If you have friends and family over at your place or you just enjoy hanging out on the deck then possibly you’ll be drawn to the idea of having a fridge conveniently set up outside the house.
After all, there’ll probably be no need for ice cooler boxes anymore as you’ll be able to conveniently access cold beer or chilled soft drinks, right?
But should you keep a fridge outside? Are there risks you should be aware of?
This post discusses whether you should keep a fridge outside or not, and the potential risks and impact on its performance to help you make an informed decision on whether to set up one or not.
Should You Keep a Fridge Outside?
Yes, you can set up a fridge outside provided it is not exposed to rain or moisture that leads to rust.
Keep the fridge in a cool shaded place away from direct sunlight for the fridge to cool efficiently.
How Keeping a Fridge Outside Can Affect Its Performance
The fridge’s performance can vary depending on the prevailing weather.
During the hot summer, the fridge compressor can struggle to maintain the interior cool.
Temperatures in excess of 110°F are dangerous for the operation of the fridge as they lead to the overheating and breakdown of the compressor oil which damages the compressor.
Install the fridge in a cool and well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight then the fridge should work fine.
Expect the energy consumption of the fridge to increase too. If on the other hand, where you live is cool, the energy use will be lower.
The fridge’s performance will suffer if it is not designed for use in an unconditioned environment.
For example, depending on the thermostat setting, the freezer may not be able to cycle on and cool because the thermostat temperature is set close to the ambient temperature during winter which leads to the thawing and spoilage of the the freezer contents.
At 32°F, the compressor oil freezes and is not able to circulate affecting the fridge’s ability to cool effectively.
In general, avoid placing the fridge in an unheated environment as it affects the safe operation of the fridge.
What Temperature Should the Fridge be Set to Cool Effectively?
The fridge should be set to between 35°F-38°F for it to keep the contents cool enough. Consult your owner manual. Use an internal thermometer or a wireless display thermometer to confirm the internal fridge temperature.
If you have to install the fridge outside, keep it in a cool and well-ventilated place for it to maintain the interior cool easily. Keep the fridge away from water or moisture or it will rust.
For consistent and reliable operation of the fridge, install it in an environment where the temperatures are in the 60°F and 110°F range.