Recent Posts

Technology

Refrigerator Sides Are Hot – Is That Normal?

Refrigerators, our modern-day food storage champions, work tirelessly to keep our food fresh and beverages chilled. However, it’s a

Refrigerator Sides Are Hot – Is That Normal?

Refrigerators, our modern-day food storage champions, work tirelessly to keep our food fresh and beverages chilled. However, it’s a common observation that the sides of a refrigerator can become warm to the touch. 

Is this a cause for concern, or is it a regular aspect of a refrigerator’s functioning? In this article, we’ll explore this common concern and shed light on whether it’s a cause for worry or just a part of your fridge’s normal operation.

Understanding Refrigeration Basics

To address the issue of hot refrigerator sides, we first need to delve into the basic principles of how a refrigerator works. 

At the heart of every fridge is a refrigeration cycle that involves the circulation of a refrigerant gas. This gas is responsible for absorbing heat from the inside of the fridge and releasing it outside to keep the contents cool.

Compressor Action

The refrigeration cycle begins with the compressor, which plays a crucial role in raising the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas. As the gas is compressed, it becomes hotter. 

This hot, high-pressure gas then flows through coils or pipes located on the back or sometimes on the sides of the refrigerator.

Heat Dissipation

Once the hot gas travels through these coils or pipes, it releases the heat it has absorbed from inside the fridge. This heat exchange process is essential for maintaining a cold temperature inside the fridge. 

As the hot gas cools down, it turns into a liquid form, and this liquid is then passed through an expansion valve, where it undergoes a rapid pressure drop, causing it to evaporate and absorb heat from the fridge’s interior.

The Role of Condenser Coils

Condenser coils, which are typically located on the back of the fridge, assist in dissipating the heat. 

They act as radiators, allowing the hot refrigerant gas to lose heat to the surrounding environment. This is why the back of the refrigerator can feel warm to the touch.

Sides of the Refrigerator

In some refrigerator models, especially those with a side-by-side configuration or certain built-in units, you may notice that the sides of the fridge also become warm. 

This phenomenon occurs because some of the heat generated by the compressor and condenser coils can transfer to the sides of the appliance.

Is It Normal?

Now that we understand the science behind it, let’s address the burning question: Is it normal for the sides of a refrigerator to be hot? The answer is yes, it can be perfectly normal. The heat emitted from the sides of your refrigerator is a byproduct of the cooling process and is necessary for your fridge to function efficiently. It’s a sign that the refrigerator is expelling the heat from inside, which is essential for maintaining a cold temperature within.

However, it’s important to note that the level of heat can vary depending on the make and model of your refrigerator. Some fridges may have warmer sides than others. Additionally, the ambient temperature of the room where your fridge is located can also influence how hot the sides feel. During hot summer months, for example, the sides of your fridge may feel warmer to the touch than during colder seasons.

When to Be Concerned

While it’s generally normal for the sides of a refrigerator to be warm, there are cases where excessive heat may indicate a problem. If you notice that the sides of your fridge are exceptionally hot or that the temperature inside the fridge is not maintaining the desired level, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance. 

Overheating can be a sign of issues with the compressor, condenser coils, or other components, which may require repair or maintenance by services like Barnet Climate Control.

Bottom Line

In most cases, the sides of a refrigerator being hot is entirely normal and a result of the cooling process at work. Understanding the science behind it can alleviate concerns about your fridge’s operation

However, if you ever suspect that something is amiss with your fridge, it’s always best to consult with a qualified technician to ensure its proper functioning and to address any potential issues promptly. Your refrigerator plays a vital role in preserving your food, and keeping it in good working condition is essential for its efficiency and longevity.

About Author

thelastseven