Do Refrigerators Have Air Filters? (Where Are They Located?)

Image of a refrigerator with air filter

Any closed box that stores food will start to smell after a while. However, refrigerators are an exception. So, do refrigerators have air filters?

Yes, modern refrigerators have inbuilt air filters to filter the air circulating in them. These filters are small, flat units with several layers of fabric containing deodorizers like activated charcoal. They trap and neutralize odors, clean the inside air, and ensure a continuous clean air supply.

Let’s talk about this in more detail now.

What Is A Refrigerator Air Filter?

A refrigerator air filter is a filtration unit built to trap odors and germs inside a fridge compartment.

It’s either built-in or installed inside the compartment in such a way that all the air inside the refrigerator circulates through it.

Now, the main purpose of a refrigerator is to keep food fresh. It operates at a low temperature setting that helps to prolong the shelf life of food.

Nevertheless, food is a perishable commodity. It doesn’t keep forever. When you store it in a refrigerator, it will continue to deteriorate, but at a slower pace.

As food spoils, it starts to emit foul smells. Since a refrigerator is a closed unit and there is no place for the smell to go, it will spread in the compartment.

Apart from spoiling food, strong-smelling onions or spicy dishes will also emit odors that circulate in the closed compartment.

Air filters prevent these odors from taking over the refrigerator. They deodorize the smells and make the inside of a refrigerator smell fresh.

Apart from eliminating odors, air filters also prevent the proliferation of germs and microbes.

They also keep the fridge free of contaminants like dust and keep fresh air circulating throughout the compartment.

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Do All Refrigerators Have Air Filters?

Old refrigerators didn’t always have air filters. Refrigerator owners would often turn to deodorizing agents like baking soda or lemon to remove foul odors from these refrigerators.

The other option was to install an air filter separately in these refrigerators.

However, modern refrigerators are fitted with internal air filters.

The type of filter will depend on the make and model of the refrigerator.

Nevertheless, all filters are made of several layers of fabric to absorb dust, debris, and odor-causing particles.

They also have activated charcoal and other odor-neutralizing components to trap odor.

As the air passes through the filter, it traps the pollutants and particles and restores cleanliness and hygiene.

Are Refrigerator Air Filters Necessary?

If you have ever used an older refrigerator model without a filter, you will be familiar with the type of smells they emit.

The unpleasant odors from spoiling food or strong-smelling contents were only part of the problem. The bigger issue was that these smells would linger.

Despite removing the foul-smelling contents, the smell wouldn’t disappear.

You would have to deep-clean the refrigerator or use deodorizing agents like baking soda to control the odor.

Even so, it was not always effective, as baking soda and other deodorizing agents can only neutralize odors in a small area.

Many users would often resort to installing air filters in their older refrigerators to tackle this problem.

Now, modern refrigerators eliminate this concern since they come with inbuilt air filters.

Regardless of the capacity of the refrigerator, the presence of an air filter takes care of any such unpleasant odors.

They also stall the spread of germs and microbes in spoiling food stored in a refrigerator.

Considering the vast benefits air filters provide and how they help with food safety, we believe they are an indispensable part of a refrigerator design.

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Where Is The Refrigerator Air Filter Located?

Woman searching for air filter in a refrigerator

The location of the refrigerator air filter inside a fridge depends on the make and model of the appliance.

Most manufacturers place it inside a cylindrical or flat housing on the rear wall.

You should be able to remove this filter from its position easily. Some filters have a tab sticking out to make it easy to remove.

You can remove the filter unit for cleaning or replacement by depressing the tab. It will release the filter from the wall.

If you can’t find the filter, check the instruction manual of the device. It should list where the filter is located or represent the placement in a diagram.

Do You Need To Change The Air Filter In Your Refrigerator?

Air filters work continuously when a refrigerator is in operation.

This means that these devices are constantly trapping dust, odor particles, microbes, and other pollutants in the refrigerator chamber.

If you tend to open and close your refrigerator all the time, the filters will have more build-up from the air that you introduce into the compartment each time.

So the air filter in a heavily used refrigerator will wear out over time.

When the air filter in a refrigerator gets blocked, its efficiency reduces. The trapped gunk will make the filter filthy.

It will be unable to trap debris and smells as it ought to.

It will also become a breeding ground for germs and microbes that affect food safety and hygiene.

To keep your fridge clean and safe, it’s best to switch out the air filter when it no longer functions properly.

If you don’t replace the filter on time, you will compromise the food quality.

Filters will usually last six months or less, depending on the extent of use.

If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace the air filter, check on it every six months. Either switch it out or clean it, depending on the situation.

You may also have to change the filter if the water from the water dispenser begins to taste weird or ice from the freezer unit smells funny.

This happens when the lines get clogged up, and the filter doesn’t work as efficiently as it should. Replacing it will solve the problem.

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How To Replace The Filter Of A Refrigerator?

Cleaning the air filter of a refrigerator will improve your refrigerator’s efficiency. It will also ensure that the contents of the refrigerator remain safe.

The filter will usually have a release button or tab that sticks out. You can use it to remove the filter.

Press on the tab to dislodge the filter from its place, and it will fall out.

After removing the filter, you can dump all the contaminants from it. Soak it in a cleaning liquid to remove any remaining gunk.

Once the filter is clean, let it dry thoroughly. Then you can return it to the fridge and secure it back in place.

Even if you regularly clean the air filter, you may have to replace it after some time.

Modern fridges will usually have a filter monitor that indicates when it’s time to change the air filter.

The monitor light turns red when the filter is past its prime. Replace it at this stage.

When this happens, refer to the instruction manual to order a compatible filter unit to replace the existing filter.

Refer to the instruction manual or manufacturer’s website to install the new filter since the procedure may vary depending on the brand and model.