Can I Turn Off My Fridge When It’s Not In Use?

It’s pretty normal to feel worried the night before you leave for a trip. You start worrying about what loose ends you’ve forgotten to tie moments before you leave. Should you disconnect your refrigerator? What will happen if you do? Let’s have a look at some of the possibilities.

If you will not use your fridge for a few weeks and not longer than a month, you’re better off leaving it turned on. If you leave everything as is and turn off the fridge, you may get a strong unpleasant odor as well as mold growing on the inside as microorganisms thrive in moist warm environments.

Most appliances can usually be unplugged easily, but the refrigerator is more difficult to unplug. Leaving it on may raise your electricity bill but unplugging it could also lead to more undesirable effects. If you are gone for more than a month, then you can thoroughly clean your fridge and let it dry before leaving. It’s advisable to leave the door open to allow air circulation.

What To Consider Before Turning Off The Switch

Electricity Consumption

The major reason for considering unplugging the refrigerator is to save money on electricity. However, it doesn’t cost much to keep a modern refrigerator functioning. The typical cost of running a refrigerator is between 25 and 30 units per month. 

It’s now up to you to decide whether the inconvenience of unplugging, emptying, cleaning, and drying the refrigerator is worth the energy savings.

Duration of Vacation

The length of your vacation is arguably the most significant element to consider. It is not worth the hassle of unplugging the refrigerator if you’ll be going on a trip for a week. 

However, if you’ll be gone for a month or longer, then you could consider unplugging your refrigerator. Dispose of anything you’re not sure will be safe to eat when you get back.

Power Cut

A power cut is something over which you have no control. If you leave your fridge plugged and there is a protracted power outage, it could end up getting damp for a long time, which is exactly what you want to prevent.

Mold Growth

The longer you leave your refrigerator unplugged, the more likely mold may form. The conventional advice is to turn your fridge off and leave the door open to allow air circulation and prevent mold growth. If it stays damp, then you’ll be sure to find mold when you get back.

Safety Concerns

Every year, home appliances cause a significant number of house fires. Check to see if your refrigerator’s electrical cord is damaged, defective, or obsolete. If necessary, use heavy-duty extension cords. 

If you must leave your house with a running refrigerator, make sure it is not a fire hazard. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you unplug your refrigerator before departing on vacation.

Empty the Fridge

Make sure the refrigerator is empty and that all food and beverages have been removed. After that, you must clean it, wipe it down, and dry it. Clean the seals with special care, and do it in time to allow ice to melt and drain away.

Vacation Mode

Double-check your refrigerator’s specifications. Some sophisticated refrigerators have a vacation mode that you may turn on manually or that is activated automatically if the fridge is not opened for a certain period of time.


You could also unplug your refrigerator for the benefit of the earth. Every day, the world we live in becomes more toxic. It would be helpful if you made a small contribution to nature.

When can you unplug your refrigerator?

If you are gone for more than a month, you’d best unplug your refrigerator. However, before you unplug it, raise the temperature of your refrigerator, then follow the steps below.

To begin, completely empty your refrigerator. Remove everything from the fridge and wait until the temperature equals the room temperature. Then thoroughly clean the interior so that all the odor and moisture are completely gone.

If your refrigerator baskets are removable, take them out and clean them with baking soda, lemon, toothpaste, or vinegar. If your refrigerator comprises an ice maker or water dispenser, turn off the water supply before unplugging it.

After cleaning, ensure that every part of the interior is dry. You can use a dry cloth or paper towels to dry it. The presence of moisture in the fridge can cause a foul odor. 

Moisture absorbers such as ground coffee powder, baking soda, damp-free moisture absorber, silica gel sachets, and charcoal briquettes can come in handy. Leave your fridge’s doors slightly ajar to allow for free air circulation.

You can place a towel between the fridge and its doors to keep it open or simply pull the drawers slightly out of the fridge to prevent the door from closing. If you face the risk of rats, you should take precautions so that they do not enter your refrigerator and spoil it.

When you return from your vacation, simply take out the absorber, plug in the refrigerator, and turn it on. Reduce the temperature of your refrigerator as soon as you turn it on. This approach will save you money by conserving electricity and preventing damage to your refrigerator.

When Should you leave your fridge on?

If you’ll be gone for less than four weeks, it’s best to leave your refrigerator turned on. The more food in the fridge, the more electricity is going to be consumed. As a result, it is preferable to remove the items from the refrigerator and replace them with two or three bottles of water in the refrigerator.

The old refrigerators, which used direct cool technology, are very different from today’s sophisticated inverter refrigerators. Direct-cool refrigerators use more electricity than refrigerators using inverter technology.

Modern inverter technology refrigerators use less than 300 units of electricity per year, thus turning off your fridge for short periods of time, such as 2-4 weeks, may not save you a significant amount of money. If your refrigerator is an older model that uses more electricity due to direct cooling, disconnect it and follow the steps to take when you unplug your fridge.

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