Cleaning Refrigerator Coils to Save Energy

very dirty refrigerator coils

Very, very dirty refrigerator coils – And inefficient too

Many of you have been trying to guess what the above image is, ever since we posted it in How Vacuuming Can Save Lives.  While I had the shopvac and brushes out to clean the dryer vent (to save energy & lives) I also cleaned my in-laws refrigerator coils.  To keep your food cold, your refrigerator moves heat from inside the refrigerator to outside of it by using these coils to transfer that heat into the air.  Overtime, the coils get covered in dust which insulates them making your refrigerator work harder to keep your food (and beer) cold.  Cleaning your refrigerator coils is easy and should be done about once a year to maintain optimal efficiency.  Take a look now and see if your coils look like the ones in the picture above. If they are so covered in dust and lint that you cannot tell exactly where they are it is time to get to work.

You will usually find the coils underneath your refrigerator and easily accessible by gently removing the toe plate.  If your coils are on the back of your refrigerator, that is typically a sign of a very old refrigerator that you should consider replacing with an Energy Star model to save lots of energy and money.  I’ve heard auditors say that a new refrigerator uses about 1/3 of the energy of an old model.

Using a shop vac (or any vacuum with a hose & wand attachment) you can quickly clean the coils.  This project took me less than 15 minutes, start to finish.  A gentle brush is good for loosening the dust and other junk stuck to the coils while you vacuum.

Refrigerator Coils Getting cleaner from vacuuming

You can start to see the actual refrigerator coils in this picture


Refrigerator Coils Getting cleaner

vacuumed Refrigerator Coils

Cleaned Refrigerator Coils

dirty shop vac filter covered with lint and dust

Check out my shopvac filter
after cleaning dryer vent and refrigerator coils

Here are more detailed instructions on How to Clean Refrigerator Coils and if you unplugged the fridge, be sure you plug it back in when you are done!

Go get your vacuum out to do some cleaning to save energy and keep your beers cold.

Happy Greening!

You might like these:


  1. Great!
    now i can easily clean my refrigerator coil and increase cooling efficiency.
    Thanks Dude.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I need to clean my coils!

  3. Here’s a tip my husband used after he used his shop vac to get as much as could be reached, he couldn’t reach all the coils, he then took his leaf blower and blew what was left out from under the fridge. The coils are just spotless now.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.