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Dirty Refrigerator Coils

Symptoms of Dirty Refrigerator Coils & How to Clean Them

No one enjoys cleaning the house, but it is necessary if you want your home to stay comfortable and in good condition. Unfortunately, the nooks and crannies of our appliances can sometimes get overlooked when we’re rushing from one chore to another. Refrigerator coils are one of these hidden trouble spots – coils that trap dust, dirt, and pet hair can impede air flow and make your refrigerator inefficient. To make sure your appliances aren’t costing you more money than necessary on energy bills, let’s take a look at some symptoms of dirty refrigerator coils – along with tips for properly cleaning them!

Symptoms of Dirty Refrigerator Coils

If you’re seeing red flags about dirty refrigerator coils, you better take action fast before things get worse.

  • Dirty coils can make your fridge work harder to keep things cool, which means higher energy bills for you.
  • The dirty coils can make your fridge less efficient and not work as well as it should.
  • The dirty coils can shorten the lifespan of your fridge. Yikes!

How to Locate Condenser Coils

Before you can start cleaning the coils, you must know where to find them. Now, where the coils are located depends on the model of your fridge. It could be at the back, bottom or side.

To find the condenser coils on your fridge, look at the base in front. They are typically behind a removable toe grill. Check the back of the unit if your refrigerator does not have a toe grill. The condenser coils are made up of metal tubes arranged in a U-shaped grid pattern. If you have trouble locating them, refer to your Owner’s Manual or check the manufacturer’s website for more information.

How to Clean Refrigerator Coils

Cleaning the coils is easy peasy. All you need is:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Coil brush
  • Soft cloth

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1. Disconnect the power cord from the electrical outlet that provides electricity to your refrigerator. 

Step 2. Find the condenser coils which regulate the temperature inside your fridge; these can be located at the back, bottom, or side of the appliance, depending on its design and model.

Step 3. Unfasten any clips or latches in order to take off the cover plate that is covering up the coils. 

Step 4. If you find them at the bottom of your fridge, use a coil brush to thoroughly clean them off and make sure you get rid of any dust particles on them. 

Step 5. Wipe down both sides of the cover plate so that it’s free from dirt and grime, then use a vacuum cleaner underneath to remove any debris or dirt.

Step 6. If they are situated at the back of your refrigerator, all you’ll need is a soft cloth to wipe them down and eliminate any residue that has built up on them over time. 

Step 7. Carefully reattach the cover plate by fastening it back into place before reconnecting your appliance’s power cord back into its outlet; now your condenser coils have been cleaned!

clean refrigerator coils

How often should I clean my refrigerator coils?

Depending on how dusty the environment is, and especially if there is a lot of pet hair, you should clean your refrigerator coils every two to three months.

Can I use water to clean my coils?

No way, Jose. Stick to vacuuming and brushing.

Will cleaning my coils improve the cooling power of my refrigerator?

You betcha!

Will cleaning my coils save me money on my energy bill?


In a nutshell, dirty refrigerator coils can cause a world of problems, but cleaning them is a breeze. Plus, it can save you money in the long run. So, don’t let dirty coils bring your fridge down. Give them a good cleaning. If you have questions or need refrigerator repair, call the experts at Atomic Tech today!

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