Storing an extra freezer in your garage seems like the perfect solution. The location is out of the way, easy to access, and convenient. However, keeping a freezer in your garage can result in issues down the line if you’re not careful.
A freezer can be kept in the garage if the ambient temperature stays within the freezer’s operating range. Refrigerators and “garage ready” freezers typically have a temperature range between 0°F and 110°F. Temperatures outside this range can result in spoiled food and cause system failures.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when considering a garage freezer. The ambient temperature, your freezer’s operating range, your electricity bill, and more are all factors to think about. Thankfully, we have everything you need to know right here. Let’s take a look at how to safely keep a freezer in your garage.
Keeping a Freezer in The Garage: What You Need to Know
There are a few considerations to keep in mind before you purchase a new freezer for your garage. The primary concern for maintaining a freezer in your garage is going to be the ambient temperature and temperature range.
Garage Ready Freezers
Modern freezers and refrigerators are designed to operate within a specific temperature range. Any temperatures above or below that range can cause problems. If you’re looking to put a freezer in your garage, opt for “garage ready” products like the Danby Garage Ready Chest Freezer (on Amazon).
Refrigerators and “garage ready” freezers will typically have a temperature range between 0°F (-17°C) and 110°F (43°C). Most freezers will have their minimum and maximum temperature range clearly marked on the unit itself. Check out the user manual or the manufacturer’s website if your model isn’t labeled.
Once you know your device’s temperature range, simply compare it to the normal highs and lows of your location. Be sure to add and subtract around 15°F (-9°C) to the maximum and minimum boundaries to compensate for any variance.
What Happens to a Freezer in an Unheated Garage During Winter?
Although this may seem confusing, freezing temperatures aren’t ideal for garage freezers and refrigerators. This is because cold ambient temperatures can trick your freezer into thinking it’s cold enough on the inside.
If the outside temperature is too low, your freezer’s thermostat may shut off more than warranted. In some instances, it may stop working entirely, resulting in partially-dethawed perishables.
Freezing temperatures can also cause frost to build around your freezer’s insulation layer. As your device freezes and thaws, the insulation inside accumulates more and more damage. This makes it harder for your freezer to hold and maintain temperature, leading to higher energy bills.
Can You Keep a Freezer in the Garage in Extremely Hot Weather?
Extremely hot temperatures can be even worse for your freezer. This is because your freezer has to work harder to stay below 0 degrees. As your freezer struggles to remain cold, your energy bill increases.
You can end up using up to 50% more electricity, depending on where you live. You can lower this number if you have proper insulation or an air-conditioned garage. Newer devices are typically more energy-efficient, which can offset the cost.
You may have to replace parts more often because your freezer is putting in more work. This can be incredibly frustrating in the summer when you need your freezer the most. Replacing parts can lead to hundreds of dollars in maintenance and spoiled food.
Tips for Keeping Your Freezer in the Garage
Although your garage seems like the perfect place for an extra freezer, there are a few precautions and risks you should be aware of. If you don’t follow proper protocols, you run the risk of high energy bills, spoiled food, or a broken freezer. Here are a few things you can do to avoid these worst-case scenarios.
Monitor the Temperature
Monitoring the temperature in your garage is the first thing you should be doing to ensure your freezer’s longevity. The temperature in your garage can easily be 15 degrees higher or lower than the temperature outside.
You’ll never know how hard your freezer is working without a way to monitor and track the temperature of your garage. You should consider purchasing a new freezer or find new ways to moderate the ambient temperature if your garage is too hot or cold.
Ensure Your Freezer Can Handle Extremes
The climate of where you live will have a significant impact on how much electricity your freezer consumes. Generally speaking, most freezers will work in environments up to about 110°F (40°C).
However, each manufacturer and device is different. Be sure to check your user’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines. Afterward, you can find the average summer and winter temperatures of your area.
You don’t have much to worry about if your location’s historical maximum temperature doesn’t go above your freezer’s threshold. Lowering the ambient temperature in your garage will help your electricity bill and freezer.
Keep the Freezer Stocked
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, ensuring your freezer is fully stocked allows it to work more efficiently. A full freezer has less room for air to settle, and the frozen items help maintain the temperature. This doesn’t mean you have to fill it to the brim with frozen pizzas and hot pockets, though.
A few gallons of water placed in the empty space of your freezer helps it maintain its temperature when it’s opened throughout the day. Opening your freezer causes warm air to rush inside and lowers the temperature. Your freezer has to work harder to compensate for this loss.
Ensure the Freezer Is Powered Properly
Kitchen fridges and freezers have a dedicated power circuit. This typically involves a 115 volt, 60 Hz AC-only electric outlet. These outlets aren’t common in garages unless they’re specifically installed.
Be sure to install a dedicated circuit with enough power for your freezer before purchasing. Your freezer may trip a circuit or malfunction if it doesn’t have enough power. This can result in parts failing faster than expected.
Use Insulation or Air Conditioning
Insulation and air conditioning are other ways you can bring down the ambient temperature of your garage. In some cases, you may need both systems.
Insulated garage walls can make a huge difference. Adding a garage door insulation kit can lower the ambient temperature by several degrees.
Air conditioning is the next step if the insulation doesn’t get the job done. However, air conditioning in a fully-enclosed garage isn’t cheap. These systems can cost thousands of dollars, and even portable options can range in the hundreds.
You’ll want to keep out as much warm air as possible, regardless of the option you choose. Keeping your garage doors and windows closed and sealing up any leaks can help as well.
Upgrade if Necessary
Finally, upgrading your freezer to a newer model may be necessary. Freezers older than 2004 aren’t as efficient as newer models. Older freezers can’t handle temperature extremes, as well as more unique options.
Newer freezers have better temperature ranges and come with more bells and whistles. Replacing your old garage freezer with a newer one can result in big savings on your electrical bill.
How to Safely Keep a Freezer in Your Garage
Your garage can be a safe place to keep a freezer, ice chest, or refrigerator. However, you run the risk of damage, spoiled food, and device failure without proper maintenance and care.
Be sure to find freezers that operate within your climate’s ambient temperature. Keeping your freezer well-stocked allows it to work more efficiently, resulting in a lower energy bill. And if you need to, you can insulate or air condition your garage to lower the ambient temperature even more.
Finally, you may need to upgrade your garage freezer in the worst-case scenarios. Older models aren’t as efficient and have lower operating ranges. This can result in higher energy bills, the need to replace parts more frequently, and spoiled food.
If you aren’t sure about your model’s temperature range, read the manual or visit the manufacturer’s website.