For many home-owners, space within the kitchen is at a premium. For larger families or those who wish to shop only once a week, then the installation of an additional, or even a larger, main refrigerator located within a garage can solve a lot of issues and ensure that the kitchen space can be utilised effectively.
This means that the kitchen can house a smaller, refrigerator only unit within the kitchen, or alternatively create additional cold or freezer space to that already at the house.
A typical, standard refrigerator is not designed to work in a garage or outside area that reaches temperatures above that in your temperature-controlled property. It is possible though to install a refrigerator in your garage, and we will take a look at how you can do that.
How your refrigerator works
The problem that occurs if you install a refrigerator in a hot garage is created because your refrigeration unit monitors the outside temperature and then uses that reading to control the freezer temperature.
The air from the freezer is blown into the fridge area maintaining the fridge at a suitable temperature for food storage. In most units, there is a thermostat in the fridge section also monitoring the temperature. There is an evaporator within the freezer section. That leaves both your fridge and freezer sections of the unit operating independently, but both reactive to the outside temperature wherever the unit is placed.
In a temperature controlled indoor area which is maintained at a more or less consistent temperature, this works very well. If you take that model refrigerator and install it somewhere with a hot, or fluctuating external environment, then you have issues – and a huge electricity bill coming.
If the temperature in the location you have installed your refrigerator gets too hot, especially if it exceeds 110 degrees, then the refrigerator will be working constantly in order to reduce the internal temperature appropriately.
In many parts of the Country, the garage is uninsulated, not air-conditioned, and can reach very high temperatures indeed during the day. As the refrigerator works harder when it senses that the outside temperature is hot, it will be running constantly.
A note here would be to ensure that you have the correct electricity supply within your garage to run the appliance – if you have any doubt then please do consult an electrician.
What can you do to install a refrigerator in a hot garage
Install a Garage-Ready Refrigerator.
The first, and least time-consuming solution would be to fit a garage-ready refrigerator. These are clearly marketed as such and are specially adapted to allow for greater fluctuations in outside temperature.
They are more expensive than a standard model refrigerator designed for internal installation, but you order one, it comes, you plug it in (after following manufacturer’s standing instructions) and everything should be just dandy.
Make sure that you keep the unit full.
When you go to your fridge and open the door, warm air goes in, cold air comes out. If you make sure that you keep the fridge well stocked then there is less air displacement and the temperature in the fridge remains lower.
If you don’t have that much within the fridge then just stack bottles of water in there – they will retain the cold and prevent the fridge from heating up too much when it is opened.
Change the Environment in the Garage.
A fairly drastic way forwards, but if you drop the temperature in the garage, you are improving the environment that the refrigerator is reacting to. Ideally, a unit will work at its optimum level between 60 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Clearly, bringing the ambient temperature in the garage within this range will work.
How to do that? Well, minor adaptations could be to install ventilation or a fan; you could put an air-conditioning unit it – although clearly you are back with the big electricity bills – or you could work on a suitable area for the refrigerator within the garage.
Custom building an insulated area for the refrigerator would be a major undertaking for most and all good advice would have you using an electrician to ensure that the supply to the refrigerator stayed safe. It would though sort any issues if you partitioned off an area that then was kept at a steady, lower, temperature.
Ensure good airflow.
The refrigerator needs good airflow around the cooling coils at the back. A fan directed at these, good airflow, and nothing piled nearby impeding the flow of air will all help the refrigerator to work at optimum temperature.
Hopefully, these tips will answer your questions on how to run a refrigerator in a hot garage. It is possible, you can improve the environment to suit your existing fridge, or buy a ‘Garage-Optimised’ unit for installation.