Can You Put A Refrigerator Next To A Stove?

refrigerator next to stove

A refrigerator can be next to the stove, although it’s not the best idea. As the heat produced from the stove will make the refrigerator’s compressor work harder than it needs to in order to keep the contents of the refrigerator cold. This will lead to increased power consumption and, therefore, higher energy bills.

Reasons Not To Put A Refrigerator Next To The Stove

Placing a refrigerator near the stove isn’t the most effective way to position your appliances when you want optimal safety. If you place your stove too close to the fridge, then you’re asking for trouble in terms of increased energy bills, potential fires, and appliance replacement costs. 

Several factors come into play when a refrigerator becomes exposed to your stove’s heat.

Reduces Efficiency

The heat emanating from your stove or oven can cause the refrigerator’s compressor to work harder than it should. This reduces the fridge’s efficiency as the compressor becomes overburdened. It can also lead to higher energy bills as the compressor kicks on more than it should. 

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. You’ll notice that its items become lukewarm. This can then lead to wasting money on your food bill because you might need to throw food away sooner than you would with a well-functioning fridge. 

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 financially to buy a new model than to pay for a new compressor. Keep the fridge away from a heat source such as the oven if you’re interested in lengthening its lifespan.

Can Be a Fire Hazard

The last thing you want to face is a kitchen fire. An overworked compressor can become a fire hazard as it heats up. Avoid the problem altogether by placing your fridge and stove far enough away from one another. 

What To Consider When Placing Your Refrigerator

Many folks don’t realize the level of thinking that must go into positioning kitchen appliances. 

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 of your refrigerator’s two sides. Stay mindful of the coils at the rear of the refrigerator if you have them. Don’t back up those coils flush to the wall. Instead, make sure they breathe with one or two inches of space. 

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 power bill. If sunlight damages your fridge, then it might even void out the warranty. 

The Manufacturing Date of Your Fridge and Oven 

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

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 that sits right next to it. Your older refrigerator might already have problems cooling the items inside it anyway, simply because its compressor is older. 

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

What If I Have A Small Kitchen?

You might have trouble maintaining a quality distance between the oven and refrigerator if the kitchen is small 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, such as 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 sort of 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 can easily navigate between storage, cooking, and chopping activities while making meals. Even if other family members help you make meals, this type of layout helps prevent each person from getting in the way of everyone else’s job. 

You’ll discover that using the kitchen triangle solves any issues about an oven’s heat negatively affecting the refrigerator. It also makes the kitchen more enjoyable to work in. 

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. 

If you can make this arrangement work with your kitchen’s available space, you shouldn’t experience problems from an oven’s heat causing damage to other appliances. 

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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