Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and other appliances and shut off the electricity by unplugging the power cord. For built-in refrigerators, turn the respective circuit breaker off.
Remove both (or just the kick plate, in built-in models) cover plates to expose the condenser coils. Most plates come off without any disassembly of fasteners; others are screwed on, especially the back plate.
If a vacuum is available, use the long, narrow hose attachment to clean out the debris in and around the coils.
Using a bottle brush or a dryer vent brush will help immensely; especially if your refrigerator is old and hasn't been cleaned for a very long time.
If a vacuum is not available, using a bottle brush or a dryer vent brush will do the trick just as well.
After cleaning, restore the cover plates onto the refrigerator and turn the power back on.
Cleaning the condenser coils in your refrigerator saves energy and money. For side-by-side or built-in refrigerators, cleaning should be performed at least twice a year. For refrigerators with coils mounted on the back of the refrigerator, cleaning the coils at least once a year is sufficient. The entire process should take 10 to 45 minutes, depending on how dirty the coils are; overall, it is a quick way to save money on your next energy bill.