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Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/distance from fridge to heating duct

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Question
QUESTION: Hi Fred,
Is there a required distance between a heating duct outlet and the fridge? We have limited space in our kitchen, but don't want to effect the efficiency of the fridge by having the heating duct outlet next to it in the wall.
Thanks,
Angela

ANSWER: Angela:

No.

Washington State climate varies considerably, and you didn't indicate whether the ducts are below the Kitchen floor or above the Kitchen ceiling (or whether this is new or existing construction, that you're considering a wall outlet leads me to assume new).

Ducts below floor: If you don't use AC much, provide a toe space outlet under a base cabinet (keep in mind these do nothing but provide discomfort when used for AC); if you do use AC, provide a high sidewall outlet above the refrigerator. Alternatively, provide a floor diffuser; size it to project the air 6 feet if you use AC.

Ducts above ceiling: Provide a ceiling register sized to project the air to the floor.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Fred

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the fast response!!
We are in Western Washington on the coast. It's a remodel. We don't have AC. It's a floor duct. With it being next to the fridge (about 1 foot to the side in the wall), would it effect the efficiency of the fridge?

Answer
As you've read, I don't do appliances. However, exhaustive study of my refrigerator indicates it takes in air at the right front at floor level, and discharges (heated) air from the left front at floor level.

In any event I'd prefer a toe space (if the remodel includes new cabinets and they haven't been installed yet) or a floor diffuser remote from the refrigerator, near a base cabinet if that's all the space there is; I've even seen them beside base cabinets in walkways.

You're in a mild heating climate, and you apparently have a small Kitchen which by definition generates its own heat when in use, so the floor diffuser won't have to be too big (2-1/4x10 or 12 should do nicely), assuming the heat source is properly sized.

Fred

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Fred Weldin

Expertise

I can't help you if your whatsis won't work, people (Especially if it's a refrigerator); I have no experience with appliances, and I haven't been involved with H&AC service and repair since March 08, 1996 (Thank the Lord); I always send a "standard" reply to appliance questions and H&AC "Service and Repair" questions (about 20 a month), so if you want to know why your whatsis isn't working like it used to, ask someone else. A lot of my answers arenít read by the questioners; in that event, I always send reminders to read the answers for a month or more (the word "idiots" comes to mind - actually there's another more appropriate word, but discretion prevents its use here). If you have questions about how big a unit you need, if one room's warmer than the others, if you want an opinion oas to scope of work on bids received, etc. just ask. Do visit www.askweldin.com, there's a lot of good information on sizing, ductwork, efficiency, as well as some techniques accomplished DIY-ers can use to troubleshoot and improve their H&AC. Finally, I want to thank all of the kind, serious people whom I meet here: I enjoy working with you. My wife says I'm "snarky" from time to time; as for you others, please use your imagination as to the responses swirling on the snarky side of my brain when I read your questions.

Experience

53 years in the business. See www.askweldin.com

Organizations
ASHRAE, ICC.

Education/Credentials
B of ME U of D 1965, numerous classes, seminars and a lot of "Hands On" learning since.

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