Should You Put Cardboard Underneath A Mini Fridge? (No. Here’s Why..)

Mini fridges are ideal for tiny living spaces where you don’t have much space for fancy large sized items but you still want your food chilled.

In some spaces, the best spot to put a mini fridge is close to the wall socket unless you own an extension cord.

The bare floor or cardboard may be the only spot available for it.

Should You Put Cardboard Underneath A Mini Fridge?

No. It is generally discouraged to put your mini fridge on the bare floor or plain cardboard. The cardboard could disrupt the air flow and create a moisture problem which could lead to rusting.

Four Reasons Why You Should Do Away With Cardboard Underneath A Mini Fridge

Here are the reasons why you need to place your mini fridge on cardboard.

1. Problems with airflow

Firstly, putting your unit on cardboard disrupts the flow of air from the condenser.

Placing it on a bare concrete floor can be even worse because dust particles and other unwanted debris may be blown into the unit.

Your cardboard serves as a buffer surface that chokes the airflow around your fridge.

If you acquired a mini fridge for your place and you are thinking of placing it in on the cardboard somewhere in your bedroom or ‘sitting room’, you are pondering if this can be a great idea, to start with.

Though conceptually it’s very possible to install your unit on cardboard or even bare floor, technically, it will inflict more harm than the benefits you could think of.

2. Condenser Problems

Let us look at another grave danger associated with putting your mini fridge unit on the cardboard – a malfunctioning condenser!

To start with, your mini fridge’s condenser is typically located at the bottom of the unit.

The condenser needs proper air circulation to function efficiently and keep delivering service up to its full lifespan.

When the condenser is made to lie on a stand that raises it slightly above the floor, the air circulation becomes perfect and there really is nothing to worry about except for a few dust particles that might blow into the unit (but that’s only if your home is dirty).

However, when you install the unit over cardboard, this air circulation is hindered.

Also, cardboards are known to trap heat, which means that the fridge must work overtime to generate sufficient cold.

This extra effort leads to high energy consumption that will certainly bloat your energy bills. In some extreme cases, the strain can lead to compressor failure.

3. Moisture problem

If the surface is prone to moisture penetration or dampness, it would a bad idea to place your unit without proper padding on it.

If the unit is allowed to sit on a moist surface for a long time, some of it eventually penetrates the vents into the condenser where it can cause rusting.

Mini fridges installed on a damp surface will certainly be plagued with many other problems even if you place them on thick cardboard.

4. Fire hazard

There are mini fridge models that feature coils beneath the unit.

Some of the standard full size fridges as well as mini units come with their coils placed on the rear part of the body. it is typical practice to leave a sizeable space between the rear of the unit and the wall.

When you purchase a mini fridge that has coils beneath it, and you proceed to place it on top of your cardboard, as aforementioned, heat accumulates in the cardboard. This heat can build up with time damage the cardboard.

In rare cases, however, this has resulted in home fires. The last thing you want to get from your new mini fridge is a fire.

The actual reason why cardboards may not be the best thing to put beneath your mini fridge is the fact that its made from ordinary paper which is highly flammable compared to cardboards.

This means the cardboards are more of a fire hazard than cardboards or plastics slabs you may lay on the ground.

Even in damp environments, the cardboard can dry up pretty fast under the heat produced by the coils and pose a significant risk of fire.

If you haven’t bought a mini fridge yet and are still weighing your options, I’d suggest that you opt for units that are equipped with coils at the rear and not beneath.

So What Can You Do Instead? (Four Options)

There are numerous methods and materials that can be used in the place of cardboards.

1. Use something else

Do not place the fridge directly on the cardboard or carpet. Instead of a cardboard, you can place the unit on a stand then let it rest on a solid board, plastic mat, or movable adjustable base board, or a waterproof piece of vinyl or linoleum flooring.

This will make sure that there’s good air circulation beneath the unit and may keep water off your unit. This also prevents the creation of dents by the stand of the fridge.

2. Ensure it stays closed

When you put the unit on the carpet or cardboard, you run the danger of the door failing to close if it drags itself on the cardboard or carpet.

This will certainly not be a problem if you take the precaution of elevating the unit by raising it off the ground with a stand instead of leaving it standing on cardboard.

Ensure the door can swing open and close free in a sufficient space.

3. Let the coil cool

Normally, mini fridges absorb heat via rear cooling coils.

These coils are placed at the back of the fridge most of the time, although some models feature them at the bottom.

The bottom coil may sear parts of the cardboard under the fridge to a point of creating a fire.

Choose a unit with rear coils instead of base coils.

4. Check for Leaking Holes

Before putting your mini fridge unit on the cardboard (if you must use it), carefully inspect for leaking holes. If the door is experiencing some leaks, there’ll be a condensation accumulation that can fall on the cardboard and result to mold or mildew growth.

To inspect properly, start by closing the door of the unit and run your hands along the edges of the unit.

If you feel a stream of escaping air, you should not put the fridge on any cardboard or carpet.

Summary

So, should you put cardboard underneath a mini fridge? No. A cardboard can do more harm than good whether you put it on the floor or table before installing your fridge on top.

  • Putting your unit on cardboard disrupts the flow of air from the condenser thus creating airflow issues.
  • The cardboard serves as a buffer surface that chokes the airflow around your fridge.

Another problem that comes with cardboard use is condenser malfunction.

  • The condenser needs proper air circulation to function efficiently and keep delivering service up to its full lifespan.
  • When the condenser is made to lie on a stand that raises it slightly above the floor, the air circulation becomes perfect and there really is nothing to worry about except for a few dust particles that might blow into the unit.
  • However, when you install the unit over cardboard, the ample air circulation is hindered.
  • Cardboards are also known to trap heat, which means that the fridge must work overtime to generate sufficient cold.
  • This extra effort leads to high energy consumption that will certainly bloat your energy bills.
  • In some rare cases, the strain can lead to compressor failure

Thirdly, cardboards create moisture problem.

  • Mini fridges installed on a damp surface will certainly be plagued with many other problems even if you place them on thick cardboard
  • If the unit is allowed to sit on a moist cardboard for a long time, some of it eventually penetrates the vents into the condenser where it can cause rusting.

Fourthly, cardboards can create a fire hazard with some types of mini fridges.

  • There are mini fridge models that feature coils beneath the unit.
  • When you purchase a mini fridge that has coils beneath it, and you proceed to place it on top of your cardboard, as aforementioned, heat accumulates in the cardboard and can result to fires with time.
  • Fortunately, you don’t even need cardboard beneath your mini fridge to get the most out of the unit
  • Instead of a cardboard, you can place the unit on a stand then let it rest on a solid board, plastic mat, or movable adjustable base board, or a waterproof piece of vinyl or linoleum flooring.
  • A stand and waterproof materials will ensure that there’s good air circulation beneath the unit and may keep water off your unit. This also prevents the creation of dents by the stand of the fridge.
  • Choose a unit with rear coils instead of base coils
  • Before putting your mini fridge unit on the cardboard (if you must use it), carefully inspect for leaking holes.
  • If the door is experiencing some leaks, there’ll be a condensation accumulation that can fall on the cardboard and result to mold or mildew growth.
  • To inspect properly, start by closing the door of the unit and run your hands along the edges of the unit.
  • If you feel a stream of escaping air, you should not put the fridge on any cardboard or carpet.
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