5 tips on proper freezer maintenance


Can you imagine life without a freezer? You'd never be able to enjoy iced beverages or ice cream, and your favorite leftovers would have to be consumed within a few days.

Thankfully, the vast majority of American homes are equipped with this food-saving appliance, so you can enjoy the frozen treats you love and save foods for many months. However, that's only if you take proper care of the freezer. Here are five essential tips on freezer maintenance that will ensure the appliance is performing to the best of its ability.

1. Keep the right temperature
The first step in keeping a well-maintained freezer is to optimize the temperature. Your appliance should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to keep your food fresh and safe. If you notice that the freezer temperature is rising above this range, cold air may be escaping. Check the seals around the door. Real Simple magazine explained that if you stick a dollar bill in the doorjamb, you shouldn't be able to pull it out easily. If the paper slides out, the seal isn't doing its job and you'll need to look into having the appliance fixed.

2. Clean the coils regularly
Another way to ensure your freezer is in good shape and performing efficiently is to keep the condenser coils clean. Repair Clinic noted that these coils and the cooling fan accumulate dust and dirt, which can compromise the appliance's performance. When the parts are dirty, your freezer has to work harder to keep food cool, and this can lead to shortened appliance life or more frequent repairs. Be sure to clear off the coils and fan at least once each year. If you find that these pieces are extremely dirty, you may want to complete the chore twice per year. 

3. Balance the contents
Did you know that your freezer actually performs better when it's filled with food? Help With Cooking noted that the appliance works harder to maintain a cool temperature when its empty, which costs you more money. Try to keep your freezer stocked at least two-thirds of the way full to help retain cold air. You can always store leftovers, meats, water bottles and fresh produce in your freezer if you don't have enough frozen food to fill it.

4. Have a twice yearly purge
It's a good idea to revisit your freezer contents a few times each year and toss out any old food. You should be labeling any leftovers with the dates they're made, as this will make it easy to know what to toss. When you've cleared out those back corners of the appliance, take a few minutes to wipe down the walls and shelves with warm, soapy water. If there are any lingering odors, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda to eliminate the smell.

5. Purchase a home warranty
Even when you take good care of your freezer, there's always the chance something will go wrong mechanically. When this happens, it's good to have a TotalProtect® Home Warranty to fall back on. With TotalProtect, you won't have to pay for the repair or replacement of covered home appliances or systems when they break down. Not only can you choose a warranty plan that protects your refrigerator, there are options that cover other big-ticket items like your plumbing, HVAC system, oven, washer, dryer and more. It's a great addition to any homeowner's budgeting and home protection plan.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.