While most fridges keep running for years on end without any interruption, they may suddenly start to chug along or even fail when the summer heatwave sets in.
So, to help you keep one of the most kitchen appliances in your house safe, our appliance experts at Vancouver Appliance Service Pros decided to weigh in on what you can do to help keep Vancouver’s summer heat from killing your refrigerator.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Does Heat Really Affect Fridges?
- Is My Fridge Too Warm? What Temperature Should It Be At?
- What Can I Do To Protect My Fridge From The Heat?
- Closing Thoughts
Does Heat Really Affect Fridges?
Before we answer the question at hand, and give you a few good tips on the matter, let’s take a closer look at the premise itself – does hotter weather actually have a negative effect on fridges and freezers?
The short answer is: yes!
Put simply, a fridge doesn’t “generate cold” per se, but rather, the fridge consumes heat via a process that converts a refrigerant gas from a liquid to a gas and vice versa. And all of that heat has to be dissipated.
Now, fridges are built to dissipate what heat they generate by means of the condenser coils and a condenser fan. But when the temperatures keep rising, it’s easy to see why a lot of fridges just can’t get rid of all that extra heat fast enough.
So, in short – your fridge has to work harder in order to cool. Thus putting more strain on the system, and eventually leading to a total system failure.
Is My Fridge Too Warm? What Temperature Should It Be At?
Now that we’ve laid out the groundwork for the fact that hot temperatures can wear your refrigerator down, let’s take a look at another very common question: how cool should your fridge actually be?
According to Consumer Reports – your fridge should be set to about 37 degrees Fahrenheit (around 2.8 degrees Celsius).
This is relatively in line with the manufacturer recommendation of 36-37 degrees Fahrenheit that our technicians usually see when dealing with popular models of refrigerators from Whirlpool, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, Samsung, GE, and LG.
However, it’s always a good idea to look at your owner’s manual to get accurate information on how cool you should keep your fridge.
As we’ve discussed, in some cases, like the monster summer heatwave that we saw in Vancouver in 2021, your fridge might run a little warmer than usual. If the temperature in your refrigerator is below or at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not a huge point of concern, and is sufficient to keep your food fresh.
But if it starts to steadily rise above 40 degrees, it’s a good time to get it looked at by a professional.
What Can I Do To Protect My Fridge From The Heat?
While reading everything we’ve covered so far may give you a sense of gloom and doom – thankfully there are a few things you can do at home to help your fridge stay cool this summer.
Let’s cover a few basic tips that you can use to help your fridge power through the heat and run strong for decades on end.
Check For Air Leaks
The fridge relies on being airtight to keep the cool. And if you or your teenager accidentally leaves the door open – it forces the fridge to work that much harder to stay at the set temperature.
And that’s not to mention a bunch of other issues that it could lead to like defrost problems, and even problems with the main computer board at times.
So keep those doors shut tightly and make sure that the rubber gasket around the door makes a good seal with the frame of your refrigerator.
Check The Condenser
As we mentioned earlier, the condenser is an essential part of the refrigerator. It helps the machine dissipate all the heat it generates in the cooling process.
However, just like all other parts, condenser coils and fans are prone to failure!
You’ll want to clean the condenser coils on a relatively regular basis to make sure they’re free of dust and not covered in gunk. And for the fan, you’ll just need to check on it to make sure it’s running properly, and freely, without any grinding or squealing noises.
Another tip here is that you should leave a little room between the back of the refrigerator and the wall it sits against to leave some room for that heat to get out. We see quite a few cases where the heat has nowhere to go, and people end up with dud fridges over a simple positioning mistake.
Don’t Run It Too Cold
The fridge is supposed to cool things, so the cooler the better, right? Well, unbeknownst to most people – running your refrigerator at too cold a temperature is also going to affect it negatively.
From drain lines freezing over, to bad temperature sensors and even defrost issues – setting your temperature too cold can definitely do quite a bit of harm.
So, if you’re not sure what temperature your refrigerator should be set to, take a quick peek above or look in your user manual to figure out where to set it at.
And there you have it folks! Our top 3 tips to help your fridge survive the upcoming summer heatwave in Vancouver.
We hope that our blog helped you learn something new and useful, and feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by emailing us anytime.
And if you’re reading this article too late, and your fridge has already packed it in – don’t worry, our refrigerator repair services in Vancouver are always there to help you get your fridge back in action.