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How Does a Refrigerator Work?

Modern refrigerators use a refrigerant gas, which of course converts to a liquid when it is cooled down. Your refrigerator has a motor and a compressor, and these components are used to compress the gas. This causes the gas to increase in pressure, as well as in temperature. The compressed gas is cycled through the coils which are found on the back or the bottom of your refrigerator, and the heat in the gas transfers to the air in the room. This allows the gas to chill and change back into a liquid.

When the liquid is squeezed through an expansion valve, which is a very, very small hole which it must pass through, it reaches a low-pressure area. Here it changes back into a gas, vaporizing in the chamber. Now the refrigerant goes through the coils of the freezer and then the refrigerator, and because it is cold it draws heat from the objects inside. The coils in the freezer are more compact than those in the refrigerator, allowing more heat to be drawn out. After the cycle is completed, the refrigerant is sent back to the compressor, where the refrigeration process is repeated.

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