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Q & A: an open fridge overheating

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Most recent answer: 04/28/2013
Q:
CAN A MICROFRIDGE DOOR LEFT OPEN CAUSE THE UNIT TO OVERHEAT AND IGNITE WOODEN CABINETS OR OTHER ITEMS? THE FRIDGE IS INSIDE A CABINET. THANK YOU.
- Melissa (age 43)
Honolulu HI US
A:
We don't know exactly what sort of protective circuits etc. your fridge has, but in general this is something that could happen. When a fridge is open, the temperature inside can't get as low as the thermostat setting, so the fridge will keep running as much as its protective circuitry, if any, will let it. The whole time it runs it generates heat. That's true of any refrigerator- in the process of pumping heat from one place to another there's always a net heat generation. It makes just as much heat as an electric heater drawing the same current would make. Again, without knowing any details it's possible that this could overheat to the point where something caught fire.


Mike W.

(published on 04/28/2013)

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