A refrigerator (colloquially fridge) is a common household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump (mechanical, electronic, or chemical) that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room. Cooling is a popular food storage technique in developed countries. Lower temperatures in a confined volume lowers the reproduction rate of bacteria, so the refrigerator reduces the rate of spoilage.

A refrigerator maintains a temperature a few degrees above the freezing point of water. Optimum temperature range for perishable food storage is 3 to 5 °C (37 to 41 °F). A similar device that maintains a temperature below the freezing point of water is called a freezer. The refrigerator is a relatively modern invention. It replaced the icebox, which was a common household appliance for almost a century and a half prior. For this reason, a refrigerator is sometimes referred to as an icebox.

Read more about RefrigeratorFreezer, Commercial and Domestic Refrigerators, Styles of Refrigerators, History, General Technical Explanation, Features, Types of Domestic Refrigerators, Energy Efficiency, Effect On Lifestyle, Temperature Zones and Ratings

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