Since freezers consume a lot of space, most freezer owners prefer to keep these appliances in the garage where it’s out of the way. However, unheated garages are prone to weather changes and humidity. So, will freezers work in cold garages?
Whether freezers will work in cold garages or not depends on the weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. They will get affected if the temperature fluctuates beyond 0°F and 110°F. If it’s too hot, freezers will work extra. When it gets too cold, the compressor unit will not work correctly.
Let’s talk about this in more detail now.
Table Of Contents
- Why Isn’t It A Good Idea To Keep A Freezer In A Cold Garage?
- Problems That May Arise Due To Significant Temperature Fluctuations
- When Is It Fine To Keep A Freezer In The Garage?
- 1. Frosting
- 2. Compressor Problems
- 3. Thawing Of Contents
- Will A Chest Freezer Work In A Cold Garage?
- Which Freezer Will Work In A Cold Garage?
Why Isn’t It A Good Idea To Keep A Freezer In A Cold Garage?
Standard freezers are built to keep food cold in a temperature-regulated dry environment.
They’re not designed to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and humid conditions.
So it’s not a good idea to keep a freezer in an unheated garage, where the humidity levels vary and the temperature changes drastically according to the weather.
The source of the problem is the very mechanism of operation of a freezer.
We will not dive into the exact technical details but provide a top-level overview of how these appliances operate.
Now, freezers work by comparing the internal temperature to the outside environment.
When the external temperature increases, they lower their internal temperature to keep the food cold.
When the external environment becomes too cold, they increase their internal temperature.
In a temperature-controlled environment, the freezer can easily manage the temperature difference between the internal compartment and the environment.
However, if you keep it in a place with significant temperature fluctuations, problems arise.
An unheated garage is such a location, especially if the weather changes a lot in summer and winter.
Humidity also creates problems for freezers in unheated garages.
The freezer coils can develop rust due to the moisture in such an environment.
Recommended Further Reading:
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- How Long Until a Fridge Becomes Cold?
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Problems That May Arise Due To Significant Temperature Fluctuations
In summer, when the temperature increases, your freezer must work extra to adjust to the external heat.
It will draw more energy to cool the compartment.
This will increase the electricity consumption.
So, don’t be surprised if your utility bills increase significantly in summer.
In winter, when the temperature dips, your garage can get very cold.
The low temperature can prevent the compressor from operating correctly.
It will compare its operating temperature to that of the surroundings and not see much difference.
This will confuse the appliance, and the compressor will not activate to the proper extent.
This can cause the freezer to shut down, and the food stored will start to thaw.
The biggest problem is that in winter, the compressor will switch off and turn back on frequently.
This will make the food thaw and refreeze each time the compressor switches off and turns back on, causing several food safety problems.
It can lead to bacteria growth and make the food spoil quickly.
Thawing and refreezing will also affect the texture of certain foods.
When Is It Fine To Keep A Freezer In The Garage?
Freezers do fine in temperature-controlled environments.
So you need not hesitate about keeping your freezer in a heated garage.
Now, we already saw that it’s not wise to place a freezer in an unheated garage.
The efficiency of the appliance will be affected when the temperature fluctuations are significant.
It can result in high energy bills in summer and confuse the device controls in winter.
However, it will not be a problem if you live in a place where there are no temperature extremes.
If it doesn’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, you don’t have to worry about your freezer going into overdrive or shutting off.
Nonetheless, if you decide to keep your freezer in the garage, look out for the following signs that may suggest the garage is too hot or too cold for your freezer.
If ice builds up on the exterior or interior of the freezer, it indicates that the surrounding temperature is too low.
You may have trouble getting your freezer to defrost.
When this happens, it suggests that the ambient environment is too cold and can wear your freezer out.
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- What is the Amp Usage of a Dishwasher?
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2. Compressor Problems
You should be concerned if your compressor acts up.
Listen for any loud sounds and if the compressor kicks in and shuts down frequently.
It could be that the compressor is malfunctioning.
However, this can also happen if the ambient temperature is too low and your freezer controls are getting confused.
In either case, you must get the freezer checked.
3. Thawing Of Contents
The food that comes out of a freezer should be thoroughly frozen.
However, if some of the food is defrosted or partially thawed, it means that your freezer is not functioning properly.
This issue could be caused by the surrounding conditions or environmental temperature changes.
Try moving the freezer to a different location and check if it solves the problem.
Will A Chest Freezer Work In A Cold Garage?
As the name suggests, chest freezers open up like a chest and have a hinged door that you can lift.
They are easy to operate and hold a lot of food.
These freezers are not as expensive as upright freezers, and they remain cold for longer during a power outage.
However, chest freezers use up more floor space.
Due to their design, you may find it difficult to get to the food at the bottom of the compartment.
Most chest freezers are designed to work in temperature-controlled environments.
They will struggle to adjust if the temperature becomes too hot or too cold.
So, it’s not a good idea to keep them in a cold garage.
In summer, when the temperature increases, chest freezers will have to work extra-hard.
Meanwhile, the compressor may not activate as much as it should during the cold months if the temperature falls too much.
So it’s better to set up a chest freezer in a temperature-controlled setting.
These devices are best suited for indoor locations.
Place the chest freezer in the garage only if it’s heated or if the weather where you live remains stable throughout the year.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Estimating the Amps Used by a Freezer
- Are Dishwashers Water-Efficient? [How Much Water Do They Use?]
- Maximum Number of Crock Pots on a Circuit
Which Freezer Will Work In A Cold Garage?
Most freezers are not built to tolerate extreme temperature changes in an unheated garage.
However, some brands like Whynter and Frigidaire produce garage-ready freezers.
You can also switch to an outdoor freezer if you have no option but to store it in a garage.
Outdoor freezers will adjust to the unpredictable environmental conditions of unheated garages.
They are built to work properly, even if the weather gets too hot or too cold.
So food safety will not be a concern.
However, outdoor freezers can be more expensive than regular freezers.
While outdoor freezers can adapt to temperature changes, they are not built for wet and humid environments.
These devices are prone to rusting in damp garages.
So you must address any humidity concerns before placing these appliances in your garage.