HomeKitchenDoes Unplugging a Refrigerator Damage It?

Does Unplugging a Refrigerator Damage It?

We are used to unplugging our appliances when they are not in use to save electricity. If we are leaving on a vacation or just don’t use an item all that often, it’s perfectly natural to prevent any potential damage and do our bit for the environment. 

However, the fridge does not quite fall into that category, does it? We tend never to unplug it, as there is usually some food in there, even while we are away. 

Does unplugging a fridge actually damage it, and should we be leaving it connected to the mains at all times? 

Does Unplugging a Refrigerator Damage It?

Unplugging a fridge does not damage it, as long as you don’t plug it back in right away. Unplugging an empty fridge while you are away is actually perfectly fine. 

Just like any other appliance, a fridge can be safely unplugged when not in use. All you have to do is make sure you remove all the food and leave the door open. Remember to give your fridge enough time to get cool once you plug it back in. 

The only issue that can arise when unplugging a fridge is if you plug it right back in. 

When you unplug a fridge, the compressor stops working, and the pressure in the system will start to go down. The freon will start to settle, and the system will need some time to stabilise. If you plug your fridge back in before this happens, it will need to work overtime to maintain stability.

This can overheat your motor, cause damage to the compressor and ultimately result in a breakdown. You can also overload the circuit and damage nearby appliances in extreme cases.

When to Consider Unplugging Your Refrigerator

You don’t have to unplug your fridge unless you don’t plan on using it for more than a month. Anything less than that, you can keep the fridge plugged in. 

There are no benefits to unplugging a fridge if you will be away for a couple of days or weeks. If you are gone for months, you will do your fridge a favour however, as it won’t have to keep operating empty, and you can also save on your electricity bill. 

Don’t forget to give your fridge enough time to start working properly before you put food in it. The same rules apply as when you put food in a new fridge

What to do Before Unplugging Your Fridge

If you plan on unplugging your fridge, you need to take the following steps to ensure it stays in good condition and that you can safely plug it back in:

  • Empty it: you should remove all the food and beverages from the fridge before you unplug it, as practically everything will start to spoil at some point, and you don’t want to be dealing with that mess.
  • Turn off the temperature control and the ice maker: if you have an ice maker, turn it off manually. Also make sure you have turned the temperature control off as well. 
  • Clean it: clean the fridge thoroughly. Wipe everything with a damp cloth, and scrub away any food stains.They can attract insects and are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Dry it: the fridge should be completely dry while unplugged, so use a dry cloth to pick up any of the moisture that was spawned during cleaning. 
  • Leave the door open: don’t close the door of your unplugged fridge. The air circulation will prevent mould from forming and bacteria from multiplying. 
  • Add a bowl of baking soda: place a bowl of baking soda in the empty fridge. It will soak up any odours and keep the fridge fresh. 
  • Unplug your fridge

Plugging the Refrigerator Back In

When you want to plug the fridge back in, give it another clean. Remove the baking soda bowl, wipe every surface, and plug it back in. 

If you have moved the fridge, you will need to wait for it to settle before you plug it in and start putting food into it. 

Is It Bad To Unplug the Refrigerator?

No, unplugging a fridge isn’t bad, as long as you plan to leave it unplugged. Plugging it right back in will cause the compressor to overheat.

If you want to unplug your fridge, make sure it is completely empty and that you clean it well, to prevent any bacteria or mould from forming. 

How Long Can You Keep a Refrigerator Unplugged?

You can theoretically keep your fridge unplugged indefinitely. As long as you store it in a cool, dry place, you can keep it unplugged for a long time. 

If you store your unplugged fridge somewhere damp or very hot, it may get damaged. However, if you have cleaned it and left it in the kitchen, you can keep it unplugged for months, even years, or for as long as you don’t need it used.

Should I Unplug My Refrigerator If Going On a Trip?

If you are away from home for less than a month, you don’t need to unplug your fridge. If you will be away for more than four weeks, you can unplug the fridge to save on electricity. 

Your fridge will be just fine plugged in and empty (or perhaps with some items that last a long time) while you are away, if it’s a matter of weeks. You can leave some items in it: beverages, hard cheeses, jam, any item that doesn’t have a short expiration date. 

If you are going away for longer than a month, unplugging the fridge can help you save power. Just make sure all of the food is removed from it before you leave, as it will certainly go bad, and you will return to quite the smelly mess. 

Is It OK To Leave an Empty Fridge Unplugged?

Yes, you should empty your fridge before you want to unplug it. Never leave a stocked fridge unplugged, as it won’t keep the required temperatures for longer than 4 hours.

Should You Leave a Fridge Door Open When Unplugged?

Yes, you should always leave the fridge door open when unplugged, as this will prevent bacteria and mould from forming. You can also leave a bowl of baking soda in the empty fridge to absorb any smells. 

Will Unplugging a Fridge Reset It?

Yes, unplugging the fridge will reset it, as long as you leave it unplugged for an hour. 

Wrapping It Up 

Unplugging a fridge won’t actually damage it, as long as you follow the precautions we’ve discussed. In fact, you can save on your electricity bill by unplugging a fridge that is not in use. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular posts