Home Repair

Putting a Refrigerator in front of Furnace's Cold Air Return

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How critical is the cold air furnace return? We are wanting to relocate our refrigerator in front of the return. Is this possible if we leave a few inches between return and refrigerator? Thanks!
Interesting question!

I would guess that it would be OK, but I want to go over what it means.

1) You will be breating the air that passes under/around your refigerator on its way to the return.
2) If/when you clean your refigerator coils, the dislodged dust will want to enter the return. You'll need to do it with the furnace off and be sure to vacuum up after the operation.
3) It might make your refrigerator more efficient by moving more air over the coils.
4) Don't restrict the airflow -- make sure there is PLENTY of room around under and over the fridge so that the air moves freely to the return. The square inches of the spaces around, over and under the fridge should be at least equal to the square inches of the return.

I think I'd want to keep an eye on how the fridge is running and keep an eye on the furnace's filter for a while.

What a cool question!
Thanks Ron for the quick reply! I appreciate knowing how that works, wasn't really sure what a return was exactly other than just that. I guess that leaving enough breathing room around the fridge would prohibit cabinets above and beside the refrigerator(like a built in)? Aside from the question, this is the coolest site ever. I am a recent member of the OES.org site, and love that, have learned alot. This site is like icing on the cake!! Thanks, Brenda


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