Compact Refrigerator

Compact refrigerator unit
Compact refrigerator unit with door open

A Compact Refrigerator is also known as a mini refrigerator. The name denotes its size, although it has more if it’s analyzed. There are two distinct designs in this category of refrigerators. There is one with a miniature freezer compartment inside, and one without.

Compact refrigerator with a miniature freezer compartment has evaporator (freezer compartment) on the upper side of the inner space. Mostly, it’s made of a light aluminum plate, although some manufacturers use iron. Aluminum is mostly used because it’s a good conductor of heat and doesn’t corrode easily. This evaporator looks like a small cabinet, and it has its own door. Much of the remaining space inside this mini refrigerator only cools to a temperature above zero; no freezing. This type of refrigerator is good for a user with little need of a lot of frozen foodstuffs. Also, if one has a separate freezer, a compact refrigerator is ideal for supplementing it.

Compact refrigerators come in different sizes of between less than a cubic foot, and higher. They are ideal for bedside, outdoor recreational area, gaming room, or home office.
Mini refrigerators that have no freezer compartment are made in such a way that the whole inner storage space serve as a cooler.
Mini refrigerators too are available in various colors to carter for individual taste.

A compact refrigerator consumes little electricity compared with other refrigerators with more than one door compartment. This is because it’s fitted with a smaller compressor. And, because the small compressor has only a small refrigeration cycle to pump refrigerant, it uses a little amount of electrical energy.

Another different design in the category of mini refrigerators is one fitted with a small fan that blows cold temperature generated from evaporator to the rest of storage space. The fan air facilitates circulation of cold temperature fro the evaporator to all other spaces inside the fridge.

As with all refrigerators, control components in a mini refrigerator needs to be in good working condition. Here, it is basically the ‘thermostat.’ It automatically switches off the compressor when temperature inside fridge is desirable and switches it on when temperature inside rises. That’s a regular process. If the sum total of ‘stop-time’ and the sum total of the ‘run-time’ within 24 hours is analyzed, it shows electricity is economized. If you compared this with when refrigerator runs non-stop, like in the situation of a failed thermostat, electricity bill would be higher.
A compact refrigerator is quiet operating when it’s still relatively new. That is to say, sound of the running compressor is not easily heard. This means a user would need to be keen to confirm the thermostat is effectively starting and stopping compressor.

There are mini model compact refrigerators that run on Direct Current (DC) electricity. “Direct current” electric energy is like that of a flashlight battery or car battery. A refrigerator running on DC is much economical. Power inverter inside the refrigerator draws very little AC current from the wall socket to convert to DC. This sounds ambiguous, but there isn’t much, technically, that a user is required to know. Just plug the refrigerator into wall power and enjoy the service. All the work of AC to DC power conversion happens in invisible electronic components inside the fridge.

There are models not fitted with compressors but have alternative “electronic cooling system.” We’ll talk about this kind of electronic systems in another article.

So when shopping for a mini refrigerator and you are overwhelmed with options, seek the opinion of a technician or an experienced user to advise you on what may be good for you.

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Cosmos is an HVAC/R expert and a writer. He's an entrepreneur running Appliance and Equipment Repair Center. Cosmos writes compelling technical and business copies that increase traffic and bring sales. To reach him for value-adding content, use the contact form on the left or send him an email to

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