How to Keep a Refrigerator in the Garage

Written by j. johnson
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How to Keep a Refrigerator in the Garage
A refrigerator in the garage needs different care than one in the house. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A second refrigerator in the garage can give you an extra space to store your food without taking up more space in the house. However, this option is limited to houses in environments where the temperatures rarely drop to freezing temperatures, or to houses that have a heated garage. Most refrigerators will stop working when the surrounding area gets too cold, causing items to freeze and then thaw, which can damage the integrity of many temperature-sensitive items like fruits, vegetables and meat. Because of this risk, you need to keep a closer eye on your garage refrigerator than your in-house refrigerator.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Install the refrigerator in the area of your garage with the steadiest temperature. If you place it beside a heater or a window that lets in a lot of cold air, it may shut off unexpectedly. Also, keep sufficient space around the refrigerator, by not having any large items pressed up against it blocking the airflow can damage the refrigerator.

  2. 2

    Plug your refrigerator into an insulated and grounded wall outlet. Do not connect your garage refrigerator to a ground fault interrupter circuit. This type of circuit is common in garages, and it's more likely to trip and disable power to your refrigerator. Also avoid switch outlets that could be switched off by accident.

  3. 3

    Keep the temperature in your garage above 12.8 degrees Celsius if at all possible. Many refrigerators shut off when they drop below that point, exposing food to the temperature outside. Since outside temperatures fluctuate, it will cause food temperatures to fluctuate, which causes food to spoil faster.

  4. 4

    Switch the garage refrigerator's power/energy saver switch to the "on" position during the hot summer months. Switch it "off" during the colder winter months. This will reduce moisture on the outside of the refrigerator, which will reduce the chance of mould.

  5. 5

    Place a thermometer in a cup of water, stored near the centre of your refrigerator, and check it daily to make sure the temperature remains between 0.556 and 4.44 degrees Celsius. Also, if your refrigerator has a freezer, keeping that at the warmest freezing temperature will direct more energy to maintaining your refrigerator's temperature.

Tips and warnings

  • Eat and drink what's stored in your garage refrigerator before what's inside your main house refrigerator. This food is more susceptible to spoiling.
  • Do not store a refrigerator in a garage that has a history of flooding.

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