When setting up your kitchen, it’s only natural that you’d want your kitchen to be set up in the safest, most convenient, and aesthetically pleasing manner. Given that a fridge is used to store cold products, and an oven generally emits heat, you’re likely to be concerned about how these two appliances interact in close proximity to one another.
Having a fridge close to an oven can be quite dangerous, particularly if the oven has a gas stove.
A fridge should be at least 20 inches away from an oven with a gas stove. However, if you have an oven with an electric stove or cooking surface, there should be a minimum distance of 2 inches between the fridge and the oven.
While these are general guidelines, not all kitchens have sufficient space to create a large distance between the fridge and oven. There are various significant factors to take into consideration when determining how close a fridge can be to an oven.
Things to consider when placing your fridge and oven in your kitchen
Here are some things to keep in mind when determining how close to one another you should place your fridge and oven.
When your fridge and oven were manufactured
Having an oven right next to a fridge can cause the fridge to heat up, making the fridge work harder to stay cool. This can consume more energy and potentially shorten the fridge’s lifespan.
If you have a relatively modern fridge and oven, the distance between the two should not be a major concern as your fridge is likely to have been built with the capacity to keep itself cool regardless of heat emitting from the oven.
However, older fridge models are likely to struggle to keep up with the heat the oven produces, making it best to keep the two appliances as far apart as possible.
Doors of the fridge and oven
Kitchens can often be a cramped space, especially when there’s more than one person busy in the kitchen.
It can be awfully frustrating and highly stressful if you’re trying to get your hot meal out of the oven while someone has opened the fridge door, blocking you from being able to remove your food safely.
For this reason, you would ideally like to be able to have your fridge door open without it interfering with the oven door and be able to open your oven door without interfering with the fridge door.
The last thing you want is not to be able to open your fridge door properly or burn yourself while taking things out of the oven.
In this regard, if you foresee multiple occasions where the fridge and oven might need to be open at the same time in your household, try to position the two appliances far away from one another for convenience sake.
Cooking with the fridge next to the oven
If you have a stove on top of your oven, you may find that there is no room for your panhandles to extend in the direction of the fridge. This can be quite inconvenient and making cooking a bit of a mission.
Ideally, you would like to have space to cook in the oven and on the stove without the fridge interfering.
Counter space next to the appliances
Generally, after opening the fridge or oven, you will likely retrieve something and place it on the countertop.
For this reason, it is quite convenient to have some space for a counter between the fridge and oven so that whatever you retrieve from the fridge or oven can easily be placed on the counter.
Cooking on a stove can get quite messy, with food boiling over and splashing being a regular occurrence.
Due to the fact that fridges run vertically, any mess that lands on the fridge will either splatter on the fridge or go trickling down to the floor.
If your oven has a stovetop, for cleaning purposes, it would be slightly easier to wipe a counter next to a stove after cooking than it would be to have to wipe down the side of the fridge and the floor too.
On the topic of cleaning, you’ll also have to consider placing your fridge and oven in places that make it easy for you to clean your appliances.
If you have your fridge and stove tucked into a corner side by side, it won’t be easy to access the entire appliance to clean it adequately.
Ideally, you would like to be able to clean the front, left, and right sides of the fridge and oven without having to separate the appliances each time you clean.
Your oven and stove are likely to generate excessive amounts of heat. Consider placing your oven near a window or door if possible so that fresh air can circulate through the kitchen when you cook.
Ventilation especially important if you do not have an extractor fan above the stove.
Additionally, it is important to note that some freestanding fridges require space around them in order to function properly.
There must be a steady temperature around the perimeters of your fridge as this will ensure that your fridge is well ventilated and able to function properly.
Leave some space between the wall and the fridge, ensuring that the fridge is not pushed up against the wall so that air can circulate freely and disperse heat from the condenser.
Avoid placing your fridge in direct sunlight as the heat from the sun will also cause the fridge to heat up, resulting in the fridge having to expend more energy in order to stay cool.
Try to place your fridge in a shaded area of the kitchen that does not receive direct sunlight to ensure your fridge won’t have to expend more energy than necessary.
Tips for your kitchen layout
Insulation between fridge and oven
If you are left with no choice, but to place a fridge and an oven side by side, insulate the area between the appliances with a sheet of foam insulation.
Insulating the area will minimize the transfer of heat, ensuring that your fridge does not have to use too much energy to keep cool and extend your fridge’s lifespan.
Increase the airflow in the kitchen
If you have to place your fridge and oven side by side or are just concerned about the oven’s general heat impacting your fridge, you can use a fan to help air circulate while cooking or consider having an air conditioner installed into the kitchen.
Additionally, keeping your windows and doors open while cooking can help increase the airflow in the kitchen.
Be mindful of the “work triangle”
According to the work triangle kitchen design, in order to create an ideal workflow, your kitchen should have a sink on one wall, the oven and stove on the second wall, and the fridge on the third wall.
If your kitchen is rather small or you have an open floor plan kitchen, you should place the sink and the fridge on one wall, and the stove and oven on the other wall.
The more counter space between each appliance, the easier it will be to move items in and out of the fridge and oven.
Feng Shui kitchen
If you follow the traditional Chinese practice of Feng Shui, you should not place your fridge next to your oven.
This is because your oven represents metal and your stove represents fire, and if these elements face one another, this will lead to a clash causing a bad flow of energy.
In this regard, the work triangle is in line with Feng Shui principles, provided the fridge is not opposite the stove or sink.
The amount of space your kitchen has to offer will generally determine where you place your fridge and oven.
While it is best to keep some distance between your fridge and oven, if this is not possible, insulating the area between the two appliances with a sheet of foam insulation will do the trick.