How Close Can You Put a Refrigerator to the Wall?

Every kitchen in the way it is designed has a space for the refrigerator. It is a key appliance in every kitchen. However, the space it uses has changed over the years. Due to increased need for capacity, the appliances have gotten larger, but specific alcoves for the appliance has stayed the same size in older homes.

In order to continue to use that same space, some homeowners may be tempted to wedge their appliance into these spaces, but how close to the wall is too close for a refrigerator?

Part of a refrigerator’s function is to release heat. This is done through condenser coils on the back of the appliance. However, if these are too enclosed, then they cannot vent heat or may make the area too warm.

For refrigerators with these heat-releasing coils on the back of the appliance, they need a minimum of space on all sides. You will want to leave at least an inch on all sides – top, sides, and back – from any wall. This will allow for adequate airflow. For the best performance, you will want to leave more room at the back of the refrigerator.

In some refrigerator models, the coils may actually be located at the base of the refrigerator. These models of refrigerator are actually more suited for tight spaces. As the coils are on the bottom, they can properly vent heat up the back of the refrigerator or even out the front base of the appliance. These are the best models for homes that have specifically built alcoves for this appliance. These are usually enclosed, and for larger refrigerator models, they are not great for standard airflow.

If you are working with the minimum amount of space for a refrigerator, you will want to make sure that those coils stay clean as well. If they have limited space to vent heat and are insulated by dirt, you may notice that the appliance manifests issues faster than it should.


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