How Does a Refrigerator Work?
As you may know, according to the laws of physics - cold is the absence of heat. A
refrigerator doesn't actually cool things, it removes the heat from
them. But then you probably don't want a physics lesson.
put, a refrigerator is a system containing a chemical compound that
boils at a very low temperature. Many people call it freon. Even
though Freon hasn't been used for years, it is easier to say than
R134a. The system is run by a compressor. The refrigerant begins in a
liquid state, and is pressurized to the point at which it evaporates.
At this point, the refrigerant turns to gas and instantly drops in
temperature, down to about -15 degrees Fahrenheit. This takes place in
the evaporator coils in the freezer compartment, where the heat is
consumed. That heat is then carried out of the freezer and down to
another series of coils called the condenser coils, where a fan blows
off the extracted heat. Since the R134a has risen in temperature, it
returns to a liquid state. Once the liquid has been cooled to an
efficient temperature, the refrigerant is ready to be pressurized and go
through the system again. Both coils need to be unobstructed. The
evaporator coil - in order to absorb heat and allow cold air to
circulate throughout the refrigerator. The condenser coil - in order to
allow air flow through and cool the R134a. The evaporator coil in
difficult to get to, and can be blocked for various reasons. The
condenser coils on the other hand, are usually easy to access, and get
blocked by dust, dirt, and pet hair.
What You Can do Yourself to Save Money Before you Call
-Check the Condenser Coils
condenser coils are frequently located on the bottom of the fridge in
the front. Many user manuals will have instructions on how to clean
them. Most are accessible without any tools. A good vacuum with a hose
attachment, and a brush (from Trible's, Home Depot, or Sears) can save
you a visit from us. Not only that, but cleaning your condenser coils
twice a year will make your refrigerator more efficient and last longer.
-Check the Food in the Freezer for Frost
biggest indication that a door has been left open is frost on the food
in the freezer section. It this is the case, wipe off the frost and
make sure the door is closed. The fridge should return to normal in a
few days. If there is frost on the BACK WALL, that means there is a
problem with the defrost system. Unless you are familiar with these
circuits, you will need a visit for a diagnosis and repair.
-Make Sure all Vents are Unobstructed
All Refrigeration systems rely on air circulation. Most generate cold
air in the freezer section, and transfer that cold to the fridge
section. If anything is blocking that air pathway, the freezer will be
cold, but the fridge will be warm.
you have checked these things and the temperatures in your refrigerator
or freezer are still too warm or too low, please call. We will be more
than happy to help.
If your Combination Refrigerator Freezer is outside and seems broken!!
common question we hear pertains to operating a refrigerator in the
garage or other unheated space during cold weather. Bottom line,
refrigerators and freezers don't cool efficiently when operated at
temperatures below, roughly, 45 degrees (F). The first reason is that
the outside temperature may get low enough that the thermostat inside
the refrigerator never gets warm enough to activate the compressor and
so the freezer warms up to the outside temperature. Another problem is
that if it gets too cold, the refrigerant pressure becomes too low to
generate the necessary cold and so the freezer only chills down to the