Is A Chest Freezer Okay In The Garage?

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The garage is a most convenient place to store a freezer for its easy access from your backyard with all of the necessary snacks and meats every BBQ, birthday party, and other major celebration is contained. However, not all freezers are made equal. Some won’t be able to withstand the conditions of many garages.

Chest freezers are okay in garages that have conditions that are within 0-100°F (-17-43°C) in temperature, are perfectly dry, without humidity, and are away from any windows that would shine hot rays onto the freezer and especially the built-in thermometer. 

Freezers, although sturdy appliances, have their preferred conditions, but if you don’t have a space that fits these parameters, there is a type of freezer for you that can withstand much higher and lower temperatures than most conventional chest freezers.

Ensure The Space Is Dry

When you are looking for a space in your garage to put your chest freezer, look for a location that will be dry all year long. In other words, don’t place it next to your water heating/cooling system. 

But why does it matter if the chest freezer is around water or not? If your freezer is kept in a room with humid conditions, the warm and wet air will be drawn into the freezer, it will meet the cold air in the freezer and the evaporator coils, and it will begin to create condensation on the roof and walls of the chest freezer. With more and more frozen condensation collecting, the drain pan at the bottom will overflow and spill out across your floor once it does begin to thaw. 

This can be an even bigger problem during the summer months if your freezer’s seals aren’t airtight. The condensation within can promote mold growth. 

Consider The Weather

Freezers, whether they are chest freezers or tall freestanding freezers, are not fans of extreme weather in spite of their function. Freezers should be kept in areas where you are sure it won’t be any hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43°C) and no colder than 0°F (-17°C). The freezer just won’t work if it’s exposed to these conditions in your garage.

If your freezer is exposed to extreme heat the compressor within the freezer will be forced to work extremely hard to maintain the temperature within and keep the food cold.

The compressor is extremely vital in your freezer because it is supposed to control the circulation of the refrigerant by either adding pressure to heat the refrigerant up and allow it to become vapor, and also draws in the vapor from the evaporator so that a low temperature is maintained before sending the vapor to the condenser. But being run for too long will run it down.

On the other side of the spectrum, if your freezer experiences extreme cold, the built-in thermostat may get confused, think it’s cold enough, and turn off the freezer. The sub-zero atmosphere can also cause the coolants and lubricants to thicken up or freeze over, breaking the inner works of the freezer.

To avoid these problems and damages, put your freezer in a garage that is properly insulated and, if possible, comes with climate control like your house does.

Do You Need A Special Freezer?

It may be that you have no option but to put a chest freezer in a location that will face these undesirable conditions, but don’t give up hope! There are specially designed freezers, known as garage-ready freezers that are built to withstand temperatures reaching 110°F (43°C) and as low as 0°F (-17°C).

You’ll know which freezers these are because they will come with a marketing tag inside them describing them as garage-ready freezers. They keep the refrigerant in the form of a liquid by a small heater to keep the freezer going in conditions where regular freezers would have their refrigerants thickening.

These freezers are so handy that you might be tempted to just use one in your house, but don’t. Specially designed freezers need special conditions. Putting it in the house would keep the compressor working too hard to keep everything cold and run it down too quickly. And those compressors are not cheap to replace.

Refrigerators Are Different

What about refrigerators? Can they go in the garage? A refrigerator has both a fridge and a freezer and requires certain considerations.

For the most part, a refrigerator requires the same considerations as your freezer, but because the fridge part isn’t supposed to keep food frozen, it will have to work harder to maintain the right internal temperatures. So if your garage is uninsulated, you are effectively dooming your refrigerator.

Your refrigerator was designed for climate-controlled homes with an ambient air temperature of about 68°F (20°C). When a fridge is in a climate going below 50°F (10°C) you can expect the same malfunctions a freezer would have.