Compressor in Refrigerator – Key Component for Cooling Efficiency


Most of us use refrigerators daily without giving our operation much thought because they are a necessary household item. However, being aware of the fundamental ideas that underlie their operation will enable you to choose wisely whether to buy or maintain your refrigerator.

The compressor, an essential part of a refrigerator and necessary to the refrigeration process, is another significant component. 

This blog post will explain what a compressor is, how it functions, and why maintaining one for your refrigerator is crucial. This article will give you a thorough understanding of this vital part of your refrigerator, regardless of whether you’re a curious consumer or an aspiring appliance repair technician.

What Is The Compressor In A Refrigerator?

The compressor is the component in charge of compressing the refrigerant gas and distributing it throughout the refrigeration system. It is an essential part of the refrigerator because it removes heat from the interior and releases it into the environment outside.

The compressor removes heat from the refrigerator’s interior by compressing the refrigerant gas, which then circulates through the system. The condenser coils allow the compressed refrigerant gas to release heat into the surrounding air, cooling it as it passes through.

The refrigerant gas is then forced through the evaporator coils, absorbing heat from the fridge’s interior and cooling it down.

compressor in refrigerator

What Is The Role Of A Compressor in Refrigerator Cycle?

It’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of the refrigeration cycle to appreciate the significance of a compressor in a refrigerator. The refrigeration cycle is a procedure that moves heat from the refrigerator’s interior to the outside, enabling it to maintain a cold temperature. The refrigeration cycle’s four main parts are the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve.

The compressor, found at the back of the refrigerator, is frequently called the refrigeration cycle’s “heart.” Compressing the refrigerant gas increases its temperature and pressure. This is its primary purpose. The condenser is where heat is released into the surrounding air or water as the compressed refrigerant gas passes through it. The refrigerant gas then cools and turns into a liquid by condensing.

After that, the refrigerant liquid passes through the expansion valve, which lowers the pressure and regulates the refrigerant’s flow rate. The refrigerant expands quickly in response to the sudden drop in pressure, cooling the liquid and allowing it to evaporate into a gas.

The magic takes place in the evaporator, which is housed inside the refrigerator. The air inside the fridge is cooled as the refrigerant gas passes through the evaporator and absorbs heat from the interior. Restarting the cycle, the refrigerant gas flows back to the compressor after warming up.

As you can see, the compressor is essential to the refrigeration cycle because it supplies the energy required to move the refrigerant gas throughout the system. Your refrigerator couldn’t keep a cool temperature without the compressor because the refrigerant couldn’t move through the system.

Reciprocal and rotary compressors are the two primary compressors found in refrigerators. Reciprocating compressors are the most common type of compressor found in household refrigerators. They use a piston to compress the refrigerant gas and are known for their reliability and durability.

Rotary compressors, on the other hand, use a rotating impeller to compress the refrigerant gas. They are more efficient than reciprocating compressors but are also more expensive.

Types Of Compressors in Refrigerator:

As previously mentioned, reciprocal and rotary compressors are the two primary types used in refrigerators. Let’s examine each class in more detail, including its advantages and drawbacks.

The most typical kind of compressor found in residential refrigerators is the reciprocating compressor, also known as a piston compressor. They function by compressing the refrigerant gas using a piston and are renowned for their dependability and toughness.

Reciprocal compressors have several benefits, including that they are generally less expensive than other compressors. Additionally, they are small and easily fit into most refrigerator models.

However, using a reciprocating compressor has some drawbacks as well. One drawback is that they are typically noisier than other compressors, which can be an issue if your kitchen is open-concept or the refrigerator is close to a living space. Additionally, reciprocating compressors tend to vibrate more than other compressors, which can cause other fridge parts to deteriorate more quickly than necessary.

A rotating impeller is used in rotary compressors to compress the refrigerant gas. In addition to being more effective than reciprocating compressors, they tend to be quieter and less vibrational. Rotary compressors are more expensive than reciprocating compressors, so they are less commonly used in household refrigerators.

Rotary compressors also have the benefit of being more energy-efficient. Because they can compress the refrigerant gas in a single rotation, less energy is needed to circulate it through the system. This may result in lower energy costs and a more environmentally friendly refrigerator.

Utilising a rotary compressor has some drawbacks, though. They can be challenging to incorporate into some refrigerator designs because they frequently have more giant footprints than reciprocating compressors. They are more intricate and contain more parts, making repairs more challenging and pricey if something goes wrong.

Common Problems With Compressors In Refrigerators And How To Troubleshoot Them:

Although compressors are typically dependable and long-lasting parts of refrigerators, they can occasionally have issues. 

The following are some typical problems with refrigerator compressors and how to fix them: 

  1. Compressor won’t start: If your compressor doesn’t turn on, a bad start capacitor or a wiring problem may be to blame. First, check the wiring to make sure everything is connected correctly. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try replacing the start capacitor.
  2. Continuous compressor operation: A broken thermostat or a refrigerant leak could be to blame if your compressor is operating continuously. Make sure the thermostat is set properly by checking the settings. Call a professional to check for a refrigerant leak if that doesn’t resolve the issue.
  3. Noisy compressor: If your compressor is making strange noises, it may be caused by worn-out or loose parts. Tighten loose screws or bolts and replace worn-out components to fix the issue.
  4. Overheating compressor: A dirty condenser coil or a broken fan motor may be to blame for your compressor’s overheating. Remove any dirt or debris from the condenser coil, and replace the fan motor if necessary.
  5. Your compressor won’t stop running: A defective relay or temperature control may be to blame if your compressor won’t stop. Make sure the temperature control and relay are working correctly by checking them. Replace them if necessary.

You can help keep your compressor running smoothly by performing some preventive maintenance procedures in addition to these typical issues.

For instance, check that your refrigerator is levelled correctly to prevent excessive vibration, which can hasten the compressor’s deterioration. Keep the condenser coil clean by vacuuming to stop dirt and debris buildup.

Maintenance Tips For Your Compressor in Refrigerator:

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your refrigerator compressor operating smoothly and effectively. 

You can maintain your compressor by following these recommendations:

  1. Keep the condenser coils clean: Your refrigerator’s condenser coils are either at the bottom or in the back. They are in charge of letting the heat from the compressor out. Dust and dirt can build up on the coils over time, making it more difficult for the compressor to release heat. Once every six months, use a vacuum cleaner or a brush to remove dust and dirt from the coils.
  2. Check the door seals: If the door seals are damaged or not working correctly, warm air can seep into the refrigerator, causing the compressor to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Regularly inspect the door seals for wear or damage, and replace them if necessary.
  3. Correct temperature setting: Setting too high can make the compressor work harder, increasing energy costs and possibly causing compressor damage. Make sure to set the temperature according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Refill the refrigerator: A too-full refrigerator may restrict airflow and make it more difficult for the compressor to maintain the desired temperature. Make sure to leave enough space for the air to circulate freely.
  5. Keep hot food out of the refrigerator: Hot food can raise the fridge’s temperature, making the compressor work harder.  
  6. Use the refrigerator regularly: Using the refrigerator periodically helps maintain the compressor’s efficiency. If you’re not using the fridge for an extended period, consider turning it off and unplugging it.
  7. Plan routine maintenance: To make sure everything is operating correctly, it is advised to plan professional care for your refrigerator once a year. Condenser coils can be cleaned, door seals can be examined, and any potential issues can be found before they develop into significant problems by a qualified technician.

You can help keep your refrigerator compressor operating smoothly and effectively by adhering to these maintenance suggestions, resulting in lower energy costs and a longer refrigerator lifespan.


Your food needs to be cooled and kept fresh, and a refrigerator compressor is essential to the appliance. Properly maintaining your compressor can help it last longer while ensuring that your refrigerator operates smoothly and effectively.

The compressor’s efficiency can be maintained, and energy costs can be decreased by regularly cleaning the condenser coils, checking the door seals, setting the temperature appropriately, avoiding overfilling the refrigerator, avoiding placing hot food inside, using the fridge frequently, and scheduling professional maintenance. 

It’s crucial to consider compatibility, efficiency, cost, warranty, and expert installation when replacing a compressor. By keeping these suggestions in mind, you can prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator compressor and continue to eat fresh and cool food.

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