The refrigerator in the garage is a normal thing for most homes. Although it’s a great place due to the extra space, it can be tricky in the winter. So, should you unplug my garage refrigerator in the winter?
You shouldn’t unplug your garage refrigerator in the winter if there’s food inside. Instead, you have to protect it from temperature fluctuations. You can do this by getting a fridge with two thermostats, adding a heater if your fridge doesn’t have and building an enclosed space for the fridge.
However, if there’s nothing in the fridge, you can unplug it. When using a refrigerator in the garage, there are tips you can follow to get the best out of it. Here, we discuss whether you should unplug your garage refrigerator in the winter.
Can You Keep Your Refrigerator Inside the Garage?
Your refrigerator can stay in the garage. But if you’re planning to keep it there, you need to consider the temperature. Since the fridge work based on the room temperature, extremely low or high temperature can affect its functioning.
It’s always best to go for a fridge that can accommodate a wide range of fluctuations in temperature. This ensures it works effectively no matter the season. If you can’t get that, you can also use your old refrigerator in the garage. Old fridges are usually less efficient when it comes to detecting temperature fluctuations. That means they won’t be affected so much by the seasons unless it gets to extremes.
Effects of Seasonal Temperatures of Garage Refrigerator
Both summer and winter affect your refrigerator. The garage refrigerators are susceptible to several issues during the winter. They could stop working or work haphazardly with the freezer part thawing and the refrigerator part freezing.
This is because refrigerators work when the room temperature is above the set point. It keeps working until it returns to that point. But your garage temperature will likely drop below the regular room temperature in the winter. So, the fridge can stop working.
If you live in a place where the summer is extremely hot, you’ll face a different issue. The refrigerator will have to work extra hard to maintain its cool internal temperature during the season. This could cause overheating and reduce the lifespan of the refrigerator.
Living in an area with high humidity could also cause rust in your garage refrigerator. This happens if it’s constantly exposed to moisture. Due to all these factors, your garage refrigerator is unlikely to last as long as the one indoors. But if you live in an area with a mild climate, you might not face this problem.
Using your Garage Refrigerator in the Winter
There’s no harm in using your garage refrigerator in the winter. It just depends on whether there’s food inside or not. If there’s nothing inside, there’s no reason to keep it on as you’ll only be wasting energy while also stressing the thermostat. But if you have food inside the refrigerator and want to keep it there, you should leave it on. Even if the weather is cold, the fridge’s internal temperature could be warm enough to spoil the food inside.
How To Keep Your Garage Refrigerator Working Effectively in The Winter
Keeping a refrigerator in the garage provides you with the space to store anything that the refrigerator inside the house can’t take. But it could have issues in the winter. Here’s how to deal with those issues:
1. Pay Attention to Thawing
When the refrigerator stops working, it could also affect the freezer part. That’ll thaw the frozen food in the freezer section of your fridge. This can happen to most refrigerators. But those with two thermostats are the least vulnerable. So, you should constantly check the fridge in the garage. If it’s not working effectively, you can regulate the space temperature.
2. Get a refrigerator with two Thermostats
You’ll find one thermometer in the fresh food section of most refrigerators. This is the one that works with the room temperature to determine when the fridge should cool or not. If you want a refrigerator for the garage, it’s best to have one with two thermostats in the freezer and fresh food section. This ensures that your fridge will run smoothly in the winter. Such refrigerators can accommodate a wider range of temperatures.
3. Check For the Heater
The heater is very important for outdoor refrigerators to function effectively in the winter. Most of these fridges have internal heaters that help them beat the cold and keep temperature controlled. If your fridge doesn’t have a heater, you should consider getting one. Some fridges have manufacturer-designed heater coils kits. You may also be able to buy heaters that you can add to the fridge. Heaters can make a big difference in how your refrigerator function during the winter. So, adding one is important.
4. Build an Enclosed Space
Another way to ensure your garage refrigerator keeps working even in the winter is by building an enclosed space. This will generally mean regulating the air within the enclosed space. This means you don’t have to add heating and cooling vents to your garage. It’s a good way to save costs. A climate-controlled space isn’t just good for the fridge. It’ll also be good for storing other temperature-sensitive items.
Tips For Using a Garage Refrigerator
Beyond the need to ensure the refrigerator is working efficiently during winter, there are other things you can do to protect it. They include:
- Aim a fan at the cooling coils during the summer to ensure that it doesn’t overheat
- Add a dehumidifier to the garage to lower the humidity levels, which can lead to rust
- Add a ceiling fan to the garage to keep the whole space cool in the summer
- Get specially designed garage fridges instead of just any brand
- Clean out any clutter that can limit airflow in your garage
- Store your items in the fridge properly by stocking it fully, so it’s not just cooling empty air
You can leave your fridge on during the winter even though it’s in a garage. You need to pay extra care to it and check it regularly to ensure it works effectively. But if you don’t have anything inside it, it’s best to unplug it and avoid wasting energy.