If you live in a cold climate, it’s possible to keep a refrigerator in an unheated garage if you’re willing to take the steps necessary. This can be an option for those who want more space or would otherwise have difficulty finding somewhere to put their refrigerator.
Now the question is, what kind of unheated space are we talking about? We obviously need a temperature that falls below freezing during winter months and is above freezing during the hotter months. The garage must not be too humid and should stay dry at all times. With some preparation, there are ways to keep your fridge running
What is the temperature of the garage?
The ideal temperature in an unheated garage is 21 degrees Fahrenheit or less, about the same as a refrigerator. While in cooler climates, you might even find that the garage stays slightly above freezing in the winter.
Can I store a refrigerator in the garage? Most garages are too small for a refrigerator so you’ll want to work with a smaller space. You’ll also need to be careful not to freeze your appliance.
Why does it have to be unheated?
To keep your fridge running during the winter, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. You’ll need to pay a professional to install insulation, which will be the largest cost. Additionally, you’ll have to purchase and install a boiler.
This is typically the most expensive component of the installation, but it will provide your fridge with adequate heat to keep it working. The bottom line is that these two steps will help keep the temperature of the inside of the garage as cool as you can in winter, all while saving you money.
How to keep a refrigerator in an unheated garage running. The first step you can take is to start by insulating the area in your garage where the refrigerator will be. This is the first expense of the project, so you’ll want to budget for it.
Requirements for an unheated garage
There are several things to take into consideration when building your unheated garage. First, it should be at least 12 feet in length and width. Second, the space should be able to accommodate your refrigerator and must be protected from drafts.
Third, you should make sure that your garage has windows large enough to admit any light from the day. Fourth, you should have a 12-volt outlet installed to allow you to run the refrigerator.
Now for some DIY projects that will allow you to build a suitable space for your refrigerator, including: Building a refrigerator cabinet Do you have a home workshop? If so, this is a great project for you. You can build the cabinet yourself from solid wood or simply have it professionally built for a minimal cost.
What to do about summer?
The answer to this is also an easy one. If you live in a climate where the temperatures are high enough during summer, you could probably make this work with a small refrigerator in a warm room (like the basement) – if you have a cold cellar and room for the fridge to get cool before it comes to rest.
If you’re lucky enough to have a place to put your refrigerator (or have a friend or neighbor who’s willing to be your refrigerator), you can make it work if it’s a small one – and it will save on space too. Keep in mind that the temperature isn’t always the most important factor. A warm refrigerator isn’t just a warm fridge, even if you can get away with keeping it in a cool garage for a while.
What kind of garage is appropriate?
First of all, you need to be aware that it’s a common misconception that all garages can be used as a refrigerator freezer. Not true! Unheated garages are rarely a good idea. Unheated garages with temperatures of -10°C and lower will generally have problems keeping the temperature below zero.
However, a garage that is unheated, but not completely isolated from the outside temperature by a retaining wall will work. There are some factors to consider before you decide whether to use your garage.
Think about the floor. If it’s covered by a roof or a wall, then you need to make sure that heat can get in and there’s not an air gap that allows warm air to come out. The floor must be sturdy and has to be hard, insulating material.
Does the fridge need a special kind of insulation?
A typical new-built house comes with insulation, but without it, a fridge in a garage can continue to get too warm for comfort. As you’ll see in the video above, though, it is possible to seal off small spaces by using vacuum wrap.
Some real-world conditions can even be created for you, such as heating the interior of the garage with hot air. You don’t even have to have the temperature go above freezing! What special consideration should I take with temperature when storing a refrigerator? With only a little preparation, a refrigerator in an unheated garage can be kept just right.
How do you keep the fridge from freezing?
There are some easy things you can do to prevent freezing. Most of these do not require any special equipment, and a fan can also help keep the temperature regulated. Close the refrigerator vent and make sure the door is closed.
Allow the refrigerator to run as little as possible, turning off the thermostat if necessary. Space heaters can be used to warm areas around the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is located inside, a space heater placed near the back of the fridge is recommended.
Be sure to place them away from electrical outlets. Keep the door to the refrigerator closed and clear of clutter. Check the power cord at the plug in the wall before plugging it in and at each step along the way. Also make sure that you do not leave your plug exposed when the appliance is running.
What to do if the fridge breaks
Your fridge that’s installed in an unheated area needs to be turned off while the repair is being made. If you cannot get to a repair technician in time, you can turn off the fridge from your regular electric-service panel.
Turn off the power to the breaker for the refrigerator and allow it to cool down. The manual has more details on the process. When you turn off the refrigerator at your home electric panel, it will not be at the temperature that it needs to be to keep food from spoiling.
You will need to cool the inside of the refrigerator and use your electric thermostat to get the temperature below freezing.
For most people, if the unheated garage does not face a road, there is nothing that can be done to heat the space. For those people that do have a heated space, heat may not be available. For those that do have access to heat, many find the heat not available as they need it.