3 Major Reasons Why You Shouldn't Microwave At The Top Of A Fridge

3 Major Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Microwave At The Top Of A Fridge

Refrigerators and microwaves are two of the most common and heavy-duty electrical appliances in our kitchen. Figures show that 90% of American Kitchens use both of these appliances. Most of us do not have a spacious kitchen with wide kitchen slabs. To accommodate all of our appliances, we tend to put a microwave on top of the fridge. But many people are also concerned due to the weight of the microwave and the ventilation issue of the fridge.

In this article, I will clear all your concerns and guide you on placing your microwave on top of a fridge.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t microwave at the top of a fridge:

  1. It does not allow the heat to escape properly
  2. It increases the stress on the compressor which causes a rise in electricity bills
  3. It can cause short-circuit by putting extra load on the wire

Now we will discuss these aspects in detail. I will also suggest to you the best places to put a microwave.

1. Improper Ventilation and Heat Dissipation

Both the refrigerator and microwave generate a lot of residual heat. By combining them in a small space, heat dissipation and ventilation become difficult which can damage both appliances.

The refrigerator contains a cooling system usually on the backside of the refrigerator. It takes out the residual heat of the fridge and spread It into the atmosphere. A cool environment and chill surrounding favor this heat dissipation and help to optimize its function.

By putting a microwave on top of the fridge will increase the residual heat, as the microwave also generates heat energy. It can cause dysfunction of both the appliances and damage them permanently.

 1. Increase in Electricity Bills

Overheated refrigerators cause an overload on the compressor and the high energy consumption is reflected by an increase in electricity bills.

Compressor functions to circulate the refrigerant in the entire body. This refrigerant then helps to cool down the ingredients present inside the fridge. The heat dissipation system is also related to this function. The more the heat dissipates, the more the inside cools down.

Improper ventilation after a while increases the overall temperature of the refrigerator which puts pressure on the compressor. Compressors consume more energy and as a result, a rise in electricity bills is observed which can ultimately damage the compressor and render it useless.

3. Circuit Overload

Plugging both microwave and refrigerator into the same socket can cause circuit overload, circuit breaker tripping, spark, or even fire.

Microwaves usually consume 500 to 1100 watts of electricity. The average consumption of a fridge is 1000-2000 Watt per day.

The normal sockets are not made for this heavy power surge. And these appliances should never be put on the same socket except if the socket is specifically designed for this purpose. But many consumers commit this mistake due to a lack of knowledge.

Best Places To Put Your Microwave

It’s best to not put your microwave on top of the fridge after reading through all those harmful reasons. Now let’s move to some common spaces where you can adjust your microwave other than the tops of fridges.

1.      Built-in microwave space in central shelf,

2.      Under-the-counter microwave space,

3.      Microwave specific  shelf,

4.      Microwave-Oven-Fridge side by side wall combination.

The main purpose to separate the microwave and fridge is for the proper ventilation of both the appliances. The above-mentioned ideas serve that purpose very effectively.

Why You Shouldn't Microwave At The Top Of A Fridge

I recommend creating a dedicated shelf and heavy-duty socket for the microwave. Microwave consumes a lot of energy and can cause the occasional tripping of your main switch or circuit breaker.

Many people face this situation. So it is best to have a separate switch for the microwave with its fuse or circuit breaker. It will save you from all unwanted accidents and your fridge will work perfectly.

I don’t have a dedicated space. What Should I do?

Well as I mentioned before that many of us do not have a luxury kitchen. We have to adjust all of our appliances in a small space. Many people still place their microwaves on the refrigerator. If you are one of those people then do not worry. Here are some pro tips that you can follow to minimize the risks,  optimizing the function of your appliances.

Purchase Light-weight Microwave

Light-weight and modern microwave ranges should be purchased. They have an efficient heat dissipation system and the weight factor is also minimized.

The standard weight of a microwave is between 25-25 lbs and can reach up to 100 lbs. But the weight limited to be placed above an average refrigerator is 10 lbs. and that too, for a limited amount of time.

Therefore I recommend purchasing a small microwave that satisfactorily serves your requirement. You can also weight spreaders to equally distribute the weight on the entire top of the refrigerators.

Uses Different Socket for Plugging

Using different sockets for every appliance minimizes the risk of short circuits and sparks. Unplugging the appliances when turned off is also recommended.

This has been described again and again that both microwaves and fridges are heavy-duty electrical appliances and use a ton of electricity. Common sockets and plugs are not sturdy enough to supply such high levels of electricity.

 An important thing I would like to add is unplugging the devices when their service is not required. Because switch-off appliances use a.littlrl amount of electricity and cause a rise in electricity bills.

Providing Ventilation

A quarter-inch of space is recommended on the side and a 1-inch gap on the back and the top is recommended for proper ventilation.

These suggestions will result in maximum output out of your appliances with unnoticeable damages.


Placing a microwave on top of the fridge should be avoided at every cost because it can damage both appliances. It also increases our electricity bills and many other potential risks are also attached with it.   

You should dedicate a shelf and power switch to a microwave. It will optimize the function of both the fridge and microwave. If your kitchen is not spacious, you follow some simple tips that will reduce the damage to your appliances.

I hope I was able to answer all your queries regarding why you should not microwave on top of the fridge and what are the best places to put your microwave. If you have any other questions, you are free to ask them in the comment box below.