Most home appliances can be unplugged without any effect, but this could be different with refrigerators. Refrigerators are made to keep food cool and fresh 24/7.
But what if you want to go for a vacation and you don’t want to live any appliance connected? In cases where you are going out for less than 4 weeks, you might not need to unplug your fridge.
However, if you are planning to be away for more than a month, then you may consider unplugging your refrigerator.
But is it really bad to turn off refrigerator for long periods of time?
You must also have heard that keeping the fridge plugged throughout helps in maximizing its efficiency. So, the question is, does unplugging a refrigerator damage it?
In this article, I will talk about what happens when a fridge is unplugged, as well as the precautions to be observed when unplugging.
What Happens When You Unplug the Refrigerator?
When you unplug your fridge and re-plug it right away, you realize the compressor may not start. This is usually due to the accumulation of pressure.
The refrigeration compressor is essential as it lies at the center of the refrigeration cycle. Plugging and re-plugging the refrigerator immediately can cause damages to the compressor.
So, the best thing to do is to wait for at least 15 minutes before switching it on again. However, there is no harm with leaving your refrigerator unplugged for a longer period.
Besides, when the fridge is unplugged, the temperature starts rising, and the moisture is retained. This environment is suitable for bacteria and microorganisms.
Thus, bacteria start reproducing. It becomes worse, especially when the door of the refrigerator is closed. This, in turn leads to a very bad odor in the fridge.
Precautions to take before Turning off and Unplugging a Fridge
If you are going for a vacation that will take more than 4 weeks, you might be worried about your fridge. When leaving the house, its always easy to unplug other appliances such as cookers and dishwashers.
But when it comes to the refrigerators, it’s a different case. Here are 5 precautions that should be taken into consideration whenever unplugging a refrigerator;
1. Remove All Food
If you want to unplug your refrigerator, you should start by removing all the food. Then turn the circuit breaker off. Food in an unplugged fridge can easily go bad, especially the perishable ones.
2. Turn the Icemaker and the Temperature Control Off
If your refrigerator is fitted with an ice maker, make sure that you turn it off too. Don’t forget to bring it into a cleaning position to ensure that it is cleaned too.
Also, turn off the temperature control and water supply. If you are not sure of how to do it, you may refer to the fridges manual to ensure that you do it correctly.
3. Clean it Thoroughly
Your fridge may have accumulated some food particles on various parts which may attract unwanted pests like roaches to your fridge. Thus, you have to clean the whole fridge thoroughly to avoid bad odor when the fridge is unplugged. The ice maker should be cleaned too. You may consider using baking soda while cleaning to ensure that the fridge stays fresh.
4. Keep it Dry
Bacteria are likely to multiply in moist and warm areas. To prevent this, ensure that you dry the fridge with a clean piece of cloth after cleaning it.
5. Leave the Doors Open
Once the fridge is clean and dry, leave it the doors open. This helps in facilitating air circulation in the fridge. It also helps in preventing the formation of bad odors and molds.
Conclusion on does unplugging a refrigerator damage it
Ideally, always leave your refrigerator plugged. If you have to unplug, follow those precautions to ensure that you are not caught by disgusting surprises.