Refrigerator open showing contents


Refrigerators vent heat out of the appliance in order to keep your food fresh. Refrigerators use a closed system that relies on refrigerant traveling in coils throughout the fridge. Refrigerant separates hot and cold air by absorbing the heat and carrying it away from the refrigerator's contents.

When you stock up at the grocery store, you know that you can count on your refrigerator to help keep your groceries fresh and cold. Read the step by step process of how your refrigerator does the heavy lifting to keep your food fresh.

Stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator Stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator
Refrigeration system diagram Refrigeration system diagram

STEP 1: Refrigerant compressed

All parts of the refrigerator play a role in the cooling process, but the cycle begins in the compressor. Refrigerant vapor is drawn into the compressor where it is compressed and then released at a higher temperature and pressure.

STEP 2: Hot air pushed out

The compressor then pushes the vapor into the condenser coils on the outside of the refrigerator, where it exchanges its heat with the incoming room air. The warmed room air is exhausted via vents. The compressor is an integral part of the cooling process, which is why Maytag® backs every model's compressor with a 10-year limited parts warranty.

STEP 3: Refrigerant becomes a liquid

When the hot gas in the condenser coils meets the cooler air temperature in the kitchen, it becomes a liquid.

STEP 4: Refrigerant flows into evaporator coils

The refrigerant, which is now a liquid, cools down as it flows into the evaporator coils inside the fridge.

STEP 5: Heat is absorbed

The heat inside the refrigerator is then absorbed by the refrigerant, cooling the air, and the refrigerator’s contents.

STEP 6: Refrigerant evaporates

Then the refrigerant evaporates to a gas and flows back to the compressor.

STEP 7: Cycle repeats

The refrigerator is a sealed system, so once the refrigerant gas flows back to the compressor, the cycle is repeated. The repetition of the cycle helps the refrigerator to maintain a constant cool.

What Type Of Energy Runs A Refrigerator?

Refrigerators use electrical energy to cool their contents. ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators use at least 10% less measured energy than the minimum federal efficiency standards.

Shop the latest deals on select Maytag major appliances   Shop Now

Shop Maytag® refrigerators

Maytag® refrigerators won't stop working to keep temperature levels in line. The PowerCold® feature on select models quickly drops temperatures by filtering air from the freezer to the fridge. If your refrigerator stays open while the family browses or groceries are unloaded, the PowerCold® feature helps keep everything at its optimal temperature.


Was this article helpful? Pass it on