5-10 Minute Assessment

Fridge and Freezer

To keep food fresh and safe to eat, make sure your refrigerator stays below 40 degrees, and the freezer, below zero. If you have water or ice dispensers, check the water lines for leaks and change the filter every 3 months.

On average, refrigerators account for 13% of household electricity use. Good maintenance can help keep your energy bill in check.


Every 3 months to annually

Repair and replacement costs

Typical Costs

  • Repair: $200 – $330
  • Replace: $400 – $2,000

Life span


10-13 years

Steps to Assess Your Fridge and Freezer


Step 1: Make sure all doors close tightly. The rubber door gaskets (seals) should not be cracked or separated. The gasket should hold a piece of paper when the door is closed.


Step 2: Make sure food in the freezer is frozen and food in the fridge is cold. If either compartment is too warm, check vents for blockage. If the vents are clear, you may have a mechanical problem.


Step 3: Check for ice buildup in the freezer, which can block the passage of air.


Step 4: The temperature in the refrigerator should be even. If the top shelf is cold, but the produce bins are warm, it might need a professional checkup.


Step 5: Look for condensation (water) in the refrigerator. This means there’s a problem with cooling. If your fridge has a water dispenser, check the lines and change the filter every three months. Empty and clean the drip pan once a year. It’s usually located on the rear of the refrigerator near the floor.


Step 6: Once a year, pull the fridge away from the wall and clean dust from the condenser coils and fans. While the rear of the fridge will be warm to the touch, hot areas mean the motor is working overtime. This increases your electric bill and could ruin the motor.