A refrigerator is a necessary appliance when it comes to living and workspaces. But they are not fit for every space. For instance, most dorms and small apartments have carpet, so can you put a fridge or a mini fridge on a carpet?
You can’t and shouldn’t put a fridge or a mini fridge on a carpet. It can block airflow to the condenser, which is located at the bottom of the refrigerator, and retain heat. It can cause the appliance to not work properly or work extra harder, resulting in higher electricity bills and more damage.
Throughout this article, we will discuss why you should not put a fridge or mini fridge on a carpet and what to do if you have no other option in your space. Lastly, we will discuss other important aspects of refrigerators that you need to know, including what to do and not to do with them.
What Is a Condenser?
To understand why you should not place your fridge or mini fridge on a carpet, it’s important to first understand the basics of a condenser.
A refrigerator is a complicated appliance with many moving parts. They all work in conjunction with one another to make the fridge work properly. One of these parts is the condenser.
When it comes to refrigerators, the condenser works by taking the hot air from the inside of the fridge and moving it outside. It does so by condensing gas into liquid through cooling. A condenser is usually in the form of coils located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator.
There are three types of condensers, as they vary from fridge to fridge:
- Forced air condenser. This condenser is equipped with condenser fans to help move the heat from inside the refrigerator to the outside environment. They are usually located underneath the refrigerator.
- “Never clean” condenser. With these units, the condenser is actually located near the compressor. This allows for easier airflow. Since these condensers are not located in their usual spot, they do not get dirty and get covered in debris; thus, you never have to clean them.
- Natural draft condenser. Many small refrigerators have a natural draft condenser. It works by using natural air to get rid of the heat from the refrigerator. Natural draft condensers are also common in single-door refrigerators and those with manual defrost mode.
Why You Should Not Put a Fridge on a Carpet
- The condenser coils cannot get enough airflow. This can cause your condenser to have to work harder, which means that it will be quicker to burn out. This also means that, as a possible consequence, your electric bill will skyrocket.
- They can retain heat. They can be excellent insulators when it comes to keeping heat inside your home or office. However, this is a negative when it comes to putting a refrigerator on top of one. It can cause your condenser to work harder and possibly burn out. If the condenser does not have enough airflow or gets too hot, it may cause a leak, which will then make the carpet wet. This can produce mold and mildew in your carpet.
- Your carpet will begin to fade in that spot. If you ever want to move out of your home or workspace or even just want to move the location of your fridge, you may find a surprise when you eventually lift it up. There will probably be a faded square on the carpet right where you kept your fridge.
What to Do if You Have No Other Option
Maybe your home or office is all carpet, or maybe there is no other spot for your fridge except on top of the carpet. It is not ideal, but there are some ways to work with what you have. Here are four things to do if you must put your fridge or mini fridge on a carpet:
- Put something underneath it. We suggest buying a mat or even a small piece of linoleum to put your refrigerator on top of. You can also buy appliance stands, such as this Universal Mobile Base Fridge Stand from Amazon. We also recommend this SPACECARE Mobile Roller Adjustable Furniture Dolly, and it even comes with four locking wheels for easy mobility.
- Keep it closed. It is imperative that you make sure that you close the fridge tightly every single time you open it. When you put the fridge on a carpet, the door tends to drag, making it harder to close. If you do not close your fridge all the way, the food will not keep cool, and your unit will have to work very hard to try to reach a certain temperature, using excessive energy and increasing your electric bill.
- Buy a fridge with a condenser in the back. In most mini fridges, the condenser is at the bottom of the fridge. If you want to use a carpet, then you need to purchase a fridge that has its condenser coils on the back of the unit. Do not place a fridge with bottom coils on a carpet. It may cause a burn in the carpet, or in some cases, even start a fire.
- Keep it well-maintained. Keep up with regular maintenance on your fridge. This will help the unit to work more properly, thus keeping your energy bill down. You should also defrost your fridge and clean it every six months. You should also wipe down or replace the door gaskets and clean the condenser coils and air vents regularly.
Do’s and Don’ts of Maintaining Refrigerators
If you own a refrigerator, you should be able to properly take care of it. Sometimes it is hard to remember it is there since we are so used to it, but it is one of the largest appliances you own. It is important to take care of your refrigerator to extend its lifespan and to keep it running efficiently, saving you extra dollars. Thus, you need to know certain dos and don’ts or refrigerator care.
Do’s of Maintaining Refrigerators
- Do keep your fridge in a cool, dry place. Your fridge will run most optimal in a cool and dry place. This can be your kitchen, basement, or even your garage.
- Do place your fridge away from the wall. As you have read above, proper airflow is vital in a properly working fridge. If your fridge is too close to the wall, there will not be enough airflow for the condenser to work properly.
- Do check your fridge’s temperature. Be sure to consistently check your fridge and freezer temperature. Set your fridge to 40°F or 4°C and your freezer to 0°F or -18 °C. These temperatures are perfect for keeping your food cool without having to spend too much on your electric bill.
- Do check your fridge’s door gaskets. Door gaskets are the perfect place for crumbs to accumulate, which may get in the way of your door closing all the way, letting cool air escape. Make sure to clean your door gaskets monthly, and replace them when necessary. If you need to replace your door gasket, here is a Supco Universal Door Gasket from Amazon.
- Do clean your condenser coils. If your condenser coils are dirty or dusty, then they will need to be cleaned. Dirty condenser coils can cause your refrigerator to expel more energy and increase your electric bill. You can also use your attachment on your vacuum to suck out any dust and debris that may have gotten stuck in your coils.
- Do let your food cool down before putting it inside the fridge. Putting warm or hot food inside your fridge will warm up the air inside of it. This will cause the fridge to have to work harder to cool down the air inside.
- Do keep your food organized. Keeping your fridge organized a certain way will help you remember where everything is, so you will not have to keep the door open for long periods of time. Keeping the door open will cause your fridge to use more energy.
- Do replace your fridge’s water filter. Every six months or so, you should be replacing your refrigerator’s water filter. The water filter eventually gets filled with the contaminants that it removes from the water and can put them back into your clean water. Check your manual for what kind of water filter you need for your refrigerator. Here is an Everydrop by Whirlpool Water Filter from Amazon.
Don’ts of Maintaining Refrigerators
- Don’t store your fridge in a hot place. When installing your refrigerator, take into account the location. Do not put your refrigerator near your oven or even in direct sunlight. This can cause overheating. As we have mentioned above, too much heat near your fridge is a bad idea. It will make your unit work extra hard to keep itself cool and will increase your energy bill.
- Don’t store your fridge on its side. If your refrigerator was delivered on its side, then put it upright but do not plug it in. Wait a few hours before you do this, as the compressor can get damaged. Putting the fridge on its side may also damage the doors.
- Don’t plug your fridge in using an extension cord. Always plug your fridge directly into the wall power outlet. Using an extension cord can be dangerous.
- Don’t store perishable items in the door. Since the door is constantly opening and closing, it tends to be the warmest part of the fridge. Always store your perishable items like milk and eggs inside on the shelves to avoid spoiling.
- Don’t forget about the air vents. Cleaning the air vents occasionally can help your fridge run more properly, saving you money in the long run.
- Don’t put uncovered liquids in your fridge. This may cause excess moisture in your unit, thus causing your refrigerator to have to work harder.
- Don’t overstuff your fridge. You want to keep your fridge about ¾ full at all times. If you do, when you open the fridge door, the already chilled food will keep the temperature cool, and your fridge will be working less. If you overstuff your fridge, it can block air vents and cause poor circulation. If you keep your fridge empty, it will also have to work harder to reach the right temperature.
- Don’t wait to call a professional if your fridge isn’t working properly. If you have followed all the tips above, and your fridge is still not working properly or at full capacity, then there may be something wrong. Instead of shelling out big bucks to buy a brand new fridge, get a technician come take a look at it. They may be able to fix the issue, but do it sooner than later, as waiting can lead to bigger problems.
- Don’t store anything on top of your fridge. It’s tempting to store food or drinks on top of your fridge, especially if you’re pressed for space. However, heat from the fan and motor is dissipated into the air from the top of the fridge. Storing anything on top will make it harder for the heat to dissipate, thus your fridge will expel more energy trying to keep your food cool.
In this article, we described why putting a fridge on carpet is a bad idea. It can prevent the condenser coils from getting enough air, as well as retaining heat, which can cause the fridge to have to put in more work, expelling more energy and increasing your electric bill. It can also damage the carpet, which will eventually have you spending more money to have it replaced.
If you have no other option, there are rules to follow when doing this to provide the safest, most cost-effect result.
This article also went over some dos and don’ts of refrigerator care, such as where to place your refrigerator, what to place in your refrigerator, and how to properly maintain your unit.
If you follow all these rules and precautions, then you are on your way to becoming a responsible fridge or mini fridge owner.