Refrigerator Compressor
The compressor is often found near the bottom at the rear of the refrigerator.

According to the laws of thermodynamics, heat naturally travels from a warmer location to a colder location. To get heat to move in the direction that the refrigerator needs, it needs a little help. That’s where your refrigerator’s compressor comes in!

Most refrigerators use a heat pump or gas compressor in their refrigeration cycles. To help reduce the amount of work needed to move the gas along the cycle, refrigerators use refrigerants that turn from liquid to gas at very low temperatures.

By the time the gas enters the compressor from the inside of the refrigerator, it’s gathered up all its heat. The compressor applies pressure to the refrigerant gas, and since the gas wants to expand to its normal state, it begins to boil. The pressure heats the gas and also propels it through a condenser (or condensing coils) along the back of the refrigerator. It’s from these coils that the gathered heat will be released out the back of the fridge.

Another law of thermodynamics explains that cooler substances that will resist entering a warmer area. Since the condensing coils tend to get quite warm through the refrigeration cycle, the pressure created by the compressor is needed to give the gas that extra push down the line.

After the heat is released, the refrigerant gas cools back down and is ready for the evaporator!