A large kitchen is a luxury that not every one of us have; we have to make do with what we have for most of the time. To save some kitchen counter top space, some people put their microwave on top of their refrigerator. While technically you can do so, it is not ideal so we generally don’t recommend doing it at all. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t:
1. Respect the refrigerator’s ventilation space
As we’ve stated before in our Refrigerator 101 series, you should put 50mm of ventilation space at the sides and the rear and 100mm at the top. This is to ensure that the heat generated during the refrigeration cycle can be dissipated away from the fridge.
If you put a microwave on top of your refrigerator, it effectively closes the ventilation space at the top.
Your microwave will end up catching and reflecting the heat back to the body of the fridge. This will throw the fridge’s thermostat out of whack, and you’ll end up with a harder working compressor, a higher electricity bill, and a fridge with a shorter lifespan.
FURTHER READING: Refrigerator 101: How Does A Refrigerator Work?
2. The microwave may not be able to reach the power outlet
“Oh, big deal. I can always use an extension cord, right?” Well, no.
Refrigerators pull in around 100W – 300W (sometimes more if it is a really big no frost model) depending on the make and model; microwaves pull in around 1,200W or more. This is more than most extension cords can take.
The both your refrigerator and microwave should have their own dedicated grounded electrical sockets. Using an extension cord for it can be a fire hazard.
3. It can spill hot food all over you
Refrigerators past 8.0 cu.ft. are built tall. It may not be ergonomic to place your microwave on top of that.
Not only will putting food in the microwave be an unintentional shoulder workout, pulling out the food will put you at severe risk of burns and scalding if you accidentally spill the hot food or liquid all over yourself.
We’ve given you reasons why you shouldn’t put a microwave on top of your refrigerator, but that didn’t solve your kitchen space woes.
Instead of leaving you hanging, we will propose some alternatives that may be ideal to your situation.
You can buy a microwave rack so that you’ll have an additional level of space in the countertop to place your microwave and other kitchen stuff on to.
If you’re lacking counter space but still have a lot of free floor space available, you should consider adding a kitchen rack to an additional storage space.
You can place your microwave here especially if it has an electrical outlet nearby.
To conclude, putting a microwave on top of the fridge is less than ideal. It is also adds another layer of risk in the house as it can burn the user, especially for the children and the elderly who have trouble reaching the microwave. Remember, safety before convenience!
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.