You should always avoid putting a mini-fridge directly on the carpet. However, if you have no other option of where to place the small refrigerator appliance, use a base with wheels or some other platform that lifts the fridge up enough so that it is not sitting directly on the carpeting.
Some form of absorbent mat placed under the unit will also help in catching spills and leaks. Ideally, all refrigerators should be placed in a cool, dry place and away from the wall to allow for proper airflow.
Benefits of a Mini Fridge
Mini fridges are small and fit almost anywhere. They work great in small spaces, tiny apartments, dorm rooms, or to tuck away in a room to use for extra storage for small items.
Some people like to keep a miniature refrigerator in their bedroom to store snacks and beverages.
A mini-fridge works best when it is placed on a flat surface, like on a countertop or flooring that can handle water or other liquid spills or leaks.
Avoid Putting a Mini Fridge on Carpet
Two of the most important things to consider when deciding where to put your mini-fridge include safely placing the refrigerator to optimize the appliance’s lifespan and making sure the flooring is protected underneath it, especially to keep it free of potential mold and mildew forming.
The two most important factors to consider are:
- Placing it in an area where the compressor will not overheat or become damaged
- Protecting your flooring from potential leaks from the fridge that could cause a mold problem in the carpeting
Problems with Putting a Mini Fridge on Carpet
If you put your mini-fridge directly onto the carpet, you risk both overheating the compressor and creating a mold problem deep in the carpet fibers and backing which could eventually damage the subfloor or cause health issues for family members or roommates.
The main problems that happen from putting the fridge directly onto the carpet include:
- Carpets tend to block airflow to the condenser, which is needed for cooling
- Carpets tend to retain heat which could cause the mini-fridge to overheat
- The fridge’s compressor will be put under pressure on any carpeting which leads to higher energy consumption and electric bills as well as an overheated compressor that would damage the fridge
- The heat coming from the bottom of the mini-fridge can discolor the carpet and subfloor or cause it to fade
Avoid Overheating the Refrigerator Compressor
Anything that obstructs airflow into the refrigerator’s condenser is going to pose a risk to the mini-fridge. The condenser takes the hot air from inside the fridge and moves it outside to keep the food stored in the fridge cold.
It does this by condensing gas into liquid through the cooling process.
The compressor is typically located on the bottom of the fridge in the form of coils and requires proper ventilation. If this ventilation system becomes obstructed by carpeting, the condenser could overheat causing the fridge to stop working properly.
Not only could the compressor become damaged, but you will probably notice your electric bills going sky-high as well.
Protect Flooring from Leaks and Mold
Sometimes refrigerators leak, or drip condensation. If your power goes out for an extended period of time, your mini-fridge is going to leak a lot of water.
Some fridges give off a lot of water when they defrost, not to mention the potential of spills from anything you store inside. Just opening the door to take food out as intended is enough to create a possible scenario of a spill.
Any water or other liquids that come out of a fridge placed directly onto carpeting is going to soak into the carpet and head for the subfloor where it is difficult to dry out.
If it lingers there for long enough, the moisture will begin to cause mold, mildew, and create unpleasant odors. Living with mold can be a very serious danger to your health, especially for those who already suffer from allergies, asthma, or other lung and respiratory issues.
How to Safely Put a Mini Fridge on Carpet
Ideally, a fridge should never be put on top of carpeting. However, if there is no other place to put the fridge, the solution is to place something underneath the fridge so that it is not sitting directly on the soft carpet.
If you’re going to put the fridge on the carpet, you will need a buffer of some kind between the bottom of the fridge and the carpeted floor.
Some choose to use a mobile roller with locking wheels. Not only does this lift the mini-fridge off of the carpet, but it also has wheels which makes it easy to move the fridge when necessary to get to the floor underneath.
Another solution is to use an indoor mat. Preferably, choose a mat that will also absorb spills without allowing the liquid to seep through onto the carpet.
To be extra safe, using both a mobile roller and an indoor mat will solve the problem of putting a fridge on carpeting.
Other ways to create a buffer include using a sheet of plywood. Again, putting an absorbent mat on top of the plywood will help with any potential clean-up of messes while still protecting the carpet underneath.
A rubber or plastic sheet, a piece of linoleum, or some vinyl flooring placed on top of the carpet and under the fridge can also work to create a gap to protect the floor from any moisture coming from the mini-fridge.
A spill tray also works well in collecting leaks from the fridge while protecting the carpeting underneath.
Check for Leaks
Regardless of the buffer that you choose to use under the fridge, it’s important to first check for leaks before placing it in any room.
Before deciding on where the fridge will go, plug it in and check to see if there are any leaks by running your hand underneath the appliance and around the door.
If you feel any moisture or any air blowing, the fridge has a leak. Never put a leaky fridge on the carpet even if you have a buffer or absorbent mat in place.
Types of Fridges that May Work on Carpet
While it’s never ideal to put a mini fridge directly on the carpet, there are different kinds of mini-fridges. Some have coils on the back instead of on the bottom. Choosing a mini-fridge that has backside coils will help avoid excessive damage to the carpet and may help extend the life of the fridge as well.
Check the Fridge Regularly
Don’t just set the fridge up and forget it. If your fridge is set up in a carpeted area, you will need to keep it well maintained. Check for leaks and spills at least once a month.
Completely defrost it about every four months. When you defrost it, clean it thoroughly to make sure there are no spills or residue left from food.
Regulate the fridge temperature. If the temperature is set too low, a warmer setting, it can cause ice to defrost and leak.
Don’t stuff too much food inside the fridge. Overcrowding the mini-fridge will block airflow inside the unit causing it to work harder than it should.
Keep the coils free of dust and dirt. Regularly clean the condenser coils about every 6 to 8 months.
If you find a leak, you will need to unplug the mini-fridge and remove it from the area. This is where a wheeled cart buffer comes in handy. Be sure to move any food to a separate cooling refrigerator or freezer, so it doesn’t spoil.
Put towels in the inner components and under the fridge to absorb any moisture. Once the fridge is unplugged, it will start to defrost which can create a great deal of water. So, be prepared to properly absorb all the liquids.
If the fridge was sitting on plywood or on a mat that has become wet, move that off of the carpet to allow the wet carpet to dry out. First, use absorbent towels to soak up as much water from the carpet as you can. If there is a lot of water, use a wet-dry vac.
If there is a foul odor, sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet to absorb the smell.
Once the carpeting is completely dry, consider steam cleaning the area as an extra measure in killing any bacteria left behind. Use fans and ventilation to completely dry the floor out before placing the fridge back on top of it.
Ideally, you should always avoid placing a refrigerator on carpeting. However, if there is no other option, you can put a mini-fridge on the carpet provided you elevate it with some kind of buffer in between so that it doesn’t directly rest on the soft flooring.
Use a buffer that will absorb any leaks or moisture before it damages the floors or causes a moldy problem and mess.
Also, keep your fridge well maintained to avoid any surprise leaks. If a leak does happen, know how to properly clean the carpet underneath the mini-fridge.