Refrigeration 101: Understanding the Working of a Refrigerator

An early morning tickle of the hunger buds. Let’s see, what’s in the fridge … Umm – an apple or a donut? Always — the apple! A great and healthy way to start your day. And it’s so fresh.

And while you enjoy a juicy bite of the apple, we would like to interrupt — sorry for doing so — and ask:
Have you ever wondered how that cool metal box which helps your apples and donuts last longer, actually works?

Did we hear, a mouthful yes?!
Do you want to know how it works?
A resounding chewing nod.

Great! So, let’s get started.

Six Things to Remember When Trying to Understand How Your Refrigerator Works

A refrigerator relies on refrigeration cycle to keep your food fresh and chilled. This refrigeration cycle is a process, enabled by the interaction of six basic components:

  • Fluid refrigerant;
  • A compressor;
  • Heat exchanging coils;
  • Condenser;
  • An expansion valve;
  • And, an evaporator.

How do they interact with each other?

Refrigeration Cycle – How Refrigerator Components Interact?

When you turn on your refrigerator, the compressor becomes active.

  1. The activated compressor constricts the fluid refrigerant (which exists in the form of a gas at the beginning of the refrigeration cycle). Because of the action of the compressor, the refrigerant pressure rises and consequently its temperature rises.
  2. The refrigerant then flows through the heat exchanging coils (present on the outside of your refrigerator). These coils serve to act as heat exchanging medium between the high pressured hot gas refrigerant and your kitchen’s cooler air. The gas loses its heat to its surroundings. And when it loses heat, it turns into a liquid.
  3. As it flows further down the end of the heat exchanging coils, it passes through a condenser. The condenser further supports the conversion of the gas refrigerant into a liquid refrigerant, while making sure that the pressure does not drop.  So, at this stage, you have high pressured liquid refrigerant now entering the expansion valve.
  4. When the refrigerant reaches the expansion valve, the device acts to decrease the pressure in the fluid refrigerant, causing it to expand and get even cooler than before. We now have a low pressured liquid refrigerant at a low temperature.
  5. The refrigerant then passes through the coils of the evaporator (present on the inside of your refrigerator). The inside of the refrigerator is warmer as compared to the refrigerant. Thereby, the refrigerant absorbs heat from your food. This causes it to turn into a gas.
  6. The refrigerant now again enters the compressor and the cycle continues.

And this is how that cool metal box works!

Now that you know how a refrigerator works, why not expand your understanding on the subject of refrigerators and learn about the 5 most common refrigerator issues that homeowners face? Maybe you might relate with a few.

But if you feel you experience any issues with your refrigerator, you can always contact your local professionals from All Pro Appliance and Refrigerator Repair by calling 678-765-7774 or request a service online.

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