Imagine stashing away extra cash every month without making a dent in your regular expenses. Sounds too good to be true, right? What if we told you that a simple task, taking mere minutes, could save you a significant amount on your energy bills? Enter the world of refrigerator coil cleaning, an often-overlooked task that can prove to be a game-changer for your household expenses.

The Role of Refrigerator Coils

Before diving into the savings aspect, it’s essential to understand the role of refrigerator coils. These coils, typically located either at the back or underneath your fridge, play a crucial role in keeping your food cool. They help release the heat that your refrigerator’s compressor produces. When these coils are clean, they can effectively dissipate heat, allowing the refrigerator to maintain its internal temperature without overworking.

The Consequence of Dirty Coils

  1. Increased Energy Consumption: Dirt, dust, and grime act as insulators. When the coils are coated in these materials, they cannot efficiently release heat, making your fridge work harder and longer. As a result, the appliance draws more power, raising your energy bill.
  2. Shortened Lifespan: Just like any machine, when a fridge has to work harder than it should, it wears out faster. Clean coils not only save you money on energy but also on potential repair costs or even replacing the refrigerator sooner than expected.
  3. Inconsistent Temperatures: A fridge struggling to dissipate heat might not maintain consistent internal temperatures. This inconsistency can lead to spoiled food, costing you more money and increasing waste.

How to Clean the Refrigerator Coils

  1. Unplug and Prep: Safety first! Always unplug your refrigerator before starting. Pull it away from the wall if the coils are at the back or access the front panel if they’re underneath.
  2. Vacuum: Using the brush attachment, vacuum the coils gently to remove the majority of the dust and dirt. Be sure not to press too hard to avoid damaging the coils.
  3. Brush: Use a refrigerator coil brush, available at most hardware stores, to gently brush away any remaining debris. These brushes are designed to be thin and flexible, making it easier to reach between the coils.
  4. Final Vacuum: After brushing, give the coils another gentle vacuuming to catch any loosened dirt.
  5. Reconnect: Plug the refrigerator back in and return it to its position, ensuring there’s some space between the appliance and the wall for proper airflow.

How Often Should You Clean?

For most households, cleaning the refrigerator coils twice a year is adequate. However, if you have pets that shed or if your home tends to be dustier, you might want to consider cleaning them every three to four months.

Potential Savings

Regular cleaning can improve your refrigerator’s efficiency by up to 30%. Considering that a fridge can account for up to 15% of a home’s total energy usage, the potential savings can be significant. In dollars and cents, this can mean savings of up to $100 or more annually for some households.


The magic of maintaining a household doesn’t always lie in big renovations or high-end appliances. Sometimes, the smallest actions, like cleaning your refrigerator coils, can lead to surprising benefits. Not only does this simple act protect one of the most used appliances in your home, but it also ensures you keep more money in your pocket every month. So, the next time you’re looking for a straightforward way to trim your expenses, remember the coils at the back or beneath your fridge. Your wallet will thank you!

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