Fridge manufacturers often recommend that you move fridges in an upright position. You should only tilt them to get them from your kitchen to your removalist's van, at which point they should stand upright in the van.
The school of thought here is that lying a fridge down affects things like coolant flow. It may also affect more sensitive parts of the fridge like compressors that can be damaged by a lot of movement or vibrations.
Sometimes, however, you don't have any option but to move the fridge horizontally. If you aren't moving a lot of big furniture and you have hired a small van, then the van may not have enough room for the fridge to stand up, especially if you have a large fridge.
What's the best way to move a fridge on its side without damaging it?
Cover the Fridge
Use a moving blanket to cover the back of the fridge. This area may hold some of the fridge's core parts and accessories. Putting a cover over this area protects these parts from damage and movement.
Lie the Fridge on Its Side
You should never put a fridge on its back in a removalist's van. The pressure of lying in this position may damage parts on the back of the fridge. It also directly exposes the back of the fridge to vibrations from the van's floors when it's moving, which may also cause some damage.
If you have to store the fridge lying down, then put it on its side. It's safest to put it on the side without door hinges. If the fridge lies on the hinge side, pressure or movements may make the door swing open and get damaged.
Let the Fridge Settle Before You Turn It On
Once you move the fridge into your new home, stand it up and leave it for a while before turning it on. This helps refrigerants like coolant liquids settle back into their right places.
The fridge's manual may say how long to leave it after a move. If the manual doesn't have this information, take a rule of thumb approach. Leave the fridge turned off for as long as it has been out of an upright position.
Ask your removalists if they have come across this problem before when they move fridges. They'll be able to give you more advice on what to do and help you move your fridge safely.