How to Correctly Position a Medical Fridge

How to correctly position a medical fridge graphic by CoolMed

Medical fridges are an essential part of most healthcare facilities as they are used to store vital vaccines, drugs, and other temperature-sensitive medical supplies.

Proper positioning of medical fridges is critical to ensuring that fridge contents are kept at the right temperature (+2oC and +8oC), remain effective, and don’t become spoiled.

Proper medical fridge positioning also ensures that fridges aren’t put under any unnecessary stress that could shorten their working life and compromise the effectiveness of the medications stored inside.

Positioning a Medical Fridge

Here are 5 steps to follow to ensure your medical fridge is positioned correctly:

1. Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

It is essential that medical fridges are placed away from direct sunlight. If your medical fridge is continually exposed to excessive sunlight, its effectiveness will deteriorate, and its lifespan will dwindle.

Sunlight will cause the outer casing of your refrigerator to warm and overheat. In turn, this will cause the temperature of the fridge’s internal chamber to rise, and your fridge will have to work in overdrive to regulate its internal temperature.

Medication, vaccines, and other healthcare products that require refrigeration must be kept within very strict temperature conditions (+2oC to +8oC – known as the cold chain) in order to remain safe for administration.

Any fluctuation in their storage conditions due to medical fridge positioning and/or exposure to sunlight can cause them to become ineffective – not only can this be unsafe for patients, but it can be costly for medical practices too.

To prevent this from happening, position your medical fridge in a cool corner of the room where exposure to daylight is kept to a minimum.

2. Keep Away from Direct Heat Sources

For similar reasons, it’s also important to keep your medical fridge away from all other direct sources of heat such as radiators and heat pumps.

Exposure to a constant heat source will have the same effect as placing your fridge in direct sunlight – its effectiveness will depreciate, and its lifespan will diminish.

The extra work your fridge will need to carry out to regulate its internal temperature will also make your fridge less energy efficient and increase your electricity bills.

3. Position on a Level Surface

Before installing a new medical fridge, ensure the ground it is being positioned on is a flat, level surface with plenty of air circulation.

If your medical fridge is not sat on a level surface, there is a risk that its doors will not close properly. This could cause temperature fluctuations within your fridge and inaccurate temperature readings.

Unlevel medical fridges also suffer from poor air circulation around their internal chamber. Poor distribution of cool air inside a medical fridge can lead to certain areas becoming too hot, while other areas within the fridge become too cold causing vaccines and medication to freeze and become spoiled.

4. Keep the Area Well Ventilated

Ensure there is at least 10cm of open space around the sides, the back, and the top of your medical fridge for ventilation purposes.

Without this free space, your medical fridge will be unable to release heat from its compressor, causing your fridge to overheat and work harder than necessary to keep your medicines and vaccines stored safely.

5. Leave New Medical Fridges to Stand For 24 Hours

When you take delivery of a new medical fridge, or if you move your current medical fridge to a new location, it is essential to leave it to stand and settle for 24 hours before switching it on.

When moving a fridge, the compressor oil can leak into the refrigeration system, causing a blockage if the appliance is turned on too quickly. The oil in a refrigerator works to ensure refrigerator parts do not break down or deteriorate due to constant use. By leaving your fridge to settle for 24 hours, you can ensure the compressor oil returns to its original position, preventing refrigerator damage.

By not leaving fridges to settle, you risk causing an oil blockage and can invalidate your warranty too.

Contact CoolMed

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team regarding our extensive range of medical fridges or would like to discuss the positioning of your medical fridge in more detail, please call us on 0161 772 5666, or email us at Our team will be happy to help!