Why is there hot air coming out from behind my refrigerator?

by Ursula
(Eugene, OR)

When I come into my apartment it feels like an oven. The refrigerator is right near the front door and I've noticed hot air coming out. I placed 2 different thermometers near the back of the fridge (a GE) and they both read 88 degrees. What could cause the air to be that hot?

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Jan 18, 2024
Why Hot Air is Coming Out of Your Refrigerator
by: Phil

Hi Ursula,

Thanks for your question!

If you're experiencing hot air coming out of the back of your refrigerator, there are several potential reasons for this issue. Here are some common explanations:

1. -- Normal Operation:

It's normal for a refrigerator to expel warm air from the back during the cooling process. The condenser coils, compressor, and other components generate heat as they work to maintain a cool interior.
Condenser Coils are Dirty:

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator. When these coils are dirty, the refrigerator may struggle to release heat efficiently, causing it to feel warmer than usual.

2. -- Inadequate Ventilation:

Ensure that the refrigerator has sufficient space around it for proper ventilation. If the appliance is placed too close to the wall or other objects, it may not be able to dissipate heat effectively.

3. -- Faulty Condenser Fan:

The condenser fan is responsible for helping dissipate heat from the condenser coils. If the fan is malfunctioning or not working at all, it can lead to inadequate heat dissipation, causing the back of the refrigerator to feel hot.

4 -- Room Temperature:

The temperature of the room where the refrigerator is located can impact its cooling efficiency. If the room is unusually warm, the refrigerator may need to work harder to maintain the desired temperature inside.

5 -- Malfunctioning Components:

There could be an issue with internal components such as the compressor, thermostat, or other cooling-related elements. Malfunctions in these components may lead to increased heat output. If you've ruled out the above explanations, consider having a professional take a look.

6. -- Excessive Door Openings:

Opening the refrigerator door frequently or leaving it open for extended periods can lead to an increase in internal temperature, causing the cooling system to work harder and expel more heat.

7 -- Refrigerant Issues:

Problems with the refrigerant or the refrigeration system can impact the overall cooling efficiency of the refrigerator, leading to increased heat output.

If you've tried everything listed above and the issue persists despite basic troubleshooting, it's recommended to consult with a professional appliance technician.

They can diagnose the problem accurately, identify any faulty components, and perform the necessary repairs to ensure your refrigerator operates efficiently.

Additionally, assuming you still have the manual (or look it up online) refer to the manufacturer's guidelines and user manual for specific maintenance instructions and troubleshooting tips related to your refrigerator model.

Hope this helps!

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