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How Long Should I Wait to Turn On My Mini Fridge?

Moving can be a huge hassle! Even though it’s exciting to be going somewhere new, transporting awkward furniture or appliances can make the ordeal more challenging than it needs to be, especially when those appliances have sensitive components.

how long should i wait to turn on my mini fridge

Whether you’re a pro semi truck driver that lives in your semi truck or you’re moving into a dorm, sharing space with greedy roommates, or furnishing your man cave, you may be wondering, “how long should I wait to turn on my mini-fridge?”

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How Long Should I Wait To Turn On My Mini Fridge?

You should leave your mini-fridge unplugged and upright for 24 hours before turning it on. When you move your mini-fridge, and it leans to the side, oil can flow from the compressor into the cooling lines, leading to longer cooling times or a blown compressor! So it’s best to be patient and let your machine rest before turning it on again.

Need more mini-fridge tips? Want to know more about how to move your fridge safely? Then stick around! The rest of this article will detail why it’s essential to keep your fridge upright, how to maintain it, and other helpful tips to get the most out of your new appliance.

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Does a mini-fridge have to stay upright?

As mentioned earlier, it’s best to always keep your mini-fridge upright. Any time your mini-fridge is on its side, liquids inside the fridge’s components can move into places they shouldn’t go, according to P.C. Richard ; Son. The best way to prevent this is by keeping your mini-fridge upright during transport, which I’ll talk more about later! 

While in use, your mini-fridge should always be upright and level. The compressor needs a level height to cool your fridge properly, and a lopsided fridge may cause the door not to seal correctly, compromising your food and drinks! Avoid placing your fridge on the carpet; if there’s no other option, place a hard, flat surface on the carpet, like a wooden board, for your mini-fridge to stand on. 

If your mini-fridge is on a flat floor but still isn’t sitting level, you can typically adjust it! Many mini-fridges have feet on the bottom that can be raised or lowered, though you may have to grab a screwdriver to do this. Of course, if you’re moving your fridge around or tipping it, be sure to let it rest and settle before you turn it back on!

Can I lay a new mini-fridge on its side for transport?

You should never lay a mini-fridge on its side if you can avoid it (get more info here). However, if it’s absolutely necessary to lay your mini-fridge down during transport, try leaning it on its back instead of on its side. Also, it’s important to keep your fridge in this position for as little time as possible to reduce the shifting of components. 

No matter how you’ve transported your mini-fridge, let it stand upright for 24 hours so everything can settle back into place before you plug it in. If you try to run your mini-fridge and the components are out of whack, your fridge’s performance could suffer. At the worst, you could burn out the compressor when you plug it in!

Even if the effects aren’t immediately noticeable, running your mini-fridge without letting it stand for 24 hours after transport can take years of life out of your machine. Let’s say you plug in your fridge right away, and nothing terrible happens. Well, that’s great! Except your fridge may stop working only a couple of years down the line because the compressor is busted. It’s just not worth the risk! 

How long can you leave a mini-fridge on for?

You should leave your mini-fridge on continuously, as it will only stay cool for a few hours if it loses power. However, just because a mini-fridge is plugged in doesn’t mean the compressor is running all the time. Your mini-fridge should be running about ⅓ of the time. If you hear the compressor running without a break, it’s time to get it checked out!

Some people say it’s beneficial to unplug your mini-fridge at night to save power, but that really isn’t the case. Your mini-fridge will use more energy and take longer to cool down after unplugging it for a few hours, so it isn’t worth it. Besides, according to Newair, mini-fridges only cost about $4 a month! 

Try and space food items in your mini fridge so everything isn’t crowded. This helps cold air circulate evenly and keep everything cool.
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You should leave your mini-fridge on continuously, as it will only stay cool for a few hours if it loses power. However, just because a mini-fridge is plugged in doesn’t mean the compressor is running all the time. Your mini-fridge should be running about ⅓ of the time. If you hear the compressor running without a break, it’s time to get it checked out!

Some people say it’s beneficial to unplug your mini-fridge at night to save power, but that really isn’t the case. Your mini-fridge will use more energy and take longer to cool down after unplugging it for a few hours, so it isn’t worth it. Besides, according to Newair, mini-fridges only cost about $4 a month! 

Though refrigerators are energy efficient in general, mini-fridges actually lose less cold air than larger fridges each time they’re opened. Of course, this is because they’re much smaller! So even if you’ve got a regular-sized fridge at home, it may be worth it to have a mini-fridge just to cool your drinks.

How to maintain your mini-fridge

Now that you’ve set it up, how do you best take care of your mini-fridge and let it live a long life? Well, that involves some routine maintenance on your part! So what can you do?

  • Keep it flowing. Air circulation is essential to your mini-fridge’s functioning. Be sure to keep the coils at the back of the mini-fridge free of dust to maximize airflow and cooling. Additionally, it’s important to keep your mini-fridge at least three inches away from the wall for the same reasons. Finally, keep food inside spaced out so cold air can circulate. 
  • Keep it clean. Check the contents of your mini-fridge regularly to avoid any spoiling! The last thing you want in your fridge is rotten food, so discard any spoiled dairy products, fruits, and vegetables as needed. If anything spills in your fridge, clean it up right away to prevent the formation and spread of mold, bacteria, and mildew. A clean fridge also helps to prevent food borne illness.
  • Keep it cool. Install your mini-fridge outside direct sunlight and away from any heat source, such as furnaces, water heaters, or stoves. If your fridge is in a cool area and has a freezer component, the compressor may not turn on as often because of the dip in ambient temperature, and your mini-fridge may not keep food frozen. 

You can check out this article for extra tips. 

How long should I wait to turn on my mini fridge… Summary

If you have to transport your mini-fridge, you should endeavor to keep it upright at all times to prevent components from shifting. No matter how you’ve transported your fridge, it’s essential to let it stand upright and unplugged for 24 hours before use, as turning your fridge on too soon is unsafe and unwise! 

Well, that’s it! Now you know how long you should wait to turn on your mini-fridge, why it’s important, and how to keep you and your fridge happy and cool.

More Reading: What Temperature Should I Set My Mini Fridge To?

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