Myths and truths about refrigerators and behaviors that can damage the compressor.
The Refrigeration Club made a list of the most common questions among consumers; some questions and curiosities that will also help contractors when passing on guidelines to their clients.
CAN THE REFRIGERATOR BE PLACED AGAINST THE WALL OR SOME FURNITURE?
No. The condenser needs a minimum space of air circulation to ensure the refrigerator’s best performance. The ideal distance recommended by manufacturers is 15-20 cm. It’s also important to position your refrigerator away from other heat emitting appliances such as oven or stove to avoid overworking the refrigerator.
CAN THE REFRIGERATOR BE TRANSPORTED LYING DOWN?
No. This situation should be avoided. However, if you need to move the refrigerator horizontally, when putting it upright again, it’s necessary to wait at least two hours before turning it on. That’s because during its inappropriate handling the lubricating oil can drain and fall into the refrigerant gas’ suction ducts, impairing the system’s performance.
CAN I PUT WET CLOTHES TO DRY BEHIND THE REFRIGERATOR?
No. The grate located at the back of the refrigerator is the condenser, which exchanges the heat of the cooling system. When something is placed on this part the system will work harder and less efficiently. Aside from performance loss, there will also be an increase in energy consumption, since the compressor, commonly called the “refrigerator’s motor “, works for a longer time. So, putting wet clothes on condenser ducts hampers the dissipation of heat, impairs cooling capacity, causes wear in the refrigerator, shortens the life of the compressor (motor) and increases the electricity bill.
DOES THE REFRIGERATOR CONSUME MORE ELECTRICITY WHEN THE DOOR IS OPENED FREQUENTLY?
Yes. After all, on opening the door, there’s heat exchange with the external environment, causing the motor to work harder in order to lower the temperature inside the refrigerator, consuming more energy. Energy consumption is directly related to heat exchange and may vary according to the number of times and the length of time that the door remains open. That is, there may be situations where, even opening the door less often, energy expenditure is greater because it stays open longer. The Refrigeration Club has also reported internal sweating problems in the refrigerator when the door stays open very long. Read here.
IS IT RIGHT THAT THE REFRIGERATOR MOTOR TURNS ON AND OFF ALONE?
Yes. Because the refrigerator has a part called the thermostat, which works automatically, turning on and off, according to the temperature you set on the dial inside it.
AM I SAVING ENERGY BY TURNING OFF THE REFRIGERATOR AT NIGHT?
No. The refrigerator operates at a certain temperature. When you turn it off, it stops working and the internal temperature increases. On motor restart it will work more to lower the temperature to the operating level and consequently use more energy. The thermostat is a system that makes the refrigerator turn off and on automatically, according to the internal temperature, so that the motor works more or less as needed. Each time you pull out the power cord from the socket it’s like causing a “voltage drop”, and this literally “kills” the compressor!
DOES STORING HOT FOOD IN THE REFRIGERATOR INCREASE ENERGY CONSUMPTION?
Yes. When you put something hot or warm inside the refrigerator, a temperature oscillation occurs which overloads the compressor, responsible for cooling its inside, this consequently increases energy consumption. In addition to consuming more electricity, hot food exchanges heat with colder food inside the refrigerator, changing their conservation condition, which can make them unfit for consumption.
CAN I ACCELERATE REFRIGERATOR DEFROSTING BY USING A HAIR DRYER, HOT WATER OR A KNIFE TO SCRAPE THE ICE?
No. It’s recommended to leave the refrigerator doors open so that it defrosts faster. The heat from a hair dryer or hot water may deform the plastic parts of the freezer, in addition, water may infiltrate inside the refrigerator and remain there. When using a knife to scrape ice, you run the risk of perforating the ducts, causing gas leakage, and damage to the polyurethane responsible for the product’s thermal insulation.
GAN REFRIGERATOR GIVE A SHOCK?
Yes. Refrigerators can give a shock because they contain many metal parts, but this is a problem and needs to be resolved. There are several reasons why this is happening and different solutions. There may be a lot of static electricity on the surface of the refrigerator, due to the absence of a ground wire. In this case, it’s necessary to replace the plug with a three prong one that already has grounding. Also check if the power cord, the refrigerator’s main source of energy, is worn and with any direct contact with the metal parts, causing electric shock. You can do this test with a voltmeter, the solution is to change the plug or isolate the cable with tape. Another reason for the shock may be the capacitor that has a lot of stored energy, even when the refrigerator is turned off. You will need to discharge it. Make sure that it is unplugged and remove the service panel located on top of the compressor, it looks like a small battery. Connect the capacitor’s terminal to the ends of a 20,000 ohm/2 watt resistor to discharge it. Remember that the entire electrical system can cause an accident, so these procedures must be performed by a qualified professional.
CAN I USE DETERGENT TO CLEAN THE FREEZER AND REFRIGERATOR?
No. Never use cleaning agents such as alcohol, disinfectants, solvents, vinegar, detergent or any chemical and abrasive product. They can change the taste of food for several months. Use water with baking soda and carefully follow these cleaning procedures:
1 .First unplug the freezer or the refrigerator.
2. Leave the freezer lid or refrigerator door open to defrost.
3. Do not pour water directly into or out of the system.
4. After defrosted, clean the inside with a flannel soaked in a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and a liter of warm water.
5. Use circular motions to remove any excess water.
6. The rubber gasket of the lid must be cleaned thoroughly with mild soap and warm water.
7. Continue, taking care not to damage the rubber.
8. After cleaning is finished, leave the doors open for another hour to fully dry before reconnecting the device.
Contractor, CLICK HERE to learn how to clean the cooling system after a compressor burn out occurs.