The next question is how much do dirty coils effect the performance of a fridge? On Sunday I vacuumed them out and, for the most part, could barely tell any difference. That's when I remembered that the back access panel is an integral part of the cooling mechanism. This is the flexible panel covering the compressor area in the lower back of the fridge which I had taken off at the start of the project while rigging everything up.
With the panel back in place the graph looks like:
Much better. Before cleaning and before putting the panel on the fridge was running for eleven to twelve minutes and off for fifteen. Now it typically runs for nine or ten minutes and is off for almost twenty. In other words in the span of twenty four hours the fridge was running an extra four hours.
One odd thing is that every so often there will be a really short run of a few minutes, a normal off period, and then a long run. Maybe this is a form of self-defrost? Letting it warm up slightly then going back to the normal program again. No idea. The big question to answer is how often and for how long does a new fridge run? For that I need to find a willing friend who won't mind a little hardware hacked into their fridge for a few hours. Stay tuned...better yet, lend me your fridge! ":^)
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