What Does It Mean When A Microwave Gets Hot On The Outside?

The first time I noticed the outside of my microwave was hot, I wondered if it was normal because I hadn’t observed that.

At one time, I said something must be wrong with it, and another minute I said it’s normal since the microwave uses heat. Hence, it’s also okay to feel the heat on the outside.

I’m pretty sure you’re facing the same or similar issue. Let’s find out the signal microwaves tend to give for getting hot on the outside.

The microwave is defective when it gets hot on the outside, as it’s one of the signs of a faulty microwave.

The microwave indeed uses a lot of heat energy, but let’s know that this heat energy is supposed to be directed to the food or the substance in it and not to the outer part of the microwave.

You must differentiate between the outside of the microwave being warm and being hot.

And by so doing, you will be able to know the step to take to put things in order. And one way to know if your microwave is hot or warm is your ability to touch it.

We describe an object as hot when it attains a much higher temperature than usual, while with warmness, there’s also a temperature increase, but very slight.

So feeling the heat on the outside of the microwave but being able to touch it without hurting the palm is warm.

Whiles in the instance where you’re unable to touch the outside of the microwave because your palm hurts from the heat is what we term hotness.

Is the Microwave Supposed to Get Warm or Hot Outside?

What Does It Mean When A Microwave Gets Hot On The Outside?

It is normal to have a warm feeling on the outside of a microwave, but not normal to have a hot feeling on the outside of your microwave.

The microwave uses heat in its operations, and that should make it normal to have a little feel of that heat.

But too much of the heat is what we describe as bad. Several microwave functionalities cause the microwave’s outside to be warm.

The heat generated from the food being cooked hits the outside of the microwave.

As your food is been microwaved, the heat produced by the power transformer is felt on the outer part of the microwave.

The study of Physics makes it clear that there’s heat energy produced anytime light is produced.

Also, heat is produced anytime you try heating food or anything with less moisture or water.

Much accumulation of this heat on the inside of the microwave is also transferred to the outside part of the microwave.

We can also talk about extended usage of the microwave, which accumulates heat energy transferred outside the microwave.

And scientifically, there’s heat produced from the vibration of water molecules in the food being microwaved, which is the doing of waves of electromagnetic radiation.

All these contribute to the warmth on the outside of microwaves.

What Could Cause the Microwave to Get Hot on the Outside?

I’m sure you’ve learned that it’s okay for the outside of a microwave to get warm and not good to get hot.

And for the outside of a microwave to get hot, it doesn’t depend on just a single factor.

And one other thing we got to know is when the outside of your microwave gets hot, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone that bad. There are some basic checks to do before drawing such conclusions.

You need to check if the microwave happens to be close to another appliance because the hotness of the outside of the microwave could be a result of the heat being produced by the other appliance.

It doesn’t necessarily mean appliances only, but anything that produces heat.

In the instance where the air vents are blocked by something being stuck in the vent holes.

This tends to prevent the heat that’s supposed to leave the inside peacefully from accumulating.

The accumulated in the quest to find their way out gets to be transferred towards the outside of the microwave, causing the hotness felt on the outside.

The blockage of the air vent could also be a result of the air vent being too close to an object or anything resisting the free flow of the heat from the inside of the microwave.

After all these checks have been made, that is, after you’ve made sure there’s no appliance close to the microwave and that there’s no blockage on the side of the air vent, but it’s hot on the outside, that’s when we can conclude, that the microwave is faulty and needs to be attended to as soon as possible.

In that case, the microwave has to be repaired or replaced.

What Happens if My Microwave Overheats?

There’s a chance of overheating with a microwave. This mostly happens when there’s less ventilation, which causes the heat produced to accumulate in the microwave for a very long time.

The ventilation of a microwave is there to regulate the device’s temperature. Also, there’s overheating when there’s less moisture or water in the food, or the substance has been microwaved.

The operations of the microwave focus on getting moisture from food substances. And when there’s no moisture left, it tends to cause overheating. When overheating happens, the microwave shuts down by itself.

Microwaves and many other appliances have an inbuilt overheat sensor that triggers a shutdown anytime there’s overhead. This normally happens when there’s fan failure or blocked air vents.

To reduce the chances of overheating your microwave, you should ensure enough ventilation when it’s in use.

And in doing that, make sure not to overload the microwave, but rather leave some spaces on the sides of the food or substance you’re to microwave.

How Do I Stop My Microwave from Overheating?

You need to check if the microwave has an overheating problem and fix it. Otherwise, you will experience this overheating from time to time unless the issue is fixed.

An overheating problem of a microwave may include fan failure. When that happens, the heat produced by the power transformer can’t be regulated.

And this can result in overheating. Regarding ventilation, you should always leave some spaces on the sides and at the top space of the oven.

It is advisable to check the air vents of your microwave from time to time for blockages.


There’s a problem with a microwave getting hot outside, making it difficult even to touch it.

It’s okay if the outside of your microwave is warm. It is a great sign or signal that needs attention, as it is a means of alerting the user of its ill condition.

When that happens, you need to get an expert to look at it for you, as normally, it’s an issue of fan failure. And it the fan replaced for smooth usage.

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