Your fridge is quite a remarkable appliance. It just sits in your kitchen, working 24 hours a day until the time comes when you decide that you want a new fridge. When an appliance is in constant operation, it might need maintenance from time to time. The door seal is one of the most problematic parts of your fridge, and when the door is not sealed properly, it can lead to more significant problems. The fridge's motor needs to work harder, which can result in the motor not lasting as long as it should. If you suspect that there is an issue with your fridge's door seal, there are a few simple tests that you need to know about.
The Opening Test
There should be a small amount of resistance when you open your fridge. If you notice that your fridge opens without this resistance, it indicates that no suction is present. This is an easy way to determine that your fridge's door seal is damaged.
The Finger Test
You can also test the door seal with your finger. When the fridge is open, simply gently prod the seal. It should be firm, and yet should still retract slightly under your touch—much like an inflated pool toy. You might hear a small hiss as air is expelled, and this is perfectly normal. If there is not resistance and the seal feels limp, this again demonstrates that the door seal is damaged.
The Paper Test
Sometimes the fridge door will still open and close properly and the door seal will feel normal. If you still feel that the seal is damaged (even though it might not be immediately obvious), then another simple test can be determined. Open the fridge and find a thin rectangle of paper. Something about the width and length of a banknote is best, although you should not use actual money in case you tear it. Cut a piece of office paper to size instead. Place it over the seal so that half of the piece of paper remains inside the fridge when the door is closed. Close the fridge and gently tug at the piece of paper. If it comes out with no resistance, then the seal is not functioning properly. You will need to repeat this paper test around the entirety of the door seal's surface. The door seal might only be damaged in a particular area, which is why the door opening test and the finger test were ineffective.
While it's not exactly an urgent need, you should have your fridge door seal repaired in a timely manner. Failure to do so can sharply decrease the operating life of the fridge, resulting in a more expensive repair (or a total replacement). Any company that handles appliance repairs will be able to replace your fridge door seal while you wait, and it's not a particularly expensive procedure. You should check to see if your fridge is still under warranty, meaning that the repair might be free if performed by a designated repair company.