For your fridge to work effectively it needs to be a sealed unit. Here we take a look at your fridge, how the door is engineered to be closed, and what you can do if your door is not closing properly.
Your fridge is designed to keep a steady temperature inside, at the level that you have chosen, in order to keep your food fresh and safe to eat. To do this effectively and using the lowest amount of energy door needs to be closed so that the outside air is kept out, and the cooler air inside is kept in. If the door is left open the fridge is continually trying to cool warm outside air. You may have noticed that an alarm sounds when the door is open longer than a certain period of time to encourage you to close it and maintain the inside temperature.
There are three main components involved in securing your refrigerator door:
The door is hung from two hinges – often these can be altered to be on the left or right of the door depending upon where you want to site the fridge – these hinges are designed, sometimes with a closer plate, to hold the door closed securely. They should be smooth moving so that the door can glide closed. Hinges can be made in either plastic or metal.
The Door Seal.
Your fridge will have a seal around the door and behind the seal a magnetic strip to keep the door closed. This seal ensures that the door is closed in an airtight manner and air does not ‘leak’ either in or out.
The door itself is engineered and balanced to work perfectly with your fridges long as your fridge is level.
You can find that you have problems with any one of the three components that will prevent your door from closing securely or easily. It is common practice to flip the fridge door back as you walk away, you know exactly how hard to push to get it to close right? If that stops working or the door stops closing securely then you need to take a look at it, not only will your fridge be costing you too much money to run, it will affect the safety of the food you are storing inside.
It isn’t terribly common as long as the fridge has been installed correctly and is looked after, but hinges do break or corrode. Often replacements can be bought online very easily, and like all DIY in the home jobs, it’s worth having a go before you shell out for a whole new refrigerator! If it’s already broken what’s the worst thing that can happen?
You will need to know your fridge manufacturer and model number, if you take a good look around they will be written on there somewhere, the model number is usually at the back on a small panel. Replacement hinge units, whether metal or plastic are not at all expensive, and if your door is no longer handling correctly then a new hinge can really extend the life of your machine and save you having to buy a new one.
The door seal is the most common item that needs replacing – and this is easier than you might think. Once again you will need to know the make and model of your refrigerator unit and, having established that, you can then order a replacement door seal.
To extend the life of your seal and save having to replace it make sure that you clean it, with warm soapy water, when you do your routine fridge clean – fridge seals take a lot of punishment and become stiff and crack if not looked after.
Seals are designed to be replaced, again it is a job that you will almost certainly be able to attempt yourself once you have had a look at it.
The fridge door needs to hang so that it is level, it’s designed that way. When you install your fridge, and every so often, check that it is sitting absolutely level. To help you if you have an uneven surface the four little ‘feet’ on your fridge will be adjustable. As a general rule of thumb, this is a screw mechanism, they screw out to make the feet longer, and in to make them shorter. In this manner to you adjust the length of the feet on each corner of your refrigerator to make sure that you compensate for any uneven or tilted surface.
When you have adjusted the feet correctly the fridge door should swing easily and freely – closing gently. Getting this right will save any undue weight going through the hinges and save any future issue that will need rectifying there.