Skip to main content

How To Clean Your Sub-Zero Condenser (Sub-Zero Problems)

July 2nd, 2014 | 1 min. read

By Tim Willis

I have been repairing appliances for 15 years. Cleaning a condenser bi-annually is the easiest and best preventative maintenance you can do for your Sub-Zero.

How A Sub-Zero Works

Sub-Zero refrigerators are unique in design in that they have a duel compressor cooling system. Unlike other refrigerators there are separate refrigerator cooling systems for both refrigerator and freezer compartments.

An indication of an airflow related issue is when both compartments are rising in temperature and the flashing service or vacuum condenser indicator is on (Figure 1). 


Most Sub-Zero service is performed via an easily accessible compartment on top of the refrigerator. The condenser is on the left side. It blows air to cool the gas inside. Behind the condenser is the compressor.

The compressor is the heart of a refrigerator and pumps Freon gas down through the coils. It literally sucks the heat from within the box of the refrigerator at the same time. As the Freon returns to the compressor, it passes through the condenser 

Condenser coils quickly become blocked with household dust, pet hair and other particulates in the air (Figure 2). As this occurs the condenser coils become plugged and restricts the air flow through the condenser.

The condenser of all Sub-Zero Refrigerators requires vacuuming at least twice a year. Doing so will ensure that your refrigerator runs efficiently and operates properly preventing the system from overheating and damaging the components.

How To Clean The Sub-Zero Condenser


The condenser is located behind the flip up grille. To access, pull out the bottom edge of the grille and rotate upward. Use a soft bristle brush and vacuum to remove dust and lint from the condenser. Refer to Figure 3.

By carrying out this regular preventative maintenance you can save hundreds of dollars in Sub-Zero refrigerator service. Complete cleaning instructions are found in the owners use and care manual, online at the Sub-Zero website, or call Yale Appliance Service and we’ll send a factory trained & authorized technician to clean your condenser for you.

Special notes: Before cleaning the condenser, turn the power off at the control panel. Wear gloves to avoid injury from sharp condenser fins. Sub-Zero models 400 and 700 series condenser units are on the bottom of the refrigerator.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Service and Repair Guide

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Tim Willis

Tim Willis has over 10 years of experience as an Appliance Repair Technician with Yale Appliance. He likes paintball, cruising, and gaming and also claims to not have used an alarm clock in seven years.

Read more about Tim here.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.