Getting to know how your kitchen appliances work can sometimes feel daunting. Do you want to put your refrigerator in the garage but are worried because it's unheated? Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answer waiting here for you. Let's dive in!
If the temperature in your garage will be reaching 50 degrees or lower, it might not be a good idea to keep your fridge inside of it. Considering that many manufacturers don't recommend having a fridge somewhere that is colder than 50-55 degrees, keeping your appliance in a colder garage won't be very efficient.
On top of that, your fridge won't properly cool the food inside it if your garage is too cold, so this may not be for everyone.
As we begin, we will cover all things refrigerators and discuss how to keep one in the garage. Whether you want to free up space in the kitchen or have a second fridge, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's get right into this post!
Will A Refrigerator Work In A Cold Garage?
Depending on how low the temperature is, it's possible to have issues getting your fridge to work in a cold garage. Like we said above, many manufacturers recommend keeping a refrigerator somewhere that stays at least 55 degrees throughout the year, so if your winters are freezing, this may not be a good idea.
That said, if your garage stays at around 50 degrees, your fridge may be able to continue cooling the food/beverages inside, although it won't be as effective as, let's say, 70-80 degrees.
How Do You Get A Refrigerator To Work In A Cold Garage?
Although it isn't always easy to get a refrigerator working in a cold garage, there are ways to help keep your appliance operating. Most importantly, you want to ensure there's heat near your fridge's thermostat.
You can trick your appliance into thinking it's warmer in your garage than it is by placing a space heater nearby, although we don't recommend setting it too high.
Ideally, it's a good idea to set your heater to around 60-65 degrees and place it a few feet away from your refrigerator's thermostat to get the job done.
Should I Unplug My Garage Refrigerator In The Winter?
If your garage gets colder than 35 degrees, it's a good idea to unplug your refrigerator. Doing this can help keep your appliance's water lines from freezing/bursting, which can be expensive to repair.
On top of that, you can still use your fridge as storage for food and drinks if it's freezing outside because it will maintain its internal temperature.
That said, you don't want to leave things like meat, fish, or dairy in an unplugged fridge, so make sure to relocate those items to the refrigerator inside your house.
Will A Fridge Break If It Gets Too Cold?
Although moderately cold weather shouldn't damage your refrigerator, freezing temperatures certainly can. In general, anything below freezing will cause harm to your fridge's compressor, which could result in you needing to purchase a new one in the spring.
Of course, if the weather in your garage stays at around 50 degrees through winter and you decide to keep your appliance running, there shouldn't be any need to worry necessarily.
Furthermore, if you prefer to turn off your fridge, make sure to cover it with a tarp or thermal blanket to keep its mechanical parts from getting too cold.
What Is A Garage-Ready Refrigerator?
A garage-ready refrigerator is essentially a fridge that can operate in colder temperatures. Think of this as more of a way that companies market certain refrigerators to those who plan to keep them outside, although they aren't much different than a regular option.
That said, garage-ready fridges will feature more than one temperature sensor and better durability in the cold, hence why they work better in unheated garages/spaces.
Of course, these work best for those living in super cold climates, like below 45-50 degree winters, so if your wintertime weather is usually moderate, we don't see much need to get one.
Is A Garage-Ready Refrigerator Better Than A Regular One?
Overall, we don't think a garage-ready fridge will be better than a regular option. As we covered above, the only additional feature a garage-ready refrigerator has is an extra temperature sensor, so these are generally best for colder garage storage.
Besides that, you should be fine to have either type of appliance in an unheated garage, as long as you maintain them properly through the wintertime.
Can You Put A Freezer In An Unheated Garage?
Like the refrigerator, you should also be fine to keep a freezer in an unheated garage, as long as it doesn't get too cold. In general, a freezer will operate normally in weather as cold as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your garage stays around there, this is perfectly fine to try.
Again, if the temperatures drop below 50, you could see your freezer shut off, putting the food inside it at risk of spoiling.
Will A Freezer Break If It Gets Too Cold?
Although it isn't as likely to happen versus a fridge, your freezer could still become damaged if the temperatures drop below freezing. Typically, a freezer's compressor will be the first to go during extreme weather, hot or cold, which you want to avoid damaging at all costs.
As we previously mentioned, you can try using a tarp or thermal blanket to cover your freezer/fridge during the wintertime, so that's something to consider.
Can You Put A Mini Fridge In An Unheated Garage?
Yes! You can certainly store a mini-fridge in an unheated garage. Of course, you don't want to let your appliance get too cold, as it will turn off, but in general, mini-fridges do well in unheated garages.
Especially if you're able to place a heater nearby, your mini-fridge should be able to stay on through colder weather without running into technical/mechanical issues, so make sure to keep an eye on the thermostat.
Can A Mini Fridge Stay Outside During The Winter?
For those wanting to keep their mini-fridge outside during the winter, we don't recommend doing this. Like a regular-sized appliance, a mini-fridge won't work correctly if the weather gets below 50 degrees and can become damaged in the cold.
It's also not a great idea, regardless of the weather, to keep appliances outside, so if you can, try and move your fridge into a garage or spare room.
Again, you can always try to place a space heater close to your refrigerator's thermostat to keep it running through colder weather, but this isn't always 100% effective.
Where Is The Best Place To Keep A Fridge?
You want to keep your refrigerator somewhere well-ventilated and protected from outdoor conditions. Although it isn't always bad to store a fridge in an unheated garage or outside, doing this can put extra pressure on your appliance's mechanics.
Many manufacturers' warranties become void if your fridge breaks due to weather, so this isn't always an economical option. So if you can, make sure that your fridge is somewhere that stays 50 degrees or warmer and isn't exposed to conditions like rain or snow.
How Do You Maintain A Refrigerator In An Unheated Garage?
For those unable to move their fridge inside or somewhere heated, there are ways to maintain it. Most importantly, you want to purchase a heating coil to place over your fridge's thermostat, which can help keep it running properly in colder temperatures.
Luckily, there are plenty of options for various brands of refrigerators, so you should be able to find one for your appliance.
You also want to regularly inspect the compressor and condenser coils on your refrigerator if it isn't somewhere heated or covered to ensure everything is in good working condition, so that's another thing to think about.
Ultra Durable Refrigerator Garage Heater Kit
This refrigerator heater kit works with Kenmore/Frigidaire appliances, comes with a lifetime warranty, and promises to keep your fridge running efficiently in colder weather.
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you have a refrigerator in the garage or want to store one there, getting your temperatures right is essential. From what we found, you can put a fridge in an unheated garage, as long as it stays around 50 degrees.
You also want to make sure your fridge's thermostat is heated throughout the winter so your appliance will continue working, so that's something to think about. On top of that, you can purchase a refrigerator warming kit or place a heater nearby, so there are a couple of ways to accomplish this.
Regardless, make sure to keep your fridge somewhere that doesn't get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and don't forget to check its compressor and condenser coils regularly.
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