Make sure refrigerator seals are tight

Why? If the seal on your refrigerator or freezer door isn't doing its job, your appliance could be leaking some of the cooled air it produces. But you don't need to buy a new refrigerator. To fix the problem, replace your leaky seal — also known as a gasket — with a new one. This will improve its efficiency and may extend its lifetime.
How it works: Close the door on a small piece of paper and then slowly pull it out. If there's no resistance, the seal is leaking cold air. You can also place a lit flashlight inside the refrigerator and close the door. If you can see light around the door, the seal needs to be replaced. Another sign of leakage is discoloration or cracks in the seal. Many times this discoloration is black in colour and is mold that should be cleaned regularly.  It is definitely the sign of a leaky seal.

Where to find seals: To purchase a new seal, contact the manufacturer of your appliance. You'll need the make and model to order the correct part.

How to find the make and model: The make and model of your refrigerator and freezer should be included in the owner's manual. You may also find this information printed on the inside edge of the refrigerator door, inside either compartment, or on the manufacturer's identification plate.


Step-by-step: Installing a new seal will take about 30 minutes.

  • Turn off the refrigerator. Move food to a cool location since the door will be open.
  • Soak new seal in warm water. Soaking for several minutes will make installation easier.
  • Loosen the retainer screws. Fold back your old seal to reveal the screws holding it in place on the door. Loosen the screws until you can pull off the old seal, but do not remove the metal retainer.
  • Fit seal to retainer. Starting from the top corner of the door, tuck the new gasket under the metal retainer and fit it into place. Work your way across the top and along the sides of the door, slightly (not fully) tightening the screws as you go.
  • Adjust the door. You may notice the refrigerator door twist a bit as you replace your seal, because the retainer screws that hold the gasket also hold the door together. If this happens, manually realign the door so it is true to the opposite edge of the refrigerator.
  • Fully tighten screws. This should lock the door's shape and seal into place.

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