How to Clean Your Refrigerator Condenser Coils
Keep Your Refrigerator Running Efficiently

The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances in your home and arguably the most important. Unfortunately, the condenser is prone dirt, dust, and pet hair build-up, and will need to be cleaned at least 1-2 times a year, ensuring your refrigerator keeps running as efficiently as possible.

What Does a Condenser Do?

The purpose of the condenser is to get rid of the excess heat that is located in this sealed system. The fan draws air through that condenser to keep it cool. It is important to have a back panel on any fan-cooled condenser to direct the air flow through that coil.

Symptoms of Clogged Condenser Coils

The dirt that accumulates on the refrigerators coils causes the condenser to preserve heat, rather then dispersing it, like it is meant to. This causes the compressor to have to work harder to overcompensate for what it senses as having too much heat. The compressor is the engine that runs the cooling process and is a very costly piece of equipment to replace. You might notice that it is running for longer periods of time, which is a good indication the coils are due for a cleaning. You might also notice a big jump in your utility bill.

Where are Condenser Coils Located?

The condenser coil can be found in a few different locations of a refrigerator depending on the model. Common locations include: the back of the unit, beneath the unit (these can be tricky to clean), and behind the front grille. To reduce the risk of electric shock, always unplug your appliance from the power before starting any maintenance or cleaning.

How to Clean Condenser Coils

Fan-Cooled Jelly-Roll

The jelly roll style condenser has tubing that is encased with a steel plate to help dissipate the heat. If upon inspection you have determined there is substantial build-up and it needs a cleaning, we suggest using a condenser cleaning brush.

These brushes are flexible and perfect for getting those tight spaces that are hard to reach. Insert the brush into the coils to loosen up any dirt and then vacuum up any remaining debris.

Static Coils

Static condenser coils are much like fan-cooled jelly roll condenser coils, in terms of its function, and maintenance, but the cleaning will be slightly different. You’ll need to move your refrigerator away from the wall. You’ll then use your soft brush to remove any caked-on dust, and a vacuum to get rid of all the loose lint and dirt.

Fan-Cooled Open Coils

To clean a fan-cooled open coil condenser, you will first need to move the refrigerator away from the wall and remove the back panel. You will then use your flexible condenser brush to loosen any debris stuck in between each coil, and then use your vacuum to remove all the dirt.

Regularly cleaning your refrigerator condenser coils considerably reduces the need to call a service repair technician and is a quick and easy job that can be done yourself! Not to mention, it will prevent unnecessary spikes in your energy bill. We hope this article and video gave you the confidence and tools to do this yourself! For more helpful videos, check out our YouTube Channel.