What is the most important appliance in your kitchen? Most people would probably identify the fridge freezer, as it holds all of your food after all and must keep it in good condition so that your family is well fed and stays healthy. If you suspect that all is not well with your food storage facility, what should you be doing to try and put things right?
Have you noticed that certain types of food have been going off more quickly recently, or do you think that the temperature is not right when you open the door of the fridge? It could be that the all-important fan is not working properly due to a buildup of ice. Move all the food out of the way and have a good look. If you can see ice you should defrost the unit and see if this fixes the problem.
While you are in there have a look at the thermometer unit, which in many fridge freezers is quite vulnerable to damage. It is also easy to knock when you are putting food in or taking it out. The dial can easily be pushed up a degree or two inadvertently, which will lead to deterioration, so make a habit of regularly checking this unit.
Next, have a look at the drain holes which are to the bottom and may be at the rear of the unit. These can become blocked due to a buildup of debris. Get some baking powder and put a little bit down the drain before flushing it with warm water. This will probably clear the blockage. Likewise, the icemaker unit has its own tube system that is vulnerable to blockage. Check this at the same time and remove any issues there.
Pull the unit out from the wall and have a look at the condition of the condenser coils that are mounted on the back. If you haven't paid much attention here for a while, they will probably be rather dirty due to a buildup of dust and other airborne contaminants. If this is the case they won't be working properly to disperse the heat that the fridge produces. You will need to turn off the fridge and brush away any stubborn deposits, before vacuuming to clean it all up.
While you are there, have a look at the condenser fan blades which are typically situated towards the bottom. Is this turning unimpeded? If not, remove any obstruction to fix the issue.
Finally, another fan is situated within the freezer unit and you may have to search for its location. It's typically behind a vent and is part of the evaporator, to circulate cool air through the box. It's possible that you have jammed some food packets or boxes against the vent, which would stop this fan from circulating air properly.
Always make sure that you clean in and around the fridge freezer carefully and frequently. In particular, look at the seal in between the door and the unit, as this is a place where bacteria and germs can buildup.
If your fridge freezer is still not working, it's time to get an appliance technician in to find out what is wrong.