The refrigerator is one of the most essential kitchen appliances to date. More essential than, say, a microwave or even a dishwasher, having a refrigerator is essential for any home.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having a full kitchen space in their home. Some people might need to put the fridge directly on a carpeted floor to save space. However, is this a safe practice?
It’s never a good idea to put a mini fridge on the carpet or put a full-sized fridge on a carpeted floor. A carpeted floor can become damaged and cause damage to your refrigerator and flooring.
However, if this is the only option you have, there are other methods you can use to help improve air circulation in your refrigerator and keep it working properly for years to come.
Does Carpet Directly Affect Air Circulation?
For your refrigerator to work properly, you need to store it in such a way that it continues to get good air circulation. This is why many refrigerators are placed on kitchen floors made of:
- Vinyl flooring with planks
- Hardwood floor
- Vinyl rollout
- Terra cotta
Not only are these types of floors aesthetically pleasing, but they also remain at the ideal temperature to keep the kitchen and surrounding space cool.
Hence, when you put a refrigerator or mini fridge on these types of flooring, rarely will you encounter a problem with your refrigerator overheating.
Overheating On Carpet
Unfortunately, the carpet does not keep cool like the floors listed above, and they hold heat at much higher rates.
Although carpet is plush and comfortable when you arrive home, it’s not very cool and can absorb heat from a heat source more so than the above flooring materials.
The carpet is so good at retaining heat, that it’s estimated that 10% of the heat that would be lost from a traditional hard floor can be retained from the carpet.
Although this makes carpet an excellent choice to keep your home warm during the winter, this means it can easily overheat your refrigerator.
If you’re beginning to renovate a home or are shopping around for a new apartment for college students, it’s important to keep this in mind when finding a new place to live.
Yes, studios with all carpets might be cheaper, and you might be tempted to not renovate the 80s or 70s style home where the carpet was fashionable to save on money
However, keep in mind that carpet is the worst choice to install a mini-fridge or regular-sized fridge.
If you want to place your fridge in a guest room, also keep the flooring materials in mind.
The Importance of Circulation for Compressor
Because carpet can retain heat, this means excess heat can accumulate on the bottom side of your refrigerator. This is because the compressor unit is located at the bottom of your refrigerator or mini fridge.
If you notice, mini-fridges and full-sized refrigerators have a compressor that looks like a black, small round tank with various wires and coils located around it.
These compressor units are located on most mini-fridges and refrigerators right above the drip pan, with no other protection surrounding it or insulating it.
This means that placing refrigerators directly on the carpet leads to the compressor holding heat and reducing circulation. In turn, this causes the fridge to need more energy to cool your food, resulting in overheating.
It’s important to not place a fridge or mini fridge directly on the carpet to protect the compressor.
Condenser Coils – Things to Consider
Condenser coils are also located on a regular mini fridge and full-sized refrigerator. However, some styles of compact fridges will have condenser coils placed at the very bottom of the unit.
Covering this area with carpet means your cooling system will work inefficiently, leading to overheating. A better option is to purchase a mini fridge or full-sized fridge with a rear cooling coil system.
These coils are located on the back of the fridge as opposed to the bottom. For these types of units, putting a fridge on the carpet is slightly better, but it is still a bad idea that can lead to overheating.
If you’re buying a mini fridge or regular fridge from an online marketplace, make sure to ask about the location of the cooling coils.
Proper Placement for Your Fridge
Like all appliances, there is a proper way to place your refrigerators to ensure safety.
Below are some things to consider to ensure your fridge does not use more energy than necessary during the cooling process, prevent overheating, and extend the longevity of your refrigerator.
Place in an Upright Position
While transporting your fridge or multiple refrigerators, it’s important to stand them upright if possible. This is easier to do with regular-sized refrigerators, but it can be tempting to place a mini refrigerator on its side during transport.
Doing so moves all the coolant from one side of the fridge to the other. As a result, your refrigerator can become damaged if used right away.
Instead, stand your refrigerator upright for the same duration as you had the fridge on its side.
For instance, if your mini fridge was laying down during the transport for four hours, then stand it upright for another four hours. This ensures your refrigerator has time to settle and doesn’t become damaged.
Avoid Tight Quarters
Depending on the location of your refrigerator, you’ll want to place it at least one to two inches away from the wall.
Even if you put your fridge on the carpet, it’s even more important to place your fridge in such a way that enough space and air circulate around it.
If you’re placing you’re fridge flush against a wall, this means not enough air will circulate it, causing it to overheat and leading to higher electricity bills.
Take measurements of your room beforehand to ensure you have enough room around, underneath, and to the sides of your fridge for proper air circulation.
For instance, if you’re converting your old laundry room into a small den with a fridge, measure your unit and the size of your room before starting and planning any renovations.
Avoid Heat and Direct Sunlight
In addition to having adequate space around your unit, you also need to make sure you avoid excessive hot temperatures and direct sunlight shining onto your fridge.
The more sunlight that shines onto your fridge, whether you have a fridge on the carpet or not, the more energy it will take for your fridge to cool your food.
This means that your electricity bill will be much higher than normal, and your perishable items might not be adequately protected.
If you’re planning on placing your fridge outside for longer periods during the summer or spring months, make sure to cover it using a shade or awning. This will prevent sunlight from affecting your fridge directly.
How to Put Your Fridge On A Carpet Safely
If you have no other choice besides putting your fridge on a carpet, there are certain things you can do to protect your carpet and minimize the chances of your fridge becoming damaged.
Place a Mat Underneath Your Fridge
A plastic mat is perhaps the easiest way to protect your fridge and your carpet from damage. A plastic clear mat does not absorb as much heat as a carpet and does not produce as much friction when transporting your fridge.
Placing a plastic mat, such as those used for office chairs, under your fridge can, therefore, help prevent overheating, make it easier for you to transport your fridge to and from different rooms in your home, and can help reduce the risk of damage to your carpet.
This is because this plastic acts as a waterproof layer, protecting your carpet underneath from leaks and water damage.
Place Towels Around Your Fridge
When there is a leak around your fridge, having towels around it can be a lifesaver for your flooring. Anything can cause a leak, from condensation to damage to the base of the refrigerator.
When there’s a leak, make sure to use towels under the door of the fridge to capture any moisture and prevent it from damaging your floor.
Place Your Fridge on an Even Surface
When transporting your fridge and moving it into a new space, it’s important to place your fridge on an evenly surfaced floor.
Not only can an uneven surface cause your fridge to tip over, but it can also damage its internal parts over time.
Read your manufacturer’s instructions for specific tips on how to place your fridge in your new space.
Many fridge companies will recommend the front of the fridge be a mere 0.25 to 0.5 inches higher than the back of the fridge.
This is such a small measurement that, unfortunately, leaves plenty of room for error. In addition, having your fridge on an uneven surface or carpet means you can’t open the refrigerator door easily.
It can become caught in the carpet fibers themselves, or be difficult to open due to the tilted angle.
No one wants to struggle to open their fridge door, so make sure you take measurements of the level of your floor before moving your fridge.
Do Regular Maintenance
Whether you choose to place your fridge on the carpet or other space, regularly maintaining and repairing your fridge is essential. It’s a bad idea to ignore leaks, strange noises or smells coming from your fridge.
Make sure to call a professional repair person to check your fridge and freezer.
They will conduct a safety check, make sure all electrical components in your refrigerator are working, and recommend any changes such as avoiding extension cords.
You can also do maintenance on your own by fixing your door if you notice it is bent or broken, cleaning out your fridge and freezer of unnecessary food items, and also defrosting your freezer.
This is especially crucial for mini-fridges, where the freezer is so small it can easily begin to build up ice and leak out, causing water damage and mildew to build upon your carpet.
Place Another Type of Flooring Under Your Fridge
Although plastic mats are ideal, you can also place a solid wooden board under your fridge. This will lift up your fridge from the carpet and prevent overheating.
It will also help you clean up accidental spills easily. Other options include:
- Vinyl rollout flooring
- Rugs made for outdoors
- Refrigerator mats
- Protective plastic sheets
Why Add Protection?
Remember, it’s always better to add a layer of protection to your carpet.
Not only can adding a smoother surface help prevent your door from getting stuck, but it can also protect the carpet and flooring underneath from mold and mildew buildup.
Mildew can quickly lead to foul smells and discoloration of your floor. If you’re a college student at a dorm or are renting, this water mildew damage can be incredibly costly.
Not only will you need to pay for your landlord to replace the carpet, but you will also need to pay to replace the flooring underneath.
Professionals might also need to dry the floor using special fans and water vacuums if the water damage is severe enough.
In addition, moisture can also lead to mold. Mold is seriously dangerous to health and can be difficult to get rid of as spores continue to waft through the air.
These mold spores can cause symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Mucus buildup
- Asthma flareups
- Allergy flareups
It’s best to place something over your carpet to prevent all of these negative effects. If all else fails, consider keeping a simple wine cooler or cooling chest to keep everyday drinks cool.
Your fridge plays a crucial role in your daily life. Make sure to protect your fridge from damage like overheating and protect your carpet by using these recommendations above!
Whether you choose to use a plastic mat or other types of material or fix the location of your unit, consider these next time you plan on purchasing a fridge for your carpeted space.