For those living in tight quarters, using a compact fridge is a must, and sometimes the only place to plug it in is on a carpeted floor. College students and studio renters can safely use compact refrigerators on carpet if they follow a few basic rules and periodically perform a maintenance and safety check.
Keep It Closed
One of the problems with compact refrigerators is the door can be left ajar if it drags along carpet. To ensure the door stays closed, elevate the fridge on top of a few pieces of wood or even some books. Make sure to give the door plenty of space to swing open and close.
Keep Your Coil Cool
Compact refrigerators use a rear cooling coil to absorb heat. Most coils are located on the back of fridge, although a few position cooling coils at the bottom of the unit. While a bottom coil won't likely start a fire, it could singe any carpet it sits on, so look for units with rear cooling coils.
Seal The Deal
Examine the seal on the door for any holes of leaks. This can cause condensation build-up that can leak onto you carpet and lead to mildew. With the door closed, run your hand along the edge of the refrigerator and look for escaping air. If you find two or more leaks, it might be time for a new unit.
Don't Forget to Defrost
Clean and defrost your compact refrigerator every six months. Unplug the fridge, tilt it forward with the door open and place it outside where ice buildups can safely melt into a drain. Failing to regularly defrost can cause a compact refrigerator to fail and leak residue ice.
Use a Small Rug
Leaky refrigerators aren't usually the problem when it comes to carpet messes. Spills from opening drinks, dropping containers or the occasional errant egg can stain your carpet without any fault of your fridge. Placing a small rug under your fridge can make cleanup easy without the long-term damage.
Dave Brooks is a Southern California freelance writer and interactive journalist. He spent several years as a staff writer for the "LA Times Company," before shifting into magazine writing. He has written for "The OC Register," "Las Vegas Weekly" and "944." Brooks is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.