Refrigerator FAQs

Refrigerator FAQs – We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about refrigerators in one place for your convenience.

These questions range from technical matters, to proper usage, as well as troubleshooting and the maintenance of your fridge.

To put it simply, refrigerators work by transferring the heat inside the fridge to the outside. To accomplish this, the fridge circulates a refrigerant liquid to the evaporator coils which, yes, evaporates it into gas. The evaporation effect cools down the surrounding area, similar to the effect of rubbing alcohol on your skin.

A non-inverter refrigerator only has two “speeds” – on and off. This is wasteful of energy as you can imagine. An inverter refrigerator saves energy by controlling the motor speed. This will reduce wasted energy, and will translate to savings in the long run.

Let’s start with where they are similar- both types of refrigerators use an evaporator to make the air cold. The difference is in the distribution – a direct cool ref does not rely on any aid to circulate this air throughout the fridge but this results in uneven cooling which creates thick frost in the freezer; meanwhile, a no frost ref has fans to aid in air circulation – they also have heating elements to automatically melt the frost from the freezer.

On single door and two door models, the chiller compartment is located right below the freezer. This room is colder than the fridge compartment, but is not colder than the freezer. Use this room to chill your beverages quicker. You can also use this room to thaw frozen meat to be used for the next day.

The crisper compartment is meant to store vegetables in to keep them fresh and crisp, hence the name.

Not every vegetable or fruit should be stored in the crisper though. Veggies like onions and garlic, and tubers like potatoes and kamotes are better off left outside of the fridge.

Keep the refrigerator out of direct sunlight. It should also be kept away from other sources of heat such as ovens and other appliances. Make sure that the fridge is not totally enclosed – always have a 50mm allowance at the sides and the read, and 100mm at the top for ventilation.

Frost forms when moisture comes into contact with the cold evaporator coils in the freezer. If this frost becomes too thick, it will reduce the efficiency of your fridge. For direct cool refrigerators, you need to defrost every time the frost completely covers the defrosting guide (it’s the red plastic thing sticking out of the fridge wall). No frost refrigerators don’t need to be defrosted at all because they have heating elements in the freezer to melt the frost periodically.

For no frost refrigerators, the side walls contain the refrigerator’s condenser coils. These coils are “heat exchangers” – they cool down the hot refrigerant gas by condensing them back into liquid to start the refrigeration cycle all over again. This heat needs to come out somewhere, which is why you need 50mm of space at the sides of your fridge to ensure proper ventilation.

Your refrigerator will keep food safe for 4 hours without power. Some fridges have a “cool pack” (this is the blue plastic container filled with liquid) in the freezer that absorbs cold air while the fridge is running. It then uses this cold air to cool down the fridge for up to 8 hours without power.

Yes you can. However, this will cause the refrigerant gas to be unevenly distributed throughout the fridge. After placing the refrigerator in its proper position, make sure to let it rest for about 24 hours before plugging it in.

Read more at: How long to wait before using your new refrigerator

You shouldn’t. Extension cords have a thinner gauge than a permanent house wiring, which means that it can’t handle a higher load of electricity. This can make the cord overheat and be a fire-hazard.

Make sure to have a dedicated outlet and space for your fridge so you won’t face this issue.

It is not recommended to put your fridge outside. If exposed to heat and sunlight, it will have trouble maintaining its temperature; you will end up with a higher electricity bill and a ref with a shorter lifespan due to it being overworked.

Liquids expand when frozen, which is why any liquid in a can or sealed glass bottle can break its container and “explode”. If you are going to put a can or bottle in a freezer, make sure it is not filled to the brim to give an allowance for the expanding liquid.

Charcoals are used to deodorize the refrigerator. The carbon in the charcoal absorbs the odor-causing organic molecules from the air. These odors then “stick” to the charcoal because of its porous structure.

We recommend to not place a microwave on top of your refrigerator. In fact, we recommend not putting ANYTHING on top of the fridge. Remember that refrigerators need 100mm of space at the top for ventilation; putting a microwave on top will block the heat from coming out and thus the heat will get reflected back to the unit. This can make your refrigerator work harder to maintain its temperature, which means a higher electricity bill.

A hard NO. Your refrigerator needs to maintain its temperature to prevent food from spoiling. Turning it off will increase the risk of spoilage and you contracting a foodborne illness.

There is an adjustable leg on one side of the fridge. Simply rotate it to lower or elevate the legs. You should ask another person to lean back the fridge so you can rotate the legs easier.

Your fridge temperature setting should be kept at 2–3°C to keep spoilage at bay. Also, don’t let it rise above 4°C as the bacterium Listeria (which causes foodborne illnesses) will have more chances to develop.

The freezer temperature of -18°C is a safe bet for meat storage.

About 4 hours. Some brands have an “express ice making” function that claims to make ice in as fast as 2 hours.

The vacation mode should be used if your vacation is less than 10 days.

It is possible, but it happens rarely. The cause is usually a malfunctioning (or just dirty) condenser that prevents hot refrigerant gases from escaping, thus building up the heat and pressure in the compressor. If you notice dust and grime buildup on your condenser coil (especially if it is exposed), clean it! Not only will this help prevent an explosion, it will also improve the ventilation of your fridge, does making it more efficient.

There are a lot of reasons why your fridge is failing to cool. Check the following easy fixes first before contacting your technician:

Thermostat – check if your temp setting is correct.
Dirty Coils – the condenser coils may have become too dirty and is having a hard time getting the heat off of your fridge.
Gasket – check if there are any leaks in the gasket – it may be letting hot air in.

If the symptoms persist, call your technician to properly diagnose your problem.

It could be two things: the drain pan or the defrost drain.

First off, check at the lower back side of the ref. On top of the compressor lies the drain pan. If you see that it is overflowing, just take it out (carefully) and throw the excess water away; replace it if it’s damaged in any way.

Second, check the defrost drain. This is the hole at the back of the freezer. Remove any blockages in the drain hole; if it is iced over, defrost it.

It means that your fridge is struggling to maintain its temperature. Check the gasket for any damage, it may be letting hot air inside. Also check if the condenser is dirty; it may be having a hard time passing off heat to the outside of the fridge. Things will get complicated if the compressor is the problem. Listen for weird sounds coming from the compressor; also listen if it is too quiet – it may not be working anymore. Have your technician take a look at it to diagnose it properly.

These may be the reasons why your refrigerator is making weird noises:

Knocking – it may be the condenser or the compressor failing.
Squeaking – it may be a malfunctioning evaporator fan on non-frost models.
Rattling – it could be a loose drain pan at the bottom of the fridge.

It may be because the freezer evaporator fan is malfunctioning. Check if there is anything blocking the fan. If the fan is iced-over, give the freezer a good defrosting.

Sometimes though, it may be the heating rod and the defrost timer malfunctioning. Check with your technician as these parts are not easy to get to and may even void your warranty.

It could be the smell of rotting food, or that laing left uncovered in the fridge. The best way to remove it is to give the fridge a good wipe down and to put charcoal to deodorize the air.

If you cleaned the interior but the smell still persist, check the drain pan. It may have become moldy and musty. Sanitize that but washing it in a vinegar and baking soda solution.

You need to defrost every time the frost thickens to about 1/4 inch or when it completely covers the defrosting guide (it’s the red plastic thing sticking out of the fridge wall).

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