Having a separate freezer can be extremely convenient for storing extra food. But is the garage the best place for it? There are pros and cons to consider when deciding where to put a freezer.
Installing a standalone freezer in your garage is a common solution for adding extra storage capacity. But there are important factors to consider before putting your freezer out there.
One of the biggest downsides to keeping a freezer in the garage is exposure to temperature fluctuations. Garages tend to get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, especially if they are detached and uninsulated. These temperature extremes can damage freezers and cause them to malfunction.
According to experts, freezer temperatures should stay between 0°F and 110°F. If the temperature rises above 110°F, the freezer has to work much harder to maintain the proper internal temperature.
This can overtax the compressor and lead to premature failure. Frigid winter temps can also confuse the freezer and cause it to shut off entirely since it senses the temperature is already at 0°F. Either situation can lead to spoilage of frozen food.
Humidity and condensation are problematic for freezers. The unit’s cold condenser coils produce moisture, exacerbating dampness issues.
Place the freezer in the driest area of the garage, away from plumbing walls or water sources. Use dehumidifiers and keep the main garage door closed to control humidity.
If you live in an area with moderate seasons, putting a freezer in the garage may be fine. Insulating the garage can help regulate temperatures.
You may also consider installing a thermostat-controlled outlet to power the freezer and help prevent issues from temperature swings. Just make sure the garage doesn’t get overly humid, as moisture can damage appliances over time.
Also Read: Can I Leave a Chest Freezer Outside?
Rodents and insects can be attracted to the smells from your freezer. Garages provide more access points for pests than interior rooms.
Seal any openings, use traps and keep the unit extremely clean. But you’ll never fully pest-proof a detached garage like you could inside the home.
A standalone freezer contains hundreds of dollars of frozen food, making it an attractive target for theft. Garages are more vulnerable than monitored interior spaces.
Consider adding locks, lighting, cameras and audible alarms triggered by garage entry. But there is inherently higher security risk than indoor placement.
Running a freezer in the garage typically costs more than running one inside the house. Hot summer temps force the freezer to run more to maintain cold temperatures, driving up energy bills. Even in cold winters, the warmer garage compared to the insulated house still usually requires more electricity for the freezer.
It’s a good idea to choose an energy efficient freezer if it will live in the garage. Look for ENERGY STAR certified models designed specifically for garage use. These units have extra insulation and compressors that can handle temperature fluctuations better.
Storing frozen food in a garage freezer increases the risk of spoilage from temperature variations. The constant cold and freezing action helps prevent bacterial growth in food. So any thawing from even intermittent power or equipment failure can compromise food safety.
If you lose power, freezer items stored in the garage will thaw faster than if the freezer was inside the house. And you may not realize right away if the garage freezer stops running properly. It’s critical to have a plan to monitor freezer temps if it’s located outside of daily living spaces.
Safety and Maintenance
Appliances like freezers are meant for indoor use. Putting one in the garage exposes it to humidity, pests, dust and fumes from lawn mowers or cars parked alongside. These elements can decrease the lifespan of your freezer.
Electrical and fire hazards are also a concern if the garage is not properly wired. Make sure there is a dedicated outlet in close proximity to where the freezer will sit so extension cords are not necessary. Leave ample clearance around the unit for ventilation and have proper fire alarms installed.
Keep Food Frozen No Matter What’s Outside with a Garage Ready Freezer
Your home’s garage can experience temperature fluctuations from very hot to very cold. Installing a regular upright or chest freezer in the garage could result in spoiled food and extra work for the freezer’s compressor. Protect your frozen goods and your appliance with a freezer made for garage storage.
Garage ready freezers are designed to maintain safe internal temperatures for food even when the external temperatures swing wildly between summer heat and winter cold. These heavy duty freezers have extra insulation and specialized components to keep operation smooth during temperature extremes.
What Makes a Freezer Garage Ready?
Special design considerations allow garage ready freezers to operate efficiently:
- Thicker insulation throughout the freezer walls and door help maintain cool air inside and prevent exterior temperatures from affecting internal temps.
- Weather-resistant exterior stands up to humidity and condensation that could occur in a garage environment.
- Reinforced hinges and latches on the lid or door allow frequent opening and closing without misalignment over time.
- Durable compressor is sized and designed to run as needed to preserve temperatures in hot weather.
- Temperature controls keep operation consistent even with wide temperature swings outside the freezer.
Keep Food Safe Through Weather Extremes
Freezing food slows down the growth of bacteria that could make you sick. Proper temperatures preserve both nutrition and flavor until you are ready to thaw and eat foods.
A garage ready freezer maintains temperatures as low as 0°F even when it’s 110°F in the garage. Food stays frozen solid instead of thawing and refreezing which deteriorates texture and quality.
These heavy-duty freezers also keep food frozen when the mercury dips below freezing outside. The freezer won’t have to work as hard on cold days either thanks to the insulated design and advanced temperature regulation.
Convenient Storage for Frozen Favorites
Having a freezer in the garage provides extra storage near kitchen for favorites like:
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Prepared casseroles and meals
- Meat, poultry, and seafood
- Baked goods like breads and muffins
- Ice cream, popsicles, and other novelties
Chest freezers give you the advantage of large open interior storage space. Use baskets or containers to keep similar items organized. It’s easy to see what’s inside without shuffling and searching.
Upright freezers take up less floor space. The vertical design offers shelves and bins for organizing smaller items. Grab what you need without digging down into a chest.
Save Time with Easy Access to Frozen Foods
Pulling together meals is a snap when ingredients are at your fingertips. A garage freezer offers supplemental storage near the kitchen to stock up on staples or bulk buys.
No need to run out to the store when you planned ahead and stored extra foods in the garage freezer. Prepared meals, baked goods, and party ice are right there when you need them.
Get the Most Out of Your Freezer Investment
Your freezer works hard to maintain proper temperatures in hot, humid, and cold conditions. Help it work efficiently with smart usage tips:
- Allow ample air circulation around the freezer exterior.
- Open lid or door only long enough to get items in or out.
- Organize contents for easy access to minimize open times.
- Ensure door/lid seals are clean for a tight closure.
With the right freezer designed specifically for garage use, you can gain extra secure storage space for your family’s frozen favorites.
Installation Best Practices
Proper placement and setup are key for optimal garage freezer performance:
- Locate along shaded side of garage away from direct sunlight.
- Avoid under overhead doors where rain or snowmelt cause water damage. Elevate on pads.
- Ensure the unit sits level so doors close and seal properly.
- Allow adequate clearance for airflow around condenser coils.
- Use insulation, ventilation and temperature monitoring to create ideal conditions.
Regular Maintenance Is Crucial
Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for optimal efficiency and lifespan:
- Periodically vacuum condenser coils to remove dust buildup.
- Annually check and lubricate door gaskets for proper seal.
- Monitor temperature display and adjust as needed.
- Defrost freezer and clean interior at least once a year.
- Immediately address any rattling fan or mechanical issues.
Ideal Freezer Size for Garage Use
When selecting a garage freezer, larger is often better to enable bulk purchases and extra capacity. Here are some typical sizes to consider:
- Compact (5 – 10 cubic feet) – These smaller upright freezers are best for supplements to existing kitchen fridge/freezers. They can hold essential overstock items without taking up as much space.
- Mid-Size (10 – 15 cubic feet) – The sweet spot for households needing serious extra capacity. Accommodates large shopping trips, game meat, and seasonal items. Fits in most garage layouts.
- Large (15 – 25 cubic feet) – Enables major bulk buys of food at a discount or storing a deer or elk. Requires a sizable footprint so ensure your garage has space. May need dual compressors to maintain even temperatures in hot climates.
- Giant (25+ cubic feet) – Provides restaurant-level volume. Allows purchase of a side of beef or pallet quantities when food shopping. Confirm the garage floor can handle immense weights over 1000 pounds fully loaded. May require reinforcements.
Consider how much capacity you really need as larger units come with higher price tags, electricity demands, and footprint requirements. But don’t size too small either or you’ll quickly outgrow the freezer’s storage.
The Bottom Line
Installing a freezer in your garage can free up room indoors and provide extra storage capacity. But there are good reasons why most freezers reside inside the home. Maintaining proper temperatures is challenging in unregulated garage environments.
Running costs are higher, food safety is compromised, and convenience is reduced. Weigh your options carefully before exiling your freezer. With the right preparations, your garage may suit a freezer just fine. But be aware of the potential downsides.