Gap Between Refrigerator And Wall? (Read This First)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Installing some appliances in the house requires careful planning. When buying a new refrigerator, you have to consider some things.

It’s essential to consider the refrigerator’s size and its space before buying. So, what is this gap between the fridge and the wall? And how much gap should one leave?.

The gap between the fridge and wall is just a clearance/space between them to enhance proper ventilation. You should leave at least a half to one inch of space between the refrigerator, the sidewalls, and the top. And one to two inches of space between the fridge and a back wall. 

How Much Gap Does a Fridge Need? 

Typically, a fridge needs enough space to allow airflow in and out of the refrigerator.

For this reason, there’s a minimum amount of space you are to leave between the sides, top, and back of your fridge.

You should go at least half to one inch on both sides and top and an inch to two at the back.

Once you find a fridge, you can now pull the refrigerator into the open space. You should consider what type of refrigerator you are buying to know how much of a gap you need.

A refrigerator stays in the alcove, where a cabinet is directly above. 

Having a picture in mind of what type of refrigerator to fix in your space is not enough.

You will have to consider its measurement in terms of distance to open the doors, accessible space to ventilate, and cleaning area.

Sometimes you can leave more than the amount of space, depending on how you manage the area at home. 

To get a measurement to use, measure the alcove’s height, width, and depth using tape. An easier way to do the measurement is to measure from top to bottom, from back to front, and left to right.

This gives you a good idea of what size can fit in the nook or space, with enough space around it.

Keep in mind that your refrigerator produces cold air and hot air. So it needs enough space to discharge the hot air from the condenser coil.

However, when looking for a refrigerator that fits the size of a nook in your kitchen, it’s pretty impossible to get a perfect fit.

Unlike the old refrigerators with almost identical models, refrigerators nowadays don’t have a standard size.

Instead, they now come in different heights, depths, and widths than a recent old model.

Many brands serve the public with refrigerators in different forms and sizes.

Every brand comes in different types like the side-by-side refrigerator, the French door fridge, bottom freezer, counter depth refrigerator, and others. 

Why Should I Leave Some Gap Between the Refrigerator and the Wall?

The primary purpose of this space is to allow air ventilation and for maintenance purposes. Before you go ahead creating space between fridge cabinets, walls, and the fridge, is it even necessary?.

Yes, it is. I won’t advise you to choose whether or not you should create a little space around your refrigerator. 

It’s as essential as maintaining your fridge, and it’s for the proper operation of the refrigerator.

Without this space, your refrigerator will have no means to freely discharge heat, which is dangerous to both walls and the fridge.

Also, if you avoid the space, then be ready for a regular costly repair and a reduction in its lifespan.

Now let’s look at the refrigerator. A refrigerator’s condenser coil releases heat from the outside to keep the inside cool.

And as such, it needs some gap between the wall to release the hot air efficiently. Getting too close to the wall will either cause damage to the wall or the fridge itself.

The compressor that produces the hot air needs space around it for proper ventilation. Like other electrical appliances, the refrigerator can overheat if there is no air for ventilation.

Also, a little free space between refrigerator walls can enhance the performance of any fridge.

These days as technology improves, the designs of many things keep changing. Just like the refrigerator’s coil at the back is gradually relocating to the base to enhance ventilation.

But that alone isn’t enough. However, most refrigerator condensers are still at the back.

When trying to find where to install the refrigerator in the kitchen/house, keep a distance from other appliances like the dishwasher.

This is because other devices tend to produce heat, affecting the fridge that also produces heat.

And it makes the environment warm, making the refrigerator strain more to keep the fridge cool, reducing its lifespan.

Upsides of Gap Between Refrigerator And Wall

#1. Enhanced Performance Of The Refrigerator

A fridge with good ventilation is a healthy fridge. When cool air from around can cool the heating effect of a compressor, the fridge tends to perform well.

#2. Helps To Organize The Kitchen/House

When there is good spacing between fridge cabinets and the fridge itself, you find out that there is easy access. It gives the house or kitchen a sense of organization.

#3. It Saves Energy

Creating space for ventilation saves energy consumption in the house. For example, if your refrigerator lacks enough space, the compressor tries to use more energy to keep the fridge cool.

But leaving that gap reduces the hot air around, letting the fridge work at standard capacity.

Cons of Gap Between Refrigerator And Wall

Regardless of the essence of the space around your refrigerator, there are still some downsides.

However, there are some reasons why this space can be inconvenient and uncomfortable for some people.

Now let’s look at some of why you wouldn’t like the area.

#1. Difficulty In Cleaning

This is one concern trying to keep that little space around your refrigerator. You will find out that when foodstuffs spill in these small spaces around the fridge, it’s hard to clean.

So you might end up not even cleaning it.

#2. Space To Lose Tiny Things

As good as it is to hide stains or dirt from a good cleaning, the space is an excellent place to lose small items. And finding those items can be many percentages impossible to find.


Maintaining your refrigerator doesn’t only require taking care of it from the inside. The environment around it also matters.

Creating enough ventilation space is always essential to keep the refrigerator going for a longer time.

Lastly, remember to keep the space between the fridge from the back more than that of the sides and top.

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