Having a refrigerator and freezer in your garage help save a lot of space. For example, it is convenient to keep ice cold drinks in the garage refrigerator freeing up storage in your kitchen refrigerator for other items. It would be best if you had the best garage-ready freezer and refrigerator on the market to do so. What does a garage-ready freezer mean? Read on to understand what a garage-ready freezer is and tips on dealing with a refrigerator in your garage.
What Does a Garage-Ready Freezer Mean?
A garage-ready freezer is a regular freezer equipped with a heater that usually tricks the thermostat into activating the compressor, allowing the freezer to keep your frozen items frozen. If the temperature in your garage falls below freezing point on the thermostat, the freezer will continue to operate rather than shut down. The freezer can withstand hot or cold temperatures outside while maintaining an optimal temperature inside. You can keep your freezer in a cold or hot garage without worrying about temperature fluctuations ranging from 0°F to 110°F.
What Are the Tips for a Garage Ready Freezer or Refrigerator?
1. Learn the fundamentals
Before investing in a garage refrigerator, we recommend learning how a fridge works. Without details, modern refrigerators usually work by comparing the freezer temperature to the external environment, reducing the temperature as needed, and sending extra cold air from the freezer region to the fridge area. A refrigerator or freezer will struggle in a garage that lacks heating or cooling. Besides, excessive heat may cause a garage refrigerator or freezer to work harder to keep cool, causing it to wear out; thus, your power bill will be high.
Furthermore, freezing temperatures will mislead your freezer, making it believe that it has already attained the correct level of refrigeration. So, as long as the outside temperature is below freezing, your freezer will remain inactive, allowing its contents to defrost. Once you understand these limitations, you can decide whether a refrigerator is appropriate for your garage.
2. Have refrigerator heaters
If the temperature in your garage falls below freezing, the thermostat inside the garage refrigerator’s freezer might believe it is cold enough and shut off. We recommend heating the air surrounding the thermostat by mounting a heating coil around the refrigerator’s thermostat to solve this issue. Most manufacturers make heating coils for use in refrigerators and freezers. Alternatively, you may get a generic heater.
Another solution is to place a metal clamp-on work light near the refrigerator. Then, insert an incandescent light bulb into the lamp and direct it towards the thermostat.
Note: The actual position of the thermostat varies per model. However, a small amount of testing should be enough to spot it.
3. Construct a conditioned enclosed space
The best way to maintain your garage refrigerator functioning at optimal efficiency is to control the temperature of the garage air, heating or cooling it as required. Since this may need retrofitting the garage with insulation and ventilation, the cost is likely to mount fast. It’s generally preferable to condition a small space within the garage by building an enclosed space around the fridge. This usually allows you to control the temperature and humidity around the refrigerator.
A climate-controlled area also allows you to store other temperature-sensitive products, such as paint, without fear of their freezing or overheating. However, if making a heated room to keep your beverages cool sounds like overkill, keep reading for other awesome tips.
4. Consider the climate of your area.
If you spend a lot of your time in conditioned air, you might not know your local environment. Unless you’re willing to spend a significant amount of time and money repairing your fridge, take a look at your area’s general climate, and your garage in particular, since the potential problems with your garage refrigerator differ depending on where you live.
A garage refrigerator in Arizona may struggle in the heat without much humidity, but one in Louisiana may suffer from corrosion on its coils. Therefore, identifying the exact risks that your refrigerator will encounter can help you guarantee that it will last longer and perform more effectively.
5. Get rid of garage debris and clutter.
Apart from temperature changes and humidity, garages pose additional risks to effective appliance performance. As a DIYer, your garage might have a lot of sawdust and grime accumulating on your garage refrigerator’s coil. Furthermore, most garages function as de facto storage units. As a result, boxes and clutter can also pile up around and on the refrigerator, blocking ventilation and limiting performance.
6. Ensure the garage is cool
If constructing an enclosure is expensive for you or you are not ready for such a major endeavor, there are easier alternatives based on your local climate. For example, if your garage becomes too hot (above 100 degrees F), consider installing a fan to boost airflow over your fridge’s cooling coils.
A pedestal fan or ceiling fan is enough. Ensure that air is circulating over and around the rear of the refrigerator. Conversely, if the climate in your area is humid, a dehumidifier might help keep items dry inside the garage. It also helps reduce the chance of rust on tools and other garage equipment.
7. Practice smart stacking
Just as debris outside the refrigerator may influence its function, so can what you store inside the fridge. Inquire with any appliance technician. And you’d be surprised how frequently fridge troubleshooting shows that too many or too few things in the refrigerator are the reason for ineffective cooling.
Ensure your garage refrigerator is not cooling empty air by stocking it with enough items. Every time you open your refrigerator door, the air is discharged and replaced. In addition, the items in the refrigerator usually act as natural ice cubes, cooling the fresh air and keeping the refrigerator from working too hard.
8. Be ready for failure.
We recommend planning for a garage fridge or outdoor refrigerator inevitable failure. If possible, store perishable foods in the kitchen fridge and freezer. Also, fill the garage fridge with foods that will not spoil if the refrigeration goes out. Beer and other beverages are ideal since they are low risk and help keep the fridge cool if you lose electricity for a short period.
9. A newer refrigerator doesn’t always mean better.
Newer refrigerators often struggle more in a garage than older models. Since these newer refrigerators are frequently built to work as efficiently as possible, they are more subject to temperature changes in the surroundings.
Installing a new fridge in an unconditioned location where the temperature drops below freezing or rises beyond 100 degrees F will almost likely void the warranty of a regular home refrigerator. Besides, you might not be able to get repairs on the fridge if you need them. Therefore, an older fridge is a better option for a garage.
10. Garage-ready refrigerators
If you don’t have an older fridge and the newer unit is not performing well in the unconditioned garage, you can replace the kitchen fridge and take the older one to the garage. Alternatively, you can buy a refrigerator designed for use in a garage. This refrigerator is designed to withstand the extreme temperatures and humidity that give regular units issues.