Regular maintenance is the key to keeping any refrigerator in peak condition, and Sub-Zero brand refrigerators are no different. The best home maintenance chore to prolong the life of your fridge is twice yearly cleaning of the condenser coils. This condenser is what produces and blows the cold air through your refrigerator, so allowing them to get dirty can result in a repair or the need for premature replacement.
Finding the Condenser
The compressor unit on a Sub-Zero fridge isn't located on the rear of the unit, like it would be on most refrigerators. Instead, you access it from a hatch on top of the unit. Unlike most other refrigerator models, the Sub-Zero also has a dual compressor system – one for the fridge and a second for the freezer.
The condenser coils run between these two compressors, and then carry the super-cooled air into the freezer and fridge compartments. After opening the hatch, you flip down the grill to reveal the condenser coils.
Cleaning the Coils
You don't need special tools to clean the coils. Simply use a soft-bristled brush to loosen the dust and debris on the coils, and then vacuum it up with your vacuum's hand attachment. Make sure you unplug the fridge and wear gloves before you begin to clean – there are sharp fins on the unit that can cause a nasty cut!
Repeat this process every six months in most homes. If you have pets, you may want to perform this general maintenance chore every two months, because pet hair can quickly build up on the coils. Dust and dirt on the condenser coils put unnecessary stress on the entire cooling system, making a malfunction more likely.
If your Sub-Zero fridge isn't cooling properly or is having trouble maintaining the set temperature, even after cleaning, it may be time to have the condenser or compressor units serviced and repaired. Signs that your fridge needs professional service include:
Failure to cool
Compressors failing to cycle on or off
Ice buildup on the condenser coils
Unfamiliar noise when the compressor is running
Freezer self-defrost not working properly
Uneven cooling on the interior of the unit
Most problems can be repaired if you act quickly, which can save you from the cost of an unnecessary replacement. If you suspect a problem, and cleaning the condenser doesn't immediately fix it, you will need to schedule a repair with companies like Appliance Service Station Inc.