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Can You Put A Refrigerator Next To A Stove?

refrigerator next to stove

A refrigerator can be next to the stove. However, the heat produced will force your refrigerators’ compressor to work harder than it needs to, to keep the contents cold. Leading to increased power consumption and higher energy bills.

Reasons Not To Put A Refrigerator Next To The Stove

There are a number of reasons not to expose your refrigerator to a heat source. We’ve highlighted some of the main reasons below.

Reduces Efficiency

The heat emanating from your stove or oven can cause the refrigerator’s compressor to work harder than it should, reducing the fridge’s efficiency as the compressor becomes overworked. Leading to higher energy bills. 

Poor Cooling Performance

If a refrigerator’s compressor works more than it needs to, then you’ll eventually discover that the fridge can’t cool properly. Leading to food losing its freshness and needing to be thrown away sooner.

Reduces the Lifespan of the Refrigerator

A refrigerator can only last as long as its compressor. With most modern refrigerators, it typically makes more sense to buy a new one rather than pay for a new compressor. Keep the fridge away from a heat source if you’re interested in lengthening its lifespan.

It’s a Fire Hazard

An overworked compressor can become a fire hazard, as it heats up considerably. Avoid the problem altogether by placing your fridge and stove far enough away from one another. 

What To Consider When Placing Your Refrigerator 

When deciding where to place your refrigerator, you can’t make decisions solely based on aesthetics. You need to take safety into account as well.

If you’re designing your kitchen, use these ideas to help you place the refrigerator in the safest and most efficient position. 

Ventilation

Make sure plenty of space exists on each side and at the rear of your refrigerator. Maintain at least two inches of space between the wall and each side of your refrigerator. Stay mindful of the coils at the rear of the refrigerator if you have them.

Sunlight

Don’t ever place your refrigerator where direct sunlight can reach. The reasons to avoid this are the same reasons why you want to keep it away from the oven. The sun heats the area and causes the refrigerator’s compressor to work too hard. 

Once again, you’ll experience the same inefficiency issue and an increased energy bill.

The Manufacturing Date of Your Fridge and Oven 

How old are your kitchen appliances? If they’re quite old, that’s even more reason to keep the refrigerator and oven separated. 

An older oven might not seal as well as a newer model. In this case, more heat escapes and can cause more damage to the fridge. Your older refrigerator compressor may also have problems cooling the items anyway.

Consider separating these two appliances by a reasonable distance if they’re both older models. 

What If I Have A Small Kitchen?

If your kitchen is smaller and space becomes limited, you might have no choice but to place them closer than you would prefer to. 

Here are some ideas for mitigating the dangers in this case. 

Install a Kitchen Hood

Hang a kitchen hood above your oven and stove to help remove heat and smoke more effectively from the kitchen. Reducing heat produced by the stove will help keep your nearby refrigerator cooler. 

Install A Separating Material

You can try insulating the refrigerator from the oven’s heat by using a separating material. It creates an extra barrier, or wall, between the two kitchen appliances. Go to one of your local box stores, Lowes or Home Depot, and look for a durable separating material. If you need help with the best option, then ask a store associate for assistance. 

Select some reflective foil insulation. This material isn’t typically expensive but works well to keep the stove’s heat from reaching the refrigerator and causing compressor problems. Many manufacturers today make reflective foil that is:

  • Not carcinogenic or toxic
  • Lightweight, yet strong enough to hold up for long periods
  • Easy to measure, cut, and install without glue or nails
  • Waterproof

Go Smaller

No, don’t try to find a smaller kitchen! Reduce the size of your appliances instead. Some people try to squeeze large refrigerators or stoves in kitchens that weren’t designed for those types of appliances in the first place. 

Opt for a smaller fridge that can fit better inside your small kitchen. Replace that large oven with a model that’s a bit smaller. Can you find space elsewhere? How about installing a smaller sink or fitting in a less bulky dishwasher that might free up some extra space?

Where Should I Place My Refrigerator?

You want to place the refrigerator as far away from the oven as possible. One of the most tried and true methods for accomplishing your goal is using what’s called the kitchen triangle.

The Kitchen Triangle

Also called “the working triangle” or “the golden triangle,” the kitchen triangle concept works well when laying out your kitchen’s floor plan. It’s a decades-old technique built around the idea of creating a triangle between the three main work areas of a kitchen. 

These three areas are:

  1. Sink (peeling/chopping)
  2. Stove (cooking)
  3. Refrigerator (storage)

If you position these three areas with the triangle in mind, it helps keep the fridge and oven separated and creates a nice traffic flow throughout your kitchen. 

You’ll find that using the kitchen triangle layout prevents the ovens’ heat from affecting the refrigerator.

How Much Space Do You Need to Maintain Around a Stove?

Maintaining somewhere between 15 and 18 inches of counter space between your oven and other major appliances like a refrigerator is a good rule of thumb.

Conclusion

Did you learn something new today about an oven’s impact on your refrigerator? It’s amazing how much thought needs to go into your kitchen’s appliances and their positioning. 

Use this information to find ways to separate your refrigerator and oven properly. If you do it correctly, you’ll never need to worry about refrigerator compressor problems, increased energy bills, or unnecessary appliance replacement costs eating up your family’s budget.

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