How hot should a fridge compressor get?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how hot should a fridge compressor get” with an in-depth analysis of the normal hotness of a fridge compressor. Moreover, we are going to highlight what is the effect of too much heat on the compressor, what is the refrigerator compressor and its working, and what are some causes of overheating of the compressor.

How hot should a fridge compressor get?

The fridge compressor usually gets hot to a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered a normal temperature that can be emitted as a result of the normal functioning of the compressor.


Normal hotness of a fridge compressor:

The normal hotness of the fridge compressor is around 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit but it should not be more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit as this temperature is considered to be a consequence of some mishaps in the compressor.

Too much hotness:

Normally, the temperature or the heat emitted by the compressor is not too much higher than the recommended ones. But, if you observe heat over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be due to some damages to the system.

Refrigerator compressor:

A refrigerator compressor is an appliance attached to the fridge that can maintain the temperatures throughout the working of the fridge. The observable change in the compressor is the heat released by it while managing the pressure of the cooling system.


Working of a fridge compressor:

The main function of the compressor is to maintain the cooling inside the fridge that inhibits the spoilage of food as well as the growth of microorganisms. It just acts as a motor and pump that allows the flow of refrigerants through the system.

Different parts of the compressor work differently. The sensors maintain the temperature inside the fridge, a liquid gas known as a refrigerant that flows through the system, metal coils at the back emit the heat.

The refrigerant compresses into a gas that increases compressor temperature. The compressor then pushes the hot compressed gas through the metal coils at the back from where the heat is released to the external environment. The gas is then pumped through the valve that turns the gas again into a cold liquid that gives its cooling to the fridge. In this way, the cycle is regulated by the compressor to maintain the heat.

Causes of overheating:

There are several causes of overheating in a fridge compressor. Some of them are discussed here.

Improper working of condenser coil or fan:

The main reason behind the overheating of a compressor is the malfunctioning or damaged in the condenser coils or fan. Sometimes, not cleaning for too long may also be a problem as it may cause dirt layer formation on the fans or coils. This layer also makes it difficult for the condenser to diffuse heat. Condenser coils can easily be cleaned with the help of a vacuum or brush.

Inadequate ventilation:

Poor aeration or ventilation can also be a problem as it can eventually lead to the overheating of the compressor. This overheating may hinder the proper heat flow through the condenser. Therefore, always try to place the fridge in an open and aerated environment.

Temperature settings:

The temperature fluctuation, especially to the extremes, is problematic. The normal temperature conditions for the refrigerator are between 37 and 3 degrees Celsius, which ensures the best food safety conditions. The temperature above or below this range is not good as your compressor needs to work hard to maintain this temperature.

Door sealing:

Sometimes, the door seal becomes loose and the fridge is unable to close properly. This escapes to the cold air outside the fridge and the compressor has to work more to adjust the temperature accordingly. As a result of this work overload, the compressor becomes heated.

Low in refrigerant:

The fridge can also become low in the refrigerant that needs professional assistance for repairing. For such a fridge, you need to unplug the fridge and remove all the perishable food as it may spoil in the fridge.

Electrical problem:

The poor electrical system can also be a problem that can lead to power surges and voltage spikes. These shocks can cause sudden damage to the appliance.

Here, you can find a guide about how to replace the faulty refrigerator compressor.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how hot should a fridge compressor get” with an in-depth analysis of the heating temperature of a fridge compressor. Moreover, we discussed why the compressor gets too heated, what is a fridge compressor and its function, and what are some reasons behind its overheating.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.