What Can Cause Too Much Moisture on the Interior of a Refrigerator?

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Moisture buildup in a refrigerator can have many causes.
Image Credit: YinYang/E+/GettyImages

Having a little bit of moisture on the interior of a refrigerator is completely normal, depending on levels of humidity. However, if you notice a moisture buildup in a particular location of the refrigerator or if there are signs of excess moisture, these may be indications of a larger problem. Understanding the causes of humidity in refrigerators will not only save your refrigerator, but in some cases, your produce.

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High humidity in refrigerators causes moisture to build up inside the appliance because of frequent door openings, naturally humid locations, blocked air vents, inefficient gasket seals, and wet fresh fruits and vegetables.

Frequency of Opening Door

Opening the refrigerator door too frequently can cause moisture to build up on the interior walls as well as along the shelves and side door compartments. Each time the door opens, humidity from the surrounding air is granted access into the refrigerator. It is this humidity that is often one of the causes for the increase in moisture within the refrigerator. The more frequently the doors are opened, the more moisture is allowed to build up and at a faster rate.

High Humidity in Refrigerators

The external environment also plays a role in the buildup of moisture in refrigerators. Several factors may affect the degree of humidity, such as location, season and how well air-conditioned the home is. It is completely normal for there to be some condensation in refrigerators for people who reside in a more tropical location with naturally higher humidity, during specific months of high humidity, or if there is no air conditioning unit within the home to mitigate the level of humidity.

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Blocked Air Vents

Connecting the freezer and refrigerator compartments are air vents that allow air to circulate. They also help control the temperature and prevent the buildup of moisture in refrigerators. Blocking the air vents will inhibit them from working properly.

For instance, if large food items are placed in front of the air vents, this may cause a blockage in which the air flow is not able to function as it should. Removing items directly in front of the air vent to increase air flow function should correct the problem.

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Inefficient Gasket Seal

When condensation in refrigerators is primarily located on the ceiling or along the edges of the refrigerator door, this may be an indication that the gasket seal is at fault. The gasket seal prevents external air from entering the refrigerator while the door is closed. If the seal is weak or if there is a gap or tear, air can leak into the refrigerator causing a moisture buildup along the door and ceiling.

Crisper Bin Issues

If the crisper bins in the refrigerator are showing signs of having a moisture problem, the cause may be placing produce in the bins without allowing them sufficient time to dry. Not only will placing wet fruit or vegetables in the crisper bin cause a buildup of excess moisture, but that excess moisture will also cause the produce to prematurely spoil.

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Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee began writing in 2000 with concentration on food, travel, fashion and real estate. She has written for Amnesty International and maintains three blogs. Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.B.A. from Concordia University.