Can You Put a Refrigerator in a Hot Garage?

July 12, 2020

Many people have a refrigerator or freezer in their garage. It’s not an ideal location during the summer, but it can be done.

If you live in the Wichita area, or anywhere that temperatures get into the high 90s and 100s, your garage could be 10-20 degrees hotter. This temperature of course depends on whether or not your garage is insulated, the material of the door, how much sun hits the garage, etc. Just know the hotter it is in the garage, the more effort it takes for your appliances to cool properly.

When your garage is 100+ degrees inside, your appliances are certainly going to be less efficient. If you garage is routinely 100+, you do risk burn out and failure. Here are a few tips to ensure refrigerator or freezer will keep running.

  • Keep it Full
    An empty refrigerator or freezer has more air inside. That air is warmed quickly when the door opens. Keep the fridge/freezer fully stocked, or add large items to fill the empty space. This is really only helpful if you open the fridge several times a day though.
  • Add a Fan
    When the temperature is really high, pull the fridge away from the wall and aim a fan at the back of the unit. This will move the warm air around, allowing the unit to cool down. A ceiling fan will help also.
  • Get a Portable AC
    Use a portable air conditioner during extreme heat spikes. These portable cooling units can cool small areas, so they probably won’t cool the entire garage, but they will keep some cool air on the fridge.
  • Rearrange
    If you’re expecting extended hot spells, consider shutting your garage refrigerator down for a while. Not a day or two, that will only make it hard for the fridge to re-cool, but for a couple of weeks or more. If you can allow your supplies to dwindle in the weeks leading up to the hottest parts of summer, then rearrange what’s left indoors for a few of the really hot weeks, you could reduce the risk of problems, and extend the life of your freezer or refrigerator.

So, can you put a refrigerator or freezer in a hot garage? Yes, but not without some risk. A climate controlled location is much safer for your appliances. Heat makes it difficult for refrigerators to run efficiently… and winter poses a whole new set of problems. If you can avoid exposing your appliances to extreme temperature changes, they will thank you for it.

Definitely check your refrigerator’s owners manual to see the recommend operating temperatures. Follow your manufacturer’s suggestions so that you do not void your warranty.

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