We often get asked by our customers the question of “How to winterize my propane refrigerator?” Since most people understand that a propane fridge absorption system contains water as part of the solution, they assume that the system is subject to freezing in low winter temperatures. Do not fear, the absorption unit is sealed and pressurized and will not freeze due to this fact.
With that being said, there are still a few things you can do for your propane refrigerator to protect it from the weather or from just being unattended for long periods.
The first thing we suggest is to do a full defrost on the unit and completely dry the interior of both the freezer and refrigerator compartments. This will keep any standing water from freezing and breaking interior plastic parts. Remember to empty the water from the interior and exterior defrost trays. Towel-dry the interior. This will also help keep mold from forming.
Keep the doors open slightly. Do this to help prevent the mold forming. We suggest to keep the doors open with only a small piece of cardboard to prevent rodents or critters from getting inside.
Remove any contents such as soda cans that are subject to expansion when freezing. We suggest this anytime the fridge is unattended for long periods even if it continues to be “on”. Since gas refrigerators are highly subject to ambient temperatures, a lower ambient temperature can cause the refrigerator compartment interior to drop below freezing and freeze the interior items. We have seen soda cans explode with enough force to break interior shelves and drawers, not to mention the mess it creates.
Turn the propane system off. First turn the valve at the fridge off while the fridge is operating and let it burn the excess propane from the gas lines and controls. This helps keep spiders and insects from being attracted to the propane smell at the burner. Then turn the main valve at the tank off. This will eliminate the possibility of a small leak depleting your gas supply.
For climates that contain high salt content in the air such as beach homes, we suggest to wax the exterior finish using typical car wax. This will create a barrier and help prevent any possible corrosion.
Lastly, spray an insect repellant around the burner area to further prevent spiders and insects from nesting inside of the burner tube. This will make your first day of next year’s vacation much more enjoyable.