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Appliances: Refrigerators

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We service most makes and models of refrigerators, but we do not sell them.

Well, how do we talk about refrigerators? First I must make the distinction between standard residential refrigerators, which I intend to address here, and other kinds of refrigeration such as wine coolers, walk-in coolers, flash freezers, etc., all of which we work on and some we sell. However, our focus here is on the common household refrigerators.

Let’s talk about some of the most common questions asked by our clients:


Q: When is it time to replace the water filter in my refrigerator?

A: Most refrigerators have an indicator light letting you know when it is time. However, there is another way to tell. The fact that you have a water filter is a sure bet that you have an icemaker, water dispenser, or both. In either event, when the water comes out slow or the ice cubes are starting to get small, it is time to change your filter. Manufacturers will tell you to change your filter every so many months, but the truth is they are just trying to make money by selling you more filters. You are the best judge of when you need to change your filter.

Q: How much electricity does my refrigerator use?

A: When you buy your refrigerator, it will have a yellow energy card on it telling you the average annual power consumption of that model. To most people’s surprise, it is not as much as you think. The average refrigerator only pulls about 300 watts when running. That is like three 100 watt light bulbs. When the refrigerator goes into it’s defrost cycle, it goes up to about 700 watts. The defrost cycle only goes on every 8 to 12 hours of compressor running time, but it only stays in defrost for 21 minutes at the most (usually less). Of course, the numbers vary model to model, but you get the idea. Don’t sweat the refrigerator.

So as not to over complicate things, let’s put this into perspective. Power companies charge you per watt, like the water company charges you per gallon. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the kitchen line up:

  • Dishwasher 400 watts when washing 700 watts when in the dry cycle
  • Microwave Ovens 700+ watts
  • Oven in bake 2,200 watts
  • Cook Top Burners 700-1500 watts each
  • Hot Water Heater 2,000-5,000watts

Note: It does help to keep the condenser coils clean, usually located on the bottom or the back of the refrigerator.

Q: What do I do about freezer burn?

A: Freezer burn is caused by water in the form of condensation. It is sometimes caused by humidity or the food being wet just before freezing. To combat freezer burn, keep food dry and as air tight as possible before storing it in the freezer. If you still have freezer burn, it may be from a bad door seal allowing outside air to come into the freezer and condensating on the cold services then freezing. If the door seal is not torn, try using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the door seal surface that closes against the box, then shut the door. The door should have a slight vacuum when trying to reopen. If the door seal is torn, it will need to be replaced. You can call us at (941) 351-7998 and we can take care of that for you.

Q: My refrigerator does not make ice fast enough.

A: Most ice makers cycles are triggered by temperature, so my first thought would be “is the freezer cold enough?” The freezer temperature should be between 0-10 degrees Fahrenheit. Since most people don’t have a thermometer for the freezer, check your ice-cream. That’s right, ice-cream. Just about everything in the freezer freezes at 32 degrees. Ice cream will not harden until you start to approach zero degrees. The bottom line is if the ice cream is soft, you’re not making ice fast enough because the freezer is not cold enough. If that’s the case, check your thermostat setting. If it is set properly and you’re still not cold enough, call (941) 351-7998 for service. Any other causes for not making enough ice will require our services.

For all other services or questions, please call:
Skip’s Air Conditioning & Appliance Service, Inc.
(941) 351-7998