Everything You Need To Know About Refrigerators

How Does a Refrigerator Work?

In the modern world, a refrigerator is one of the interventions that has helped many people to preserve food for a longer period. Mostly, food goes bad because of the continuous breeding of bacteria.

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The cooler you can keep your food, the longer it can last. The cool temperatures in the refrigerator decelerate the growth of the bacteria in the food. Have you ever wondered how a refrigerator keeps your food cool and fresh? This article explains how a refrigerator works.

The process which defines how a refrigerator works are simple!

Let’s find out!

Gases become hot when compressed into a small volume. This is because the gases’ energetic molecules are pushed together. When gas is expanded, it automatically occupies more volume. The heat energy in the gas molecules gets divided into a larger amount of space. This makes the gas temperature fall hence making it cooler.

The best principle that explains how a refrigerator works are the law of thermodynamics. It is good to note that the refrigerator is designed following the second law of thermodynamics.

According to this law, when two things with different temperatures get into contact, the cold surface gets warmed up, and the hotter one gets cooled down. To be precise, the law of thermodynamics defines the relations between heat, thermal energy, and other energy that affects matter.

During the refrigeration process, there are four cycles involved in the cooling effect:

  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Evaporator
  • Expansion valve

The above components are connected with steel tubes and coppers. The freezer has an evaporator tube all around. When the food is kept in the refrigerator, its heat gets absorbed by the evaporator tube. The liquid refrigerant is then converted into vapor.

The compressor squeezes the already converted vapor. It raises its temperature and pressure. The temperature is then pushed in the condenser coils and outside the fridge. When the high pressure and temperature in the condenser coil get into contact with cooler air, it becomes liquid.

In a liquid state with high pressure, the temperature of the refrigerant lowers. The reason is, it flows via the valve through to the evaporator coils within the fridge and freezer.


However, following this, the refrigerant soaks up the heat within the fridge as it passes through the coils. This effect cools down the air trapped inside the refrigerator.

Lastly, the raised temperature causes the refrigerant to evaporate into a gas that flows back into the compressor. It is at this point that the cycle begins again. Repetition of this cycle brings about a cooling effect within the refrigerator. So this is how a refrigerator works!

In conclusion, the compressor is the key refrigerator component that requires power. Essentially, it is a pump that driven by a motor. The compressor is switched on and off by the thermostat controls. This mechanism sustains the cycles that enable a refrigerator to cool food.

Read: Best Quiet Mini Fridge For Bedroom and Dorm Room

Refrigerator Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some of the best tips and tricks to help you maintain and fix your fridge.

  • The refrigerator is not working? here are some things to check first.

-Of course, the first thing to check is the power, take a look at the receptacle if is it in good condition and is working properly, you can use a circuit tester. And if it isn’t working then check for any blown fuse or tripped circuit.

-Make sure if your cord isn’t damaged.

  • Possible problems for noisy refrigerator

-First thing first you have to make sure that the unit is level, else it could be the problem.

-Second, make sure that the drain pan is draining properly, else you need to clean it.

-You should clean the dust of the condenser fan if it isn’t working properly.

  • Not cool enough?

-Definitely, you have to check that the fridge temps are cold enough.

-Check the door sealing, if it isn’t sealed properly, here is a guide the explain how to fix it.

-Double-check that all of the evaporator fans, door switch, defrost heater and timer are working.

-Don’t over-stuff your refrigerator to allow the airflow inside the appliance to move smoothly and easily.

  • Interior Light Isn’t working?

-Make sure the door switch is working properly.

-Check the bulb if is it burnt, of course just in case you didn’t already.

  • Always Running refrigerator

-First thing first check the door sealing that it doesn’t leak any air.

-Try to clean the dirt of your condenser coils which are placed at the back.

-Make sure that the door switch is working.

-Finale tip try to defrost the freezer.

  • The water inside the fridge

-Make sure the drain tube is in good condition and didn’t have any clog, else you can fix it by unclogging it.

Cleaning Tips

Smelly and moldy refrigerator or microwave?

Follow these easy and simple steps on how to clean the refrigerator and keep your ingredients in a good and healthy environment.

  1. First, turn off the temperature control knob that is located in your fridge and freezer interior.
  2. Get rid of any outdated ingredients and spoiled food, while fresh and good ones should be wiped down and stored in a cold environment or another fridge.
  3. Remove every attachment or accessory such as shelves, drawers, and trays, hand wash, and rinse them, but don’t forget to completely dry them before placing them back in your refrigerator.
  4. Clean the refrigerator interior with a cloth and warm soapy water you can use vinegar too, and place back all the attachments back.
  5. Put a box of baking soda inside the fridge, to get off any unwanted odor recommended to repeat the process every 2-3 months.
  6. Make sure to remind any other user to clean immediately if there are any spills.

Saving Money With An Energy Efficient refrigerator

The refrigerator is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home it can reach up to 15% of all your home energy use if you own an old model refrigerator or any home appliance try to replace it with a new one since in most cases they will have better energy-saving technology.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you save on energy bills, and learn more about this kitchen appliance.

  • Before anything takes a close look at the door sealing if it is faulty, it is one of the main factors that make your bill high, recommended to replace the immediately… Read more.
  • Always place your fridge away from any heat source in the kitchen for instance stove, oven
  • Check and compare the “energy guide rating label”, it must be located in the refrigerator interior.
  • Most homeowners think that the size of the refrigerator doesn’t matter, but actually, it does. Always choose a refrigerator or any other kitchen appliance that works enough for you and your family. The largest the appliance, the more energy it will consume.
  • Always look for a fridge with a saving energy button feature.

Best Refrigerator Brands

Some of the best models in a different category:

  • Side by side: For this model, I will go with Kenmore, they deliver some unique features such as humidity control drawers and water filtration.
  • French door: I consider the Samsung Family Hub is one of the best in this category.
  • Built-in: I will go with Sub-Zero. (Click here to read our comparison between built-in and freestanding fridges).
  • Bottom Freezer: Kenmore 79349  is one of the best in this category.

6 Things To Consider When Buying A New Refrigerator

  • Built-in a water filtration system.
  • Fruit and vegetable crisper and deli pan with adjustable temperature and humidity control.
  • Adjustable door bins.
  • Adjustable temp drawer.
  • Beverage racks.
  • Energy Efficiency: look for fridges with ENERGY STAR certified.

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Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

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