November 13, 2023

Why fridges don't like the cold

Why is there an increase in refrigerator removal requests in the winter?

Around this time of year, G&S Clearance sees a huge uptick in the number of requests for fridge freezer removals in Brighton. It may seem counter intuitive that a fridge struggles to work in the cold weather and even more bizarre, it is likely to be your freezer that packs up first. So why do fridges account for such a large percentage of bulky waste collections in the winter? Surely, a fridge is designed to keep things cool and that’s it’s only job!


Why fridge freezers don’t like the cold

The simple fact is, like you, your fridge / freezer doesn’t like the cold and was designed to operate more efficiently at room temperature. There is a thermostat in every refrigerator but not inside the freezer. When the weather is cold, if the fridge is set at the same level as the ambient temperature, it will recognise that it doesn’t need to turn on. As there is no thermostat in the freezer, if the fridge section doesn’t click on, neither will the freezer. Whereas, if you turn the temperature lower in the fridge, the contents will start to freeze.


Should you keep your fridge in the garage or house?

One way to get the longest and most efficient use out of your fridge freezer is to keep it in the house at room temperature, not in the garage where it is colder. The issues relate to the thermostat mentioned earlier, as this can affect the temperature in the fridge and food thawing in a freezer. If the food in the refrigerator gets frozen it can be ruined. Similarly, you can be in danger of food poisoning without even realizing, if frozen foods have started to thaw and are then refrozen.


Another potential hazard is the seemingly innocuous can of fizzy drink. If stored in the fridge when the temperature is turned up, they could explode. This is because this type of liquid freezes quickly at a higher temperature.

Why old fridge freezers need to be retired and recycled

According to a BBC report, over 90% of emissions happen at the end of your fridge’s life. There is no way to sugar coat it…an old fridge (e.g.1990s) will be much less efficient and will use more power compared to a newer model. It can also be dangerous. Older fridges are packed with chemicals, mercury, oils and refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are harmful to the population and environment if allowed to leak into the ground and water supply.  


Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC)

Since the 1987 Montreal Protocal signed by 200countries, CFCs are no longer produced, instead they have been replaced with hydrofluorocarbons(HCFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Unfortunately, HFCs are highly potent greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of at least 1000 times higher than carbon dioxide.


Safe refrigerator removal

Refrigerators are classified as WEEE waste, (waste, electrical and electronic equipment) which means that there are strict guidelines outlining the correct removal, disposal and recycling process. Most suppliers will take your old fridge when delivering a new model.


If this isn’t the case, it is crucial to call an approved contractor, such as G&S Clearance, an established waste management specialist operating in Brighton. The refrigerator will be taken to a local recycling plant where they will be checked if they can be used again. If not, they will be dismantled by trained professionals to ensure the dangerous elements are removed, contained and recycled securely. Also, any other recyclable parts, such as the motor, plastic, metal and glass, are separated ready to be reused.


If your fridge is on its last legs and you need to get rid before Christmas, including commercial and industrial refrigerators, get in touch with G&S Clearance for a refrigerator removal quote by emailing Alternatively, if you would like to know more about our full range of waste management services in Brighton and Hove, visit the website

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