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Your refrigerator is the easiest appliance to use in the kitchen, but it is often the most overlooked when it comes to making sure it’s running as it should. Stay on top of energy draining and uneven cold spots with these helpful tips below.

Tip #1: Clean the Coils. A lot of dirt and dust can get trapped behind your refrigerator and collect on the condenser coils, which forces the compressor to work much harder than it should. A quick vacuum and wipe up will help your fridge cool down easier.

Tip #2: Set the Correct Temperature. No one enjoys finding that the yogurt placed at the back of the fridge is now frozen over. Just the same, keeping your fridge too warm could make your food unsafe to eat. Keep your fridge between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer at 5 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

Tip #3: Keep the Door Closed. Your mother wasn’t just yelling that for no reason! While you hold the door open, the heat from the room enters, warming up foods and forcing the fridge to kick on the compressor again.

Tip #4: Check the Seals. Even if you follow most of the tips on this list, it won’t mean anything if the seals around the door are warped or torn. A loose seal lets all that cool air out and makes your fridge work that much harder to maintain temps. Try the dollar-bill test: Close the refrigerator door on the bill so that half is poking out. If the bill slips out easily, your seals may be too loose.

Tip #5: Cover Your Foods. All of your foods that go in the fridge retain moisture to stay fresh, and that same moisture forces the compressor to work harder to remove it from the air and cool the compartment. Be sure that you’re properly wrapping, covering and storing all of your leftovers, produce and other foods to keep the compressor happy.

Tip #6: Let Leftovers Cool Before Putting Them Away. I think we all know by now that warm or hot temperatures inside the fridge are bad news. This is important to keep in mind when you’re packing up leftovers or extra servings of a big batch of food you’ve just finished cooking. Let those foods cool off on the counter for an hour before placing them inside to avoid heating up other foods in the fridge, which can cause unwanted bacteria growth, in addition to wasting energy.

Tip #7: Turn Off the Ice Maker. When the ice tray is full, just turn off the ice maker until your supply is running low again. Most ice makers work almost instantaneously, so it won’t be long before you have a bucket full of cubes again.

Tip #8: Keep the Fridge Full. A well-stocked fridge helps keep the temperatures low since cold foods and drinks can help each other stay cold. If you don’t normally fill your fridge to the max, using water jugs, water bottles or other filled containers can help keep your fridge from using extra power to cool empty spaces.

Fridge on the fritz? Shop the full line of Kenmore refrigerators to find your replacement today.

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