Do mini fridges need ventilation? This is a question that has been asked a lot by people who have just bought one or are planning on buying one. The answer is: Yes – but the extent to which they do depends on what kind of mini fridge you get and how well it’s designed/built. You can find out that information by reading reviews beforehand, but I’ll also talk about this subject personally from my research further down in the article.
Your fridge needs some Airflow
In general it’s good to remember that your fridge needs some kind of airflow in order to avoid overheating, even if they don’t need as much cooling power as a refrigerator or freezer does. That’s because fridges use less insulation than freezers (only enough to keep your food cool, not frozen) and therefore rely on forced-air circulation to help even out the temperature.
The cooling coils in most fridges are more or less directly exposed to air which is drawn into them via vents either above and/or below the glass panels, through a filter that’s supposed to catch anything that could clog it up or affect its performance. This makes for a self-regulating system that requires no power input (except for about 1W used by the compressor / fan & light).
I’ve read reports of some otherwise reliable models needing extra ventilation after having been run with doors closed or by users who store their groceries in plastic bags instead of bins… this seems like a rather strange quirk though, since all manufacturers try to avoid unnecessary airflow resistance in their designs.
It’s possible that due to heating plans excess heat in a mini fridge can rise up through its walls and into the space above it. This might cause trouble for sensitive devices or materials stored under it, such as paper products or wood (in cabinets). For this reason it makes sense to at least ‘vent’ the upper part of the fridge. You could just punch some holes in the wall with an electric drill – make sure they are a bit smaller than your hand so you don’t cut yourself on sharp edges after insertion.
Do mini fridges need ventilation in order to cool down?
Slightly larger, standard sized refrigerators don’t have exhaust vents or natural air intakes for cooling , but they do come with a thermostat and are supposed to regulate the temperature by opening and closing their door as needed. For this to work properly they would require an accurate thermometer to measure temperatures inside and outside of the fridge.
Mini fridges on the other hand are often sold without any kind of measured controls at all – so trying to rely solely on manually opening/closing doors is not advisable! If you’re concerned about heating problems inside your mini fridge it’s probably best just to drill some holes into it somewhere near its top surface.
Video Credit: AEG United Kingdom
I saw a commercial fridge (not mini) that does have an exhaust vent on the back. Does removing the cover of your microwave oven void any warranty you might have had?
If it works properly you should be fine, but there are caveats: Also make sure the holes don’t end up directly in front of a motor fan or anything else important for cooling/ventilation. The best place to put them would probably be in between two separate components – such as behind the removable door panel and above the compressor/heat sink which sits at its bottom part, where there’s usually enough space for a cooling coil or tubing . This has been done with some success by other people who needed extra cooling ‘just in case’, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really know what you’re doing.
If your fridge doesn’t already have external vents/intakes for air that are controllable, but does have a hole in the bottom for a water drain pipe , then cutting an opening through the door/front of it to accommodate this would probably be perfectly safe. Make sure to seal around it properly afterwards so that no one will cut themselves if they accidentally hit or grab onto it . That would probably help the cooling system keep up with itself and thereby prolong its life span – which is more important than anything else if you purchased some non-refundable appliance!
But I do want my mini fridge to get cold as fast as possible!
Should I leave the doors open?
Some people report that their mini fridge tends to heat up after it’s been on for a while. If you want your fridge to cool down as fast as possible (not just have cold air spill out from the inside but actually be ‘cool’ all the way around) you could try opening both doors and turning the temp dial to its lowest setting, then turn it back up once everything has cooled down enough.
This should also help prevent overheating if they’re opened often throughout the day – seeing as that would likely make cooling cycles end much faster with larger temperature swings taking place in shorter periods of time. On other models holding the door closed with a magnet shouldn’t make any difference, although some users say that it did for them!
Achieving the faster cooling effect
Achieving the faster cooling effect is probably what an Exhaust Fan Upgrade may be best suited for. It’s not entirely clear to me whether it would help to just plug one into a wall socket somewhere in the kitchen and leave the fridge door open, but I suspect this would only work if you have a high-power exhaust fan (24W min) with a variable speed setting – since they can’t usually blow as much air through small gaps as larger fans can.
That said, some people claim that simply using one made their food last 2x longer! This upgrade shouldn’t void any warranty unless you accidentally break something while installing/testing/upgrading parts…