Why Are the Side Walls of the Refrigerator very Hot?

Why Side Walls of the Refrigerator Are very Hot

Normally, the refrigerator will give off a slight heat on the sides and bottom, this temperature is enough for you to feel warm to the touch. However, if you touch the refrigerator and it feels the  heat and wonder why side walls of the refrigerator are very hot. This is a worrisome sign and needs to be investigated and dealt with.

Many people encounter the case that just standing in front of the refrigerator can feel its heat radiate to the kitchen floor. So why does the refrigerator give off so much heat? Can you fix it by lowering the temperature inside the refrigerator? Is this phenomenon dangerous? Conclusions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

This article will help you better understand the refrigerator at home. We will give you the reasons why the refrigerator is getting hot from the outside and good ways to deal with it.

The refrigerator is hot outside, is it dangerous?

There are many reasons why a refrigerator is hot or warm outside. Chances are this is normal, much of the temperature will determine whether we need to check the refrigerator or not. If your refrigerator only gives off low heat, it feels warm to the touch, this is normal heat dissipation. However, if the heat generated is so great that it feels hot to the touch, it is a sign that you need to service the refrigerator.

If your refrigerator doesn’t heat at all, but only gets hot at certain points, it’s damaged and needs immediate repair.

To limit the heat from the refrigerator, it is best to place it in a large space right from the moment you bring it home. Make sure the refrigerator is not surrounded by walls and other objects too much. Do not place the refrigerator close to the wall, the distance between them is about 50mm. Pay attention not to place heat sources near the refrigerator such as gas stoves or fireplaces, because it will make the refrigerator more heat-generating.

Further reading: Best Top-Freezer Refrigerator without Ice Maker

A fridge gets hot outside
Some cases you need to check immediately if the refrigerator is hot outside

Six reasons why the side walls of the refrigerator are hot

1. Heat exhaust system

There is a vent under the refrigerator to help it dissipate heat, this part is the heat outlet pipe. The operation of the refrigerator will generate heat and give off heat here. The end of the duct is connected to coils so that its temperature can be colder inside the refrigerator and hotter outside. So you will often find the temperature in the back of the refrigerator is high.

2. The wires inside are dirty condensate

The long-term accumulation of dirt on the inner coils of the condenser will cause the compressor to fail, resulting in the refrigerator not cooling effectively. This layer of dirt restricts refrigerant movement and insulates the coils. This is a common reason for the refrigerator to get hot outside.

3. Poor ventilation

When the airflow is not smooth, it will cause heat to accumulate inside. If you place the refrigerator near a wall or heat-generating equipment, heat will accumulate. Do not place many items on the top of the refrigerator because it will contribute to the refrigerator giving off more heat.

Further reading:  How Long Can You Keep Ground Turkey in the Freezer?

4. Electric heaters

This is the part used in refrigerators manufactured before the 1980s. You may wonder why refrigerators have electric heaters, but this part helps the refrigerator to prevent condensation of water and moisture inside. fridge. As a result, some older refrigerators will be hot to the touch.

5. Defective condenser fan motor

The compressor will not work properly if the condenser fan and motor are faulty, resulting in the refrigerator not being able to cool itself normally. This causes the temperature outside the refrigerator to get higher and higher.

6. Problems related to the electrical system

The electrical system in the house can be the cause of the refrigerator’s high heat. If the voltage spikes often and often, your refrigerator will be very unlikely to last long. Excessive voltage will cause the compressor to overheat and damage.

There are man side walls the refrigerator are hot
There are many reasons why the side walls of the refrigerator are hot

Measures to reduce the heat emitted by the refrigerator

– Cleaning the condenser coils: You can do this by using a gentle cloth or by purchasing specialized brushes designed specifically for cleaning the condenser coils.

– Check and change the air filter: This is an added part to protect the coils from dust accumulation. If your refrigerator is installed with an air filter, it will help keep the inside of the refrigerator clean and improve the function of the internal components. Please regularly check and change if the filter is damaged

– Check the exhaust fan: You need to clean the exhaust fan regularly. If your refrigerator has a big problem with the exhaust fan, replace it with another one. Otherwise you can repair and use it later. Remember to turn off the refrigerator before testing.

You may also like: Left Refrigerator Door Open Overnight – What will Happen? How to Fix It?

Other precautions to prevent the side walls of a fridge getting hot

  • Ensure minimum distance between the fridge and the wall. The narrow space between them can be a reason for the fridge get warmer. You should leave the minimum distance of 5 cm of space around the sides and at the back of the Also, it is at least 2.5 cm space free at the top.
  • Pay attention to the place where to put the refrigerator. There should be no direct sunlight on the refrigerator, no heating appliances around the fridge and do not cover the fridge’s top.
  • Keep the back of refrigerator clean. You should clean the back of the refrigerator periodically. For safety reason, you need to unplug the power plug from the wall socket when cleaning the refrigerator’s back.
  • Set the right temperature. If the ambient temperature is high, you should not set the refrigerator temperature too low. In the summer, it is best to adjust the refrigeration temperature to 7℃.
  • Do not overload the fridge. Storing too much food is not good for your fridge. It is better for the fridge if you store less than 80% of its capacity. Besides, do not open the door for a long time too often.

Further reading: How to Defrost a Mini Fridge Faster?

A quick recap

In many cases, it is not dangerous for the refrigerator to become hot on the outside. However, you also need to check and fix it. If left for a long time, it will shorten the life of your refrigerator and make it worse.


1. Is My Fridge Overheating?, authorizedco.com, Retrieved on Nov. 25, 2021

2. Why Is My Refrigerator Hot to the Touch?, organizedapartment.com, Retrieved on Nov. 27, 2021

Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.