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How does a fridge work?

Whether it’s keeping your groceries fresh after the big shop or chilling your favourite drink on a warm day, the fridge is a hero. Refrigeration was and still is a life changer – it wasn’t that long ago that people used to preserve food in salt or a bucket of cold water. Not anymore. So, let’s look at how these wonderful appliances work and give them the limelight they deserve.

How does a fridge keep food cool

Step 1

What’s your fridge up to right now as you read this? Well, it all starts with a liquid coolant. This stuff passes through a valve that then drops the pressure of the coolant, makes it expand, cools it and turns it into a kind of cold liquid aerosol.

Step 2

As this flows around the fridge cabinet (through a pipe), it absorbs any warmth from the food inside and removes it.

Step 3

Then it’s on to the compressor. This squeezes the coolant again and raises the pressure, turning it into a hot, high-pressure gas.

Step 4

Next, the coolant flows through thin pipes on the back of the fridge to get rid of all that heat, cooling it back into a liquid at the same time.

And finally...

The coolant heads back to the cabinet through the expansion valve and the cycle repeats. Think of the whole thing as the fridge detecting any heat and taking it outside. Simple. Fridge, we salute you. Keep being brilliant.

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