It can be hard to imagine life without a refrigerator or mini fridge. Most of us are lucky enough to live in a place and have enough access to food to be able to store more than what we can immediately eat in our homes, which means finding a way to keep them fresh. Whether you’re a college student, a career-minded A-type entrepreneur, a parent raising a family of five, or fill any number of lifestyle niches, you need a refrigerator or mini fridge.
Of course, knowing that a fridge is necessary is easy – knowing where to put that fridge on the other hand, however, can be quite puzzling and challenging. This can be especially true if you are limited in where you can put your refrigerator due to size restrictions, or your apartment or home featuring carpeting from end to end.
That last point can be especially problematic because placing refrigerators on carpeting is a terrible idea.
Here’s why, along with a few ways you can keep your fridge from causing problems for your carpeting.
Why It Doesn’t Work
There are several reasons why putting a refrigerator or mini fridge on carpeting is a bad idea, not the least of which being that it can be hugely damaging to your carpet.
For as much as your refrigerator might have cost, your carpeting almost certainly cost even more. That makes it all the more important to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep it in good condition – and that means making sure it does not stay wet.
A buildup of moisture in your carpeting is bad news for several reasons. For one thing, water plus carpeting equals mold, mildew, and all the nasty odors and health hazards that can come with them. For another, water seeping into your carpeting can cause it to become discolored.
While a leaky refrigerator is a problem in its own right, it’s an issue that you can and should keep far, far away from your carpeting.
The potential for damage goes both ways as well. To remain cool, your refrigerator needs to be well-ventilated. Having any of its vents or other aspects of its compressor or cooling system obstructed by carpeting can cause it to overheat, which won’t just cause your food to spoil, but can likewise result in some of that aforementioned unfortunate leakage.
Add to that the potential for the underside of your refrigerator to tear up your carpeting, and the reasons for keeping them separate become clear.
Other Refrigerator Placement Don’ts
If your home or apartment is crowded or only has carpeting, you have no choice but to find a way to make your refrigerator work with it. Thankfully, there are ways of accomplishing that, but first, let’s take a look at a few other basic refrigerator don’ts in terms of placement. After all, we’re already broken one rule by putting it on carpeting, so we don’t want to push our luck and present our fridge with even more placement-related cooling problems.
Some of the most important refrigerator placement don’ts include:
- Do not store a refrigerator on its side
- Do not keep your refrigerator so close to the wall, cupboard, or anything else that can, like carpeting on the underside, obstruct airflow and result in overheating
- Do not place your refrigerator in direct sunlight
- Do not use extension cords, but instead make sure that your refrigerator is plugged directly into the room’s main power source
- Do not keep your refrigerator in places of extreme hot or cold
With those additional basic placement factors accounted for, let’s start to crack the secrets behind how we can make placing refrigerators in carpeted areas work.
Elevate Your Refrigerator
As stated above, one of the biggest problems with placing refrigerators on carpeting is the fact that the carpet fibers can interfere with the usual cooling function of the unit. This is especially true for the unit’s underside, where the cooling units can become obstructed. However, there are still more ways that carpeting can pose a problem for your refrigerator’s ability to stay cool.
One often overlooked issue is the fact that carpeting can keep your refrigerator door from closing shut with a tight seal as it otherwise would. The bottom of the door can rub up against the carpeting, keeping it ajar. That may not seem like much, but it can lead to big problems.
Say you decide to break your diet with a midnight snack and walk back to your room with the refrigerator door still slightly ajar, having caught on the carpeting. It’s only open a tiny sliver, maybe an inch or less, but if it remains that way throughout the night, it can pose massive cooling problems for the unit. This can cause leaking, which in turn can be a big problem for your carpeting.
With that in mind, one potential solution here is to simply elevate your refrigerator somewhat so it is not in direct contact with the carpeting. This can help ensure that the door does not catch, and that the unit does not suffer heating and leakage problems as a result.
Rear Cooling Units
Having a refrigerator with a cooling unit located on the bottom can be a huge problem with a carpeted surface. Not only can it become overheated for the reasons mentioned, but these units already absorb quite a bit of heat, and so could potentially burn your carpeting. It might, therefore, be preferable to look for refrigerators that have their cooling units located in the rear and, thus, away from the carpeting.
Check Your Defroster
If you are keeping your refrigerator on your carpeting, you need to make sure you are doing everything in your power to make sure that it does not leak. That means making sure that your refrigerator’s systems are all ship shape.
One of the most commonly overlooked factors here is the defroster. While we tend not to think about it very much, the ice in your defroster can leak, which is the last thing you want when carpeting is involved. You, thus, need to make sure that you are keeping your defroster clean and drained so that it does not malfunction or otherwise leak onto your carpeting.
Use a Rug
We have already pointed out what a huge problem leaking can be when it comes to placing refrigerators or mini fridges on carpeting. While this should cause you to seek out another location in your home for the appliance if at all possible, if you have no other choice but to place it on carpeting, at least make sure that you have something to protect its underside from the carpeting and vice versa.
A mat or a rug can be an inexpensive and elegant solution in that regard. Not only can it directly address the issuve of leaking by putting something good and absorbent between your refrigerator and the carpeted floor, but it can also add a dash of aesthetic style to a room. After all, carpeting and refrigerators tend to clash, so doing something to make the space a bit more palatable is probably a good idea. Rugs also tend to be affordable, no-fuss solutions.
That said, to get the most out of a rug, you need to make sure that you aren’t simply repeating the same mistakes. Getting a shag rug or other heavily carpeted one will only exacerbate the problem. Ideally, you want a rug that does not feature thick carpeted fibers and is absorbent enough to deal with any leaks. Straw and other durable rugs can be a good choice here.
You also want to be careful when placing the rug underneath the refrigerator. Be sure that it is not rubbing up against anything or blocking anything on the underside of the fridge.
Protective Plastic Sheets
If you want to go the extra mile in protecting your carpeting from your refrigerator and vice versa, you may want to look into protective plastic chairs or vinyl sheets. These are possibly the best solutions to the issue of placing a refrigerator on top of your carpeting as safely as possible.
For one thing, the plastic from which they are made is heat resistant, which is great for helping to keep your carpeting safe from any burns from a cooling unit. This and the smoothness of these plastic and vinyl chairs and mats can also help reduce friction, which can in turn make it less likely for you to accidentally leave the door open, or for overheating to occur on the underside of the unit. Finally, these units are extremely slim and lightweight, making them incredibly easy to put down and move with ease.
Placing a refrigerator on your carpeting is not a good idea, and you should avoid it if at all possible. However, as demonstrated, if you are forced to do so, there are several ways to make the situation more tenable. Just take care that, whichever solution you employ, you are mindful of both the wellbeing of your refrigerator as well as your carpeting.