What Is a Refrigerator Compressor?

By falyn_eaden Last Updated On 07/18/2016

commercial refrigerator compressor

The refrigerator compressor is one of the four main components that makes the refrigerator work. The compressor’s job is to compress and control the flow of refrigerant. The compressor receives low pressure gas from the evaporator and converts it into high pressure gas. As the gas is compressed and the pressure increases, the temperature increases. Which commercial refrigerator do I need? 

top-mounted vs bottom-mounted compressors on commercial refrigerator

Refrigerators can have compressors mounted onto the top or the bottom. Top-mounted compressors are best for dry storage areas where the floor can become dusty and covered in spilled ingredients. Bottom-mounted compressors are best for hot areas and line cook applications. More benefits of both options are below. Which Refrigerator Door Should I Use? 

Top Mounted Compressor

top-mounted compressor inside commercial refrigerator


  • Don't need to be cleaned often because it does not accumulate dirt and dust from being on the floor.
  • Energy efficient
  • Ideal for cooler environments.
  • More top storage.
  • Refrigerants doesn’t have to run through the back since all of the components are in the same place.
  • These compressors tend to last longer and require fewer service calls.


  • Harder to get to for maintenance which can increase repair cost.
  • Hot air released can be hazardous for low ceilings.
  • The initial cost is higher.

Bottom-Mounted Compressor

glass door commercial refrigerator


  • Higher bottom shelves.
  • Since the compressor is easier to access it makes maintenance easier to manage, service and clean.
  • Ideal for warmer environments.
  • Low initial cost.


  • Compressor are likely to get dirtier more frequently.
  • Since the lines of refrigerant run from the bottom to the top from the back, it eliminates some of the refrigerated storage space.


Bottom mounted and Top-mounted compressors offer great benefits for any commercial kitchen application. Be sure to pick the one that best fits your needs to maximize the benefits at HomElectrical.

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glass door commercial refrigerator

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