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Refrigerators

4 areas of your fridge you need to clean now

How many of these overlooked spots have you missed?

Chris Monroe/CNET

Your fridge needs more maintenance than just wiping down the shelves and throwing away leftovers. 

No doubt there are some hidden areas that probably have never been cleaned. Giving them a regular touch-up can extend the life of your refrigerator and save you money on your electricity bills. 

Condenser coils

Condenser coils release heat from your fridge. They can become enmeshed with dirt, dust and pet hair, making your fridge work harder to keep your food cold.

The condenser coils are typically located on the back of the fridge, on top, or behind the grill at the bottom of the fridge. If you're uncertain, check your owner's manual to locate the coils. 

Once you know where they are, unplug the fridge and wipe down the coils with a coil brush. This brush is specially designed to get the coils clean and get into hard-to-reach places. 

When you're done, be sure to wipe down the coil cover and vacuum underneath the fridge if you have coils located beneath it. 

Make a note on your calendar to clean the coils again in six months.

Ice maker

You fridge's ice maker needs cleaned around once a month to keep it working properly. Plus, it's just a good idea if you don't want dirty ice. Brian Bennett has a great guide to cleaning and descaling ice makers, here.

Water filter

The fridge's water filter is there to keep your water clean, but it can't do that if it isn't clean. Check your fridge's manual to see if the in-door water dispenser has a filter. If so, you need to change it at least once every six months. 

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Freezer vents

Take a look in your freezer. Yep, there are vents in there. These vents are vital to keeping the freezer at the proper temperatures. If they are caked with ice, take action. Grab a blow dryer and heat the ice until it melts (be sure not to get the dryer wet). Then, wipe up the water with a sponge. 

From now on, keep an eye on the vents. Don't let them get layered in ice and be sure to prevent food from covering them up.

Here's how to save your food when the fridge breaks.

Check out these 5 DIY ways you can fix a broken appliances in your kitchen.