Refrigerators are absolute necessities for most homes, and an extra one can come in handy if you’ve got a big family or when you have a lot of company coming around. But what to do when you don’t have enough room inside your house or apartment to store an extra refrigerator? Can you keep it outside?
It is okay to store refrigerators outside if suitable precautions are taken. Preferably keep the fridge covered with a tarp or keep it underneath a structure that can withstand your climate. Even with a fridge that boasts weather resistance or outdoor protection, don’t store it outdoors too long.
Outdoor refrigerators can be expensive, but they’re a great investment for people who entertain often or need extra storage space. And if you live in a place with extreme weather conditions, only an outdoor refrigerator will do. So let’s find out more about storing a refrigerator outside and look at a few of the best outdoor refrigerators on the market.
Is It Okay to Store Refrigerators Outside When They’re Not in Use?
If it’s an indoor refrigerator, it’s definitely not okay to store it outside at any point. However, outdoor refrigerators can be stored outside with some precautions. Generally, outdoor refrigerators withstand the elements much better than their indoor counterparts, but they’re still not made to be left out in the rain or extreme heat.
So if you’re in a pinch and need to store a refrigerator, it’s better to place it in a shed, garage, or any other covered and enclosed space to protect it from the elements. Still, if you can’t find a covered spot, at least keep it away from direct sunlight.
You can also buy a thick cover or a tarp to protect it from rain, snow, and debris. Make sure to thoroughly clean and dry the refrigerator inside out before storing it; this will help prevent mold and mildew from forming.
For safety reasons, it’s highly recommended to lock up your refrigerator door when storing it outside. This will prevent animals or children from accidentally getting trapped inside.
Is It Safe to Store a Refrigerator in an Uninsulated Garage?
Since garages are mostly closed off from the weather, it’s generally safe to store a refrigerator in an uninsulated garage. However, if your garage is exposed to extreme weather conditions (cold winters or hot summers), you’ll want to take extra precautions.
Harsh temperatures like extreme heat can melt plastic lining, and freezing can damage metal components. So if you want to keep your refrigerator in the garage, make sure it’s in a covered spot and insulated.
Garages are best for storing fridges in the Spring or Fall when the temperatures are relatively moderate.
Can You Use a Refrigerator Outside?
A normal indoor refrigerator can’t be used outside because it’s not made to withstand the elements. However, there are special outdoor refrigerators that can be used outdoors.
The ambient temperature range for a normal indoor fridge is 55-80˚ Fahrenheit (12-26°C). Any time the temperature goes outside this range, the fridge will struggle to maintain its preferred temperature point.
It might be surprising, but freezing temperatures do more damage to a fridge than higher temperatures. The cold can crack water pipe drains and even damage metal components. In contrast, hot weather might only make your fridge work harder and use more energy.
On the other hand, an outdoor refrigerator is made to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. The average ambient temperature range for an outdoor fridge is 34-100˚ Fahrenheit (1-38°C).
That’s because outdoor refrigerators have much thicker insulation to protect against the elements. They’re also made to be resistant to rain and snow. Special features like a watertight seal and a drain plug allow them to be used in wet environments.
You only need to worry about an outdoor fridge when the temperature dips below freezing for a long time. If that happens, make sure to bring the fridge inside or at least cover it with a tarp.
So if you’re looking for a refrigerator for use in an outdoor kitchen or bar, make sure you get one that’s specifically designed for outdoor use.
What Are the Best Outdoor Refrigerators?
When you’re looking for an outdoor refrigerator, you probably want one that’s durable, weather-resistant, and has enough space to store all your food and drinks. Some sought-after features include a 304-grade stainless build, a watertight seal, digital temperature controls, and a dual thermostat to keep your food and drinks at the right temperature.
Only a few brands make outdoor refrigerators that meet all these criteria, and we have selected a few of the best for you.
DCS Outdoor Rated Compact Refrigerator
DCS units hold the top spot for best compact refrigerators. This particular model (on Amazon) is highly rated for its durability and performance in both hot and cold climates. It has a 5.3 cubic ft. capacity and comes with a front vent design so it can fit in any tight space. Plus, the rapid cool technology ensures you get fresh, cold drinks in no time.
Why you’ll love it:
- Precise temperature control for optimized cooling
- Durable and rust-resistant cabinet construction
- Rapid cool technology for a quick chill
- 2-year warranty
Fire Magic 24-Inch Outdoor Rated Compact Refrigerator
Fire Magic is another high-end brand known for its luxury outdoor kitchen appliances. Their outdoor refrigerator (on Amazon) is no exception, with its 5.1 cubic ft. capacity and stainless steel construction. It’s a right hinge fridge, and you get the flexibility to adjust the inner shelves to fit larger items. The compact unit also features audio alarms, a digital thermostat, and a door lock to keep your drinks safe while you’re away.
Why you’ll love it:
- Flexible shelving to accommodate larger items
- Built-in door lock for security
- Audio alarms notify you when the door is left open
- 5-year warranty
Blaze Outdoor Rated Compact Refrigerator
Blaze is another great option for an outdoor-rated refrigerator. This model (on Amazon) has 4.6 cubic feet of storage, but the compact size means it can easily fit in any tight space.
The unit is made with stainless steel and features a reversible door, which is sought after in modern designs. It also has removable wire shelves for easy cleaning.
Why you’ll love it:
- Reversible door for a modern look
- UL approved for outdoor use
- Adjustable temperature control and auto defrost
- Factory-installed lock
As long as you get a fridge that is specifically designed for outdoor use, you can store it outside without any problems. Just make sure to check the weather resistance and insulation of the unit before making your purchase.
And always keep an eye on extreme weather conditions to avoid any damage to your fridge.