Tag Archives: how does a fridge work

How Do Refrigerators Work?


Refrigerators are a modern luxury – they work around the clock to
keep our food fresh and our beverages refreshing. Even though we use
ours several times each day, the refrigerator is as under-appreciated
as it gets. If you are interested in learning more about the science
of household refrigeration, Speedy Subzero has put together this
short guide explaining how refrigerators work, with some help from
Before you learn about how your refrigerator works, it is necessary
to understand two scientific principles:
  1. Gas cools down as it expands.
  2. When two surfaces of different temperatures come in contact, the
    warmer surface cools down and the cooler surface warms up.
Knowing these two points, we can now illustrate how the household
refrigerator keeps your food cold.
  1. The refrigerant inside your refrigerator’s tubes, currently in a
    gaseous state, passes through the compressor. This causes its
    temperature to rise.
  2. The refrigerant moves through internal pipes and loses some of its
    heat through exhaust fins in the back of the unit.
  3. The refrigerant reaches the condenser where its temperature is
    reduced and it turns into a liquid.
  4. The liquid refrigerant flows through the expansion valve, causing
    some of the liquid to evaporate and expand, further lowering the
  5. As the refrigerant continues to make its way through your
    refrigerator, it absorbs the heat from your food (remember principle
    #2) and turns back into a gas.
  6. The gas is sucked back in to the compressor where the cycle starts
    all over.
At Speedy Subzero, our expert technicians know refrigerators inside
and out. We know what each component is responsible for, how they
work together, and most importantly, how to fix them when they
malfunction. If you live in New York and suspect your refrigerator is
broken, call us any time for a same-day appointment at 866-782-9376.