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Tips on Cleaning the Gas Refrigerators

Aug 17, 2007
The gas refrigerator also needs the intensive care. Here are the tips of cleaning the gas refrigerators.

FREEZERS. The deep-freeze compartments of refrigerators and home freezers require the same basic care. Follow the instructions for your make and model in operating them.

GAS REFRIGERATORS. The burner compartment of a gas refrigerator, located at the base of the cabinet, should be dusted out occasionally too. Open the door of the refrigerator, then lift off the panel. Remove the dust and fuzz with a vacuum cleaner dusting brush or a stiff hand brush. On the top of gas refrigerators, toward the back, there is a louver assembly that should be cleaned at least twice a year, because dust accumulates rather heavily there and cuts down the circulation of air. You can clean the louver with your vacuum cleaner dust brush or with a damp cloth, but it is best to unscrew it and lift it out for a thorough cleaning. You are likely to find more gummy dust underneath.

While you have the louver out, take a peek at the compartment it covers. You will find a finned section that may be dusty too and you might as well clean it with your vacuum brush as long as you are already up there on your stepladder. The top louver assembly of gas refrigerators should always be unobstructed. The direction of air flow is from underneath the refrigerator, through the burner section, up the back, and out at the top where the louver, or grating, is located.

GASKETS. If the motor of your automatic refrigerator seems to be running too constantly (about one third of the time is normal for electric models), test the gasket around the door to see if it is tight enough. To do this shut the door on a piece of wrapping paper about the size of a dollar bill. If the paper pulls out easily the door needs tightening. Adjust the screws that hold the hinges and latch, if you can, then repeat the test. If it is still easy to pull out, ask your service man for help. A new gasket may be needed.

FREEZERS SHOULD BE DEFROSTED before there is more than half an inch of frost over a large area of the refrigerated surface. Usually this will be once or twice a year, but if the weather is extremely humid or if the freezer is frequently opened, one or two additional defrostings may be necessary. If possible, plan to defrost when the contents are low.

About twelve hours before you plan to defrost, turn the temperature control of your freezer to its coldest position. The foods will then be less likely to thaw while you are working. If frost is all you have to cope with and the food compartments are not too full, the freezer can remain in operation. Using a special tool made for this job or a broad spatula, putty knife, or sharpened wooden paddle scrape down the frost from the walls onto a cloth or newspaper arranged to catch it Scrape the partitions and shelves too.

IF ICE HAS FORMED, or if a thorough cleaning is desired, the freezer must be disconnected and the food packages removed. Chill trays or baskets in the freezer and stack the packages in these so that the least possible surface is exposed. Now wrap the containers of food with chilled blankets or newspapers to insulate them.

WORKING AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE, first scrape out as much frost as possible. Cold water can then be ran over the refrigerated surfaces to speed melting, but hot water should never be used because refrigerant pressure would be built up in the evaporator and cause difficulty in starting the compressor. Remove ice from the freezer surfaces as it is loosened, but do not try to chip it off with any sharp tool that might cause damage. An electric fan, so placed as to blow warm room air into the freezer or cold air out of it, helps defrosting.

Dust out the gas refrigerator occasionally. It can be dusted using the vacuum cleaner or with a damp cloth. Adjust the screws of the gaskets if it needs tightening. When ice and frost have been removed and water sponged out, clean the freezer inside and out, following the instructions that have been given for refrigerators. Reconnect the freezer and let it run for about half an hour to lower the temperature, then put the frozen foods back. This entire operation usually takes about an hour.
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