So, you’ve been thinking of installing a refrigerator in your garage lately, haven’t you? Glad you have and glad to have you visit us for tips on how to get one. For starters, we thought we should let you know that garage refrigerators are smart investments.
You may need a garage fridge because you want an extra refrigerator but you don’t have that space in the main house. That’s fine. A garage or basement is usually the next alternative whenever there isn’t enough installation space.
And just maybe you have a mechanic shop or you do a lot of body repairs and spend a considerable amount of time in your garage, a garage refrigerator will become a necessity over time.
However, when we say ‘garage refrigerators’, we don’t mean to say there are specific refrigerators designed for every garage on the planet. And as you may have already figured, not every refrigerator in the market is perfect for your garage. Well, if you didn’t know before now, then you should know now.
This is why it is important to search properly among the options in the market for the perfect one for you. It is also important to note that while you are looking for that perfect fit, your preferences and needs also matter.
But the real question is; how easy is it to find the best garage refrigerator among the million and one options in the market? Not easy, if you ask us. In fact, boring and tiring are two words that best describe finding the perfect one.
But worry less. We are familiar with the unpleasant sides of shopping for a garage refrigerator and have decided to do the dirty job for you.
This buying guide is a product of hours of thorough research. It should make the task easier.
Benefits of Garage Refrigerators
If you are not too sure about why a garage refrigerator is a necessity, the benefits of having one should help you put things into perspective.
Here are a few:
It is not unlikely that the reason you need a garage refrigerator is that your old one is becoming rather small. And going for a garage refrigerator is one of the smart ways to manage space.
For one, you don’t have to worry that it will take up so much space because, first, they take up little floor space and, two, they stay in your garage and not somewhere in the main house anyway.
You can even choose to have one on a worktable or counter in your garage. Smaller sizes will even fit well into a small garage. And that’s not without the fact that you have a variety of colors and styles to choose from.
Garage refrigerators are pretty easy to install. This makes them convenient refrigerator options. Also, if you tend to spend a considerable amount of time in your garage, you don’t have to go many working hours without a refreshing drink. All you need to do is reach into the fridge and grab a bottle.
You can end the frequent and long trips that you often make to the main house just because you need a drink or some snacks.
What’s more? You certainly can’t ignore the fact that a garage refrigerator also adds a dose of aesthetic value and style to your garage.
One other reason we love garage refrigerators is that they are fairly easy to use. Whether it’s a no-frills model or a sophisticated one, garage refrigerators are not as difficult to use as the regular ones.
Plus their settings don’t need so much getting-used-to for you to use them. In fact, once you’ve set them to your preferred mode and the perfect working conditions, you may not need to tweak it anymore.
The fact that garage refrigerators are moderately priced is music to the ears of many customers. And we trust it is to your ears to. If you are looking for a smart way to invest in a new refrigerator, then you should try out garage refrigerators.
You can find one that is many times cheaper than a regular refrigerator because of the relatively smaller size. You probably need sufficient room for your fruits, snacks, drinks, and vegetables. Most garage refrigerators can provide this room conveniently.
3 Things to Note While Shopping Garage Refrigerators
Like we mentioned earlier, shopping for the best garage refrigerator is not easy peasy lemon squeezy. And the temptation to get hoodwinked by frills and thrills may get you to make a poor choice.
However, these three are important things to note while shopping. Not sure you can make a poor choice if you take note of them.
Here they are:
The Temperature in Your Garage
Regular refrigerators are usually designed to operate in main houses where it is assumed that the insulation is fair enough. The temperature range for operating in homes, generally, is set between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
But it’s a different ball game entirely when these refrigerators are placed in garages. The temperature could switch from blistering heat to freezing temperatures. And nothing hurts an innocent garage refrigerator like not being prepared for fluctuating temperatures because of poorly insulated garages.
It could get as bad as no operation at all if the temperature in the garage drops to a temperature below freezing point. In such cases, the freezer may even thaw out – bringing with it other kinds of problems.
And when it gets really hot, the compressor will work harder to keep your items cold and may eventually get damaged.
So how do you choose a garage refrigerator that can handle the temperatures in your garage? First, we should let you know that leaving this important factor to marketing terms like ‘garage ready’ and ‘garage perfect’ may put you in more trouble than you never asked for. So, we advise you to do the checks yourself.
To be in the clear, check the refrigerator’s manual or the manufacturer’s website. You are likely to get more information about the refrigerator’s operating temperature from these places. This information will help you decide on what to go for.
Better Insulation and Separate Thermostats are Smart Choices
Remember we talked about how refrigerators can change their attitude when the temperature doesn’t favor them? Sure you do. For all its worth, how do you deal with annoying issues like freezers that thaw out when the room temperature is cold?
First and foremost, let’s let you in on why that happens in the first place.
So, rumor has it that refrigerators that act this way often come with just one thermostat for the refrigerator and freezer sections. In a case where the temperature in the fridge gets really hot, cooler air is extracted from the freezer to make a balance. At this point, that noisy guy – the compressor – does more work not to take the frozen out of freezer.
It could swing in the opposite direction too – when the temperature in the room is too cold. In such cases, the fridge won’t even bother trying to keep the insides cool anymore. This will then mean that the compressor won’t be turned on. Further meaning that the freezer never freezes. So, at the end of the day, the freezer looks like the fridge section and is not able to freeze things.
It gets even messier when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Everything becomes cold and frozen in the freezer; which is ok. But what do you think about a frozen fridge section? Like waking one morning and seeing that your vegetables are now frozen solid. Yeah, we thought so too.
But things won’t have to get awry like this if you choose a refrigerator that comes with separate thermostats. In fact, you won’t go through any of these if you have separate thermostats. What’s more? The freezers will be better insulated against extremities and even electrical parts are kept at constant operating temperatures.
‘Garage Refrigerators’ not ‘Outdoor Refrigerators’
Ok, let’s get this sorted out once and for all. Did you at any time think of buying an outdoor fridge for your garage just because garages sort of look like outdoor settings? Yes? Well, nothing could be further from the truth and we will tell you why.
If a refrigerator is labeled ‘outdoor’ for any reason, rest assured it is deemed for that purpose because it is weatherproofed by Underwriters Laboratories and is considered suitable and safe for use in wet weather. And by weatherproof, it actually means warm to fairly moderate climates. So don’t think an outdoor refrigerator will thrive in freezing weather conditions.
Garage refrigerators, on the other hand, are not resistant to wet weather. The idea of a garage refrigerator is to be able to function in an uninsulated or unheated space like a basement or garage refrigerator.
Clear? We hope so.
So, let’s stick with garage refrigerators, shall we?
How to Buy the Best Garage Refrigerators
Before you make a choice, we believe that there a few factors that you need to consider to avoid being a victim of garage refrigerators that are less-than-perfect.
Here are some of the factors that we recommend:
When it comes to size, the general assumption is compact for garage refrigerators. But not so. That they are usually compact in size doesn’t necessarily mean that every garage refrigerator will fit into your space.
You need to know how much space you can spare in your garage and more importantly if it is available. You also need to do an estimate of the kind of items and how much you will be storing in the refrigerator.
Usually, a few drinks, snacks, fruits and some milk. But then again, that’s a general idea.
So, while dimensions are important, capacity is also vital. The maximum storage capacity that garage refrigerators offer is usually about 5 to 6 cubic feet.
It always helps to work with a budget whenever you are shopping for a refrigerator. Even though we mentioned earlier that garage refrigerators are affordable, working within the limits of a set budget is always a smart investment strategy.
But generally, irrespective of the kind of budget you plan to work with, you should find something good that fits into your range. So, don’t let a tight budget stop you from owning that garage refrigerator.
Garages experience fluctuating temperatures all year round. During summer, it is expected that it will get warmer in the garage. And because garages are usually uninsulated, they may not be able to shut out most of the heat coming from outside.
Now, imagine a refrigerator working under such temperature conditions. Will it be able to stand the heat? Can the compressor handle the stress?
Remember it could also swing in the opposite direction. So, the more holistic question is if the refrigerator can withstand fluctuating temperatures.
Cheap garage refrigerators may have a hard time handling such fluctuations and may get damaged eventually. The last thing you want is to have to call a repairer ever so often.
So, check the installation instructions and be sure it is suitable for your garage.
The aesthetic value of a garage refrigerator also matters. In fact, if your garage is open to the public or people visit regularly, then you need to put in some effort to ensure that the design is great.
Start with choosing a design and a color that you know your guests will find attractive. However, while you are at it, ensure that the color doesn’t look awkward in your garage setting. Attractive not awkward is the key.
Of course, you may decide to go retro by choosing a refrigerator that emphasizes the vintage style.
The inside of the refrigerator is another factor you want to take note of. And we don’t mean capacity in this case. You should factor in storage options that the refrigerator may offer.
For instance, adjustable shelves in the refrigerator will be a great plus. With these storage features, you can manage the capacity of the refrigerator maximally. Well, that will depend on the kind of items that you will be storing in the refrigerator.
Also, glass shelves are better options when compared to metal shelves because their material makes them easy to clean. But while you are at it, you need to be sure that the glass is durable and sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your items.
The quality of the compressor seems to be a factor that most people ignore. However, it is quite important. This refrigerator component determines the cooling operations of the refrigerator. And if you remember what we said about temperatures, you’ll also remember that compressors also play a major role.
In essence, a good compressor is required for a garage refrigerator to thrive well in a garage or any other uninsulated or unheated room.
You should probably do a bit of research on the type of compressor that the refrigerator has before you buy it. Customer reviews about the product can also be helpful. You may want to take advantage of those too.
Noise is a common feature of most refrigerators. And it is not unlikely that the one you eventually choose makes some noise.
However, the noise level is a factor you should consider before you make a purchase. You can learn about the noise level by checking customer reviews. We recommend this because you are likely to have unbiased opinions on how the fridge functions.
Also, it seems that the more noise a refrigerator makes, one way or another, the more energy it consumes. See why you should check noise levels?
A warranty is a manufacturer’s way of backing up the integrity of its innovation. It is how you can rest assured of the quality of the refrigerator. This is why you should avoid refrigerators that do not have warranties like a plague.
Often times, the manufacturer will back the warranty with a money-back policy based on specified terms and conditions.
You certainly want to be covered if an unlikely defect or damage happens to the refrigerator. However, while warranties are valid for a specified period of time and can be voided under certain conditions they are still important.
So, you should look out for them.
Now, if you live in an area where the climate is moderate, maybe you won’t need a garage-ready refrigerator. A regular fridge that fits your needs and preferences may just be all you need. However, if you don’t, say you live in a place where you have weather extremities then you definitely need a garage ready refrigerator.
And while you continue shopping for the best garage refrigerator, you may want to check out popular garage refrigerator brands like Summit, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Danby, and Haier.
We trust that this article was helpful and you are better informed on how to buy the best garage refrigerator for you.
Just in case you have questions or you think someone else will need to learn from your experience with a garage refrigerator, please feel free to use the comment section below.