe grill. On many refrigerator models, you can pull the grill straight out and off of the refrigerator. Check your owner's manual for instructions for removing the front toe grill on your refrigerator. If the coils are under the refrigerator, remove the toe grill to access the coils.Tip: Some refrigerators have the coils on the back instead of below. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall to reach the coils on the back.Warning: This project can dislodge a lot of dust. Wear a dust mask to prevent lung irritation.
Clean the condenser coils
Push a coil brush into the condenser coils under the refrigerator. The coil brush knocks the dust off of the condenser coils. Vacuum the area to pick up the dust. After knocking the dust from the coils with a coil brush, vacuum the dust.Tip: After vacuuming the condenser coil area, move the refrigerator and vacuum the area.
Reinstall the toe grill
Snap the bottom front toe grill onto the front of the refrigerator.
The coils are either at the back of the refrigerator or under it.
If the coils are behind the refrigerator, slide the refrigerator far enough away from the wall that you can unplug it; you might want to set cardboard in front of it to protect wood or vinyl flooring. Then continue sliding it away from the wall until you can comfortably work behind it.
If the coils are under the refrigerator, remove the front toe grill. On many models, you can pull the grill toward you to remove it. Check your owner's manual for instructions for your refrigerator.
If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.
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