A refrigerator and a stove are partners in crime; one stores the ingredients and the other turns them into wonderful dishes. So it only makes sense that in a kitchen, the refrigerator should be near the stove to make your kitchen workspace more ergonomic. Right? Well…not really.
You shouldn’t put your refrigerator beside your stove as it is an additional source of heat that your fridge’s thermostat will have to deal with, and this may have an impact on your energy bill. Besides that, most designers abide by the “kitchen triangle” rule, which stats that the fridge, stove, and sink should form a triangular workspace in the kitchen with the sink (or a countertop) separating the fridge and the stove. Otherwise your kitchen will feel crowded and your workspace will be limited.
In this article, we will discuss why you shouldn’t put your fridge near your stove, and we will also give you some ideas on how to layout your fridge and stove in the kitchen.
Why you shouldn’t put a refrigerator beside a stove
There are a couple of reasons why it’s not a good idea to place a fridge beside a gas range. These reasons range from energy efficiency, safety, and ergonomics. Here they are explained in depth:
Refrigerators work by harnessing the power of the evaporation process to cool down its compartments. It does this by continuously evaporating and condensing a refrigerant gas that runs through copper tubes inside the refrigerator. This gas is circulated throughout the refrigerator’s copper tubes by a device called the compressor.
To maintain the temperature inside the fridge, the refrigerator’s thermostat tells the compressor to either stop or start when it gets too cold or too warm.
The heat coming off a – like a stove – can be picked up by the refrigerator’s thermostat and will interfere with its temperature regulation, and thus cause your fridge’s compressor to cycle on and off quicker than normal. This is inefficient and will increase your electricity bill.
Poor cooling performance
As stated earlier, the heat emanating from the gas range can unsettle a refrigerator’s thermostat if both of those appliances are close to each other. This can cause cooling issues with the fridge.
Aside from an abnormally warm temperature inside its compartments, other symptoms of a refrigerator that is struggling to maintain its temperature include excessive “sweating” on the exterior surface of the fridge, as well as moisture on the interior walls.
The moisture on the walls of the fridge will eventually freeze once the temperature stabilizes. This will lead to thick frost on the freezer, and even a layer of ice on the interior refrigerator wall.
Most people will over-compensate, and set a low temperature setting to maintain the coldness within the refrigerator. But not only will this result in a higher electricity bill, it can also wear out the refrigerator’s compressor faster than normal. We will discuss this in the next section.
Reduces the lifespan of the refrigerator
To compensate for the increased temperature inside your fridge, the compressor will turn on and off more frequently (this is called short cycling). This will quickly add wear and tear to your compressor, which can damage it or completely break your refrigerator.
As we’ve discussed before, the average lifespan of a refrigerator is 13 years, so if you want your fridge to last as long as it could, keep it a good distance away from your stove.
Can be a fire hazard
Refrigerators that use R-600a as refrigerant gas can be in danger of blowing up or catching on fire as this particular gas is flammable. While most refrigerators do not contain enough of this gas to cause a catastrophic explosion, it is still flammable, and can cause issues if the refrigerant gas leaks.
It will make the kitchen feel crowded
Aside from reasons of energy efficiency and safety, kitchen ergonomics is also a prime reason why you shouldn’t put a refrigerator beside a stove.
Kitchens need adequate space near the stove so that there will be abundant workspace for you to work on. Ideally, this space should be filled up by the sink or a countertop.
If you ignore this rule of thumb, it could make your kitchen feel cramped especially if there are two people in the kitchen preparing for a meal.
Where to place your refrigerator
As we’ve discussed earlier, most designers recommend that you follow the “Kitchen Triangle” layout, where the triangle is formed by the fridge, sink, and the stove.
It should also be away from other heat sources such as other appliances and windows, and there should be ample ventilation space around it to prevent it from overheating.
We’ve done a visual guide on where to place your refrigerator. Go check it out!
We hoped that this article helped you in choosing the best location for your fridge. Not only will putting your refrigerator near the stove reduce its efficiency, it can also cause mechanical issues and even fires when worse comes to worst.
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.