CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Heat has swept across the Coastal Bend, causing temperatures to soar into the triple digits and an unexpected mechanical problem to emerge.
For more than two weeks, temperatures surpassing 100 degrees Fahrenheit have caused refrigerators across the area to succumb to the heat conditions.
Jacob Parks, J.A.A.R Head Appliance Repair in Corpus Christi said that leaving a refrigerator in the heat stresses it out.
“Outside appliances tend to strain a lot harder to work. They typically get put inside a garage where the temperatures are significantly higher than inside a house,” Parks said.
The consequences of failing refrigerators are far-reaching. Families could lose perishable food items, which puts a strain on their budgets and leads to increased food waste.
In addition, with the lack of cold storage, individuals are left without access to chilled water and other beverages.
That increases the discomfort caused by the heat.
“So, the second you notice excessive water on the floor, pull the food out, put it in coolers or transfer it to an indoor unit and call a service technician as soon as possible,” Parks said.
Parks recommended residents should keep refrigerators away from direct sunlight and ensure proper ventilation around the appliance. Additionally, maintaining a consistent temperature in the house can help ease the burden on the refrigerator's cooling system.
“Regular preventative maintenance,” he said. “If you have water hooked up, changing out your water filters. Preventative maintenance consists of condenser cleanings, checkups, making sure your compressor is not over amping, it’s not drawing too much power, and it’s not over working.”
As the heatwave continues to affect the area, experts emphasize the need for long-term solutions to prevent similar situations in the future.
“Quarterly $85 preventative maintenance on a refrigerator could prevent you from having to pay on a non-warranty covered refrigerator,” Parks said.