Should I Turn Off My Fridge? Everything You Need to Know

The kitchen is a place where the most electricity is consumed. The refrigerator plays an important role in this. Not only does it consume a lot of energy, in comparison with other devices, but it also works practically all year round, with the exception of rare periods of defrosting, washing or vacation. Let’s find out whether it is okay to turn the fridge off at night or when going on a vacation and for how long you can keep it unplugged.

Is it OK to leave a refrigerator unplugged? It is totally fine to leave a refrigerator unplugged even for a long time. But you should turn it on at least once every two months to extend the life of the compressor. Leaving your fridge unplugged will help to extend the service life of the fridge. However, you need to make sure the fridge is protected from moisture, direct sunlight and high temperatures.

How long can you keep a refrigerator unplugged? You can keep a refrigerator unplugged for as long as you need and if you remove  all the food from it, wash it and leave the doors ajar. Fridges can be left unplugged for years and it will not damage their technical state. But it is desirable to switch it on for an hour ever two months just to extend the compressor’s service life.

Turning Off the Fridge When Not In Use

Is it better to turn off a refrigerator when not in use? Yes, it is better to turn off a refrigerator when not in use because an unplugged refrigerator will not consume electricity, which will save you some money, and it will not break or leak while you are away and it will not catch fire from the voltage drop. So yes, you have to turn off the fridge when it is not in use. But it is very important to know how to turn it off properly. Let’s find it out.

How to Turn Off Refrigerators During Vacations

The main rule to follow when turning off a refrigerator during vacations is to leave it empty, dry and clean.

  • Disconnect the fridge to avoid a fire in the wiring because of the voltage drops.
  • Free the shelves and chambers from all food, otherwise, your fridge will smell badly when you come back.
  • Prepare a bowl of warm water and rinse out all shelves, containers, racks and other removable parts. If you are in a hurry, the washing can be replaced by dry cleaning: wipe all surfaces with a soft towel.Clean the refrigerator with warm water without detergents, focusing on metal, glass, plastic and rubber surfaces. At the end of the wash, the refrigerator should dry thoroughly.
    Take special care to dry out the door seal, which can crack from a large amount of moisture. Washing can be replaced by wiping with a soft cloth, but only if time does not allow. Do not scratch the refrigeration surface! This can damage not only the appearance of the refrigerator, but also its performance.
  • When everything is done, be sure to open the door: this will prevent bad smell.After you have turned off, emptied and cleaned the refrigerator, you can leave it completely open during the holidays. This will ensure that the chambers are relieved of odors that tend to accumulate in confined spaces.
    Do not use a lining in case the refrigerator door is closed. If the lining is squeezed by the door for a long time, the seal may deform. It is best to adjust the legs of the refrigerator so that it is slightly tilted forward. This will prevent the doors from closing on their own.
  • Leave the fridge empty, dry and clean.

Your refrigerator is now guaranteed to be ready for vacation. You can be sure that upon arrival he will greet you with freshness, cleanliness and lack of odors.

However, if you leave a fridge on, it is very likely that nothing bad will happen. But make sure that you take the following steps:

  • Check the food for freshness. Frozen vegetables will last until you return, but the milk left behind will play a cruel joke.
  • Always take out meat products from the fridge and put them in the freezer. If the electricity goes out or something happens to the refrigerator, you will find an unbearable smell inside, which is very difficult to get rid of.
  • Do not leave the fridge near radiators or water pipes. Heat and moisture will irreparably affect the operation of the refrigerator.

Is It OK to Turn Off Refrigerator At Night?

Is it okay to turn off refrigerator at night? What will be the effect if I turn off the fridge at night and turn it on in the morning? You should not turn off a fridge every night because while it is turned off for 6-8 hours, the temperature will rise a lot and the compressor will need a a lot of time to restore the desired temperature. The compressor will be severely damaged and your fridge will start breaking down. Turning the fridge off for a short period of time will seriously damage your fridge and you will not save any money on electricity bills.

Can I unplug my fridge for 5 minutes? You should not unplug your fridge only for 5 minutes. Short unplugging will badly influence the pressure in the fridge system and damage the compressor. When the compressor is running, the refrigerant contained in the condenser is subject to extreme pressure. If the compressor shuts down, then the system does not have enough time to equalize the pressure. As a result, a large pressure remains in the outlet of the compressor. The resulting difficult conditions prevent the start of the electric motor, since the available starting torque is too small to withstand the pressure acting on the piston from the other side.

So, if, a few moments after switching off, power is applied to the motor windings, its operation will not be able to recover, but will go into a blocking state. When power is supplied to the motor windings, a huge overload is applied to them, which contributes to too much heating of the winding, and also increases electricity consumption several times. In this case, the compressor emergency protection will operate, which will allow the electric motor to be disconnected for a while. Only in this way will the system be able to adjust the internal pressure and start the engine again.

That said, make sure that you do not unplug your fridge for a short period of time or even for a night. It is totally fine to turn off the fridge when you go on a vacation for a long time. But it is not fine to play with the compressor and the fridge’s system. Can you unplug a fridge and plug it right bak in? No, do not do that. Do not unplug your fridge if it is not needed. And if you do unplug it, make sure the fridge is empty, clean and dry. Always leave the door ajar if you leave the fridge off for a long time. You may ask your family to check on your fridge once a month, if it is possible. 


I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

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