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I am living in a tropical country right now, it gets pretty hot (~45 °C) in here.

Now, I have single room home which has my desktop & a refrigerator. As obvious, in order to make ice in high ambient temperature the fridge has to work extra hard, resulting in 7-8 °C increase in temperature (yes!).

I have positioned the fridge in a corner with about 10 inches of free-margin for plenty of air flow. The problem is that room's air, objects are permanently hot now days. I touch them and they always feel hot-warm. Opening windows at night cools air but the objects are staying hot.

Can I possibly make something that avert/deflect heat from fridge's back & side panels & direct it straight through and out of the window?

I am especially worried high temperaure might compromise my computer & router.

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  • I think what you're looking for is a fan. Not sure this warrants a hack of any sort.
    – briantist
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 16:47
  • 1
    Even in moderate climates, a refrigerator can make a room stifling. Be sure the device can operate as efficiently as possible, e.g. check that door gaskets seal well, keep cooling coils clean and interior defrosted. You're pumping heat from the interior of the fridge to the outside, so try to keep heat from entering, perhaps adding more insulation. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 0:49
  • If the ambient temperature reaches 45C regularly, I don't think the room would cool down much even without the refrigerator there at all.
    – TIO Begs
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 18:07
  • Well, as I guess A/C is out of the picture, I don't see a better solution than a fan and maybe some pipes to "drive" the air flow out. But you won't get much out of this, the biggest issue is not the fridge, it's the temperature where you live. My gosh 45°C I would run out of there :-)
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 13:16
  • What temperatures do you have outside. 45C is 113F — some deserts are cooler than this! Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 0:32

4 Answers 4

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I've built temporary ducting using cardboard and duct tape. Just create a duct from your exhaust vent to the window. For extra cooling add a fan to blow air away from the fridge.

This may or may not be possible depending on where the fridge and window are located.

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The question is: Do you need a freezer? Many people can live without one. Instead of using ice from a freezer, you can use cold water from the fridge. Since the fridge is only at about 4C, and not -18C as the freezer, you get less heat transfer whence less heat produced.

In general, the smaller the fridge area to the outside, the better for efficiency (with 0 being the best). Actually, the old fridges with the freezer inside the fridge were better in this sense, since you didn't have any heat leakage from the freezer, just from the fridge.

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Back in the day refrigerators had exposed radiators. I suppose what he and I both want to do is have the radiator heat released outside like modern air conditioners, not just vented or fan forced outside. Those solutions still allow the room to get hot. I think the next thing I'm going to do is continue reading refrigerator design. My crazy idea is a heat block on my fridge with some cheap home made 'thermal paste', insulated heat pipes, and an exhaust ducted outside... It might help, it might not be worth the effort. But I tell you, I am going to build something crazy one way or another, my garage is too hot for a computer and I can't have that at all.

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The ideal solution for you would be a permanently installed mini split air conditioning unit.

Those allow using AC with all windows and doors closed, so they are generally very energy efficient because they remove heat from indoor air and blow that away in the outdoor unit. So the indoor air (which may be cooler than outdoor air) won't be blowed outdoors, to be replaced by a similar amount of much hotter outdoor air. Usually they are quiet as well because most of the noise is in the outdoor unit, and many have quite efficient inverter-driven operation allowing true variable performance as opposed to constantly cycling the unit on/off.

About the only problem is that if you live in a rental apartment, installation could be bit tricky. Maybe if you tell your landlord that you will pay for the unit, and it will be a gift to the landlord once you move away, you could get a permission to install.

Another solution, much worse, would be a portable split AC unit. They have a ~10 kg outdoor unit and flexible refrigerant lines between the indoor unit and outdoor unit. You can use such a portable split AC unit only if you have a balcony or live on the first floor and have a door outside.

A third solution even worse than the second would be a two-duct non-split portable AC unit. They take outdoor air, heat it, blow it away using the second duct, and the heat from the indoor air is carried away there. Because they blow in and out the same amount of air, the outdoor air which is usually hotter than indoor air isn't going to be sucked into your room. A problem in these is that the noise is in the indoor unit so it's very noisy.

The absolute worst solution would be a single-duct non-split portable AC unit. The problem with these is that they have only a single duct where they blow heated indoor air out, so a similar amount of outdoor air is going to be sucked into your apartment. My experience is that once outdoor temperature reaches much over 10 degrees Celsius above indoor temperature, these single-duct portable units lose a lot of their effectiveness. A problem in these is that the noise is in the indoor unit so it's very noisy.

In any case, a modern freezer/refrigerator isn't going to create more than 200 watts of waste heat. Even a basic air conditioning unit is going to remove 2000 watts of waste heat. So a real air conditioner is going to not only fix your refrigerator/freezer heat problem, but also remove a lot of heat from other sources such as your computers, your lights, yourself, and just heat conducted from the hot outdoor environment through your walls.

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