Can I Put a Freezer or Refrigerator in the Garage?

Your decision of putting a refrigerator in the garage should depend a lot on your local weather and on what type of fridge or freezer you have. So, before putting it outside analyze these next factors. 

In short, yes, you can put a freezer and/or refrigerator in the garage. The fridge/freezer combination units are the most problematic in cold or hot climates because the cooling condenser that triggers the freezer gets confused and may not turn on. Standalone fridges and freezers will work better.

We’ve put together a guide for you to know how to place a refrigerator in your garage in the smartest way for it to operate optimally and not break down any time soon. Besides the basics, we will talk about different options that you can consider doing before and after you placed your fridge in the garage. 

First things to consider 

When you are considering placing a freezer or refrigerator in the garage, knowing the basics about how they operate, as well as investigating the optimal conditions that the garage should have, should be the first steps to follow. Many refrigerators are produced and design to operate in a kitchen and putting them in a garage without the previous conditioning can be counterproductive. 

Before deciding if you should put your freezer in the garage, you should know how they function and analyze if it would be a good fit for your garage. Fridges work in a way that they regulate their temperature based on the outside environment temperature. They automatically lower the temperature as much as they need in order to keep it balanced with the ambiance of the place they’re in. 

Adapt your garage 

For starters, make sure that your garage is well heated because exposing it to sudden and extreme temperature changes can be fatal for the freezer and the environment. This is because when it’s exposed to high temperatures, the fridge has to work harder to keep itself cool, thus consuming an excess of electricity that affects your wallet and the stratosphere. When fridge/freezer units are exposed to lower temperatures, the freezer gets confused, thinks that it has already reached the proper temperature, and eventually the compressor shuts off, therefore it just sits idle letting your food thaw. 

Depending on where you live, you have to understand how temperature change can impact your fridge or freezer. If you have an insulated garage or have the option to control its climate you’re good to go and place your fridge in the garage. Now, once you’re sure that you have the climate factor under control you can choose the best place in your garage for your freezer to sit at. 

First, make sure that you select a completely dry area for your fridge — for this requirement any level concrete floor will do. It’s also recommendable that the spot you choose is near a power outlet so that you’re able to connect it without any extension cords which could disconnect in a much easier way without you noticing. Then, see if that area has enough space for air to circulate fully, which will let the fridge function in a better way. Finally, make sure this area doesn’t get hit directly by sunlight, either if it comes from opening a window or when the garage door opens. Prolonged sunlight exposure can have a similar impact as placing the fridge in a warm environment. 

Buy a new, suitable fridge 

If your garage and the spot where you’ll be putting your freezer meet all of these requirements, you only have one thing left to do: choose and buy the right fridge. There are indoor and outdoor refrigerators — outdoor fridges are the ones made to stand and operate normally under unstable weather. So, even if your garage meets all the requirements mentioned above, you should consider getting an outdoor fridge. However, that doesn’t mean that an indoor fridge can’t work in a well-conditioned garage. 

Refrigerators need to be in a place with good ventilation for it to keep on operating properly. There are outdoor fridges known as “built-in refrigerators” that can be a great option because they come with their own vents at the front bottom part. Getting one of these can be pretty comfortable because now you don’t have to worry about giving them space in the back and sides to have proper ventilation, which would be the case of an indoor freestanding fridge. 

If you’re looking for a freezer that can help you store meat or vegetables for long periods without taking space of the things you use daily from your kitchen fridge, you should chest freezers — also known as deep freezers — that are some of the best and most adequate kind of freezers for garage spaces.

A garage optimized, or garage-ready, refrigerator might be the best option for you. These are simpler outdoor fridges made to survive extreme and high temperatures that can cause normal refrigerators operation problems. These refrigerators might be a little more expensive than others but buying them will assure better results. 

Frame-off an enclosed space in your garage

Installing a good heating and cooling system to your garage can be expensive. If you’re revising your garage space but can find an adequate spot for your refrigerator, there are certain things you can do to adapt it and make it perfect for your new freezer without putting a huge dent in your wallet.

You can consider building an enclosed conditioned space that will transform your garage area into an optimal setting for your freezer. Having a framed space will allow you to regulate the climate conditions around the fridge area in a much easier way than having to moderate the whole garage’s temperature. To build this kind of space we recommend you to choose a corner that has a power outlet near. Once you’ve selected the best area and you know the right measures of the fridge that you’re going to get, you just have to build a wooden wall making sure that the fridge also has space in the back and both sides to permit airflow and proper ventilation. If it’s necessary, you can add wooden sheets to level the floor and create a drier space. 

Building an enclosed area is much less expensive than transforming your entire garage. Once you’re finished building your frame, you’ll have a climate-controlled space that will protect your fridge from external temperature changes. It’ll be as protected as if it were inside your house. As a plus, if you have space left in your wooden room, you can use it to store other items that can be sensitive to temperature as well and prevent them from freezing or overheating. 

If carpentry isn’t your thing, you can consider other options. Depending on your local climate situation, you can set up a fan that will increase airflow over your fridge’s cooling systems. You should also set up a dehumidifier that will keep the fridge area dry and prevent it from rusting. 

Use an existing fridge

Many people, in order to not risk their new freezer by putting it in the garage, opt to replace the one in the kitchen for a new one and just move the old one to the garage. This way if the conditions of the garage aren’t the best ones, they still have the new one. If you don’t want to buy a new fridge and you have a spare stored that you haven’t used, you can always install that unit for your garage. 

Consider the food you’re storing

Many times what’s stored inside the freezers or fridges can affect it and cause long term problems, especially when we overload the freeze with food or we leave it empty for prolonged periods. So even if you have your garage perfectly conditioned and you bought the best and most expensive outdoor fridge, it can break down when you don’t store your foods in a smart way. 

To prevent this from happening, for starters, fill your fridge with enough products from the beginning so that it starts working well and doesn’t just try to cool the empty space. Try to always keep a balance in the number of things that you have inside your fridge. Similar to how it needs ventilation on the outside to work well, the same applies in the inside. The food you’re storing needs to allow the cold air to circulate in order to keep cooling everything evenly.  

With all of these factors, you can now analyze if putting a freezer or a refrigerator in your garage is the best idea for you. So, if your answer is “yes”, just make sure that you have all of the garage and fridge requirements in order so that you can get the most out of your new fridge/freezer.