Keeping a Chest Freezer in the Garage

  • Can I Keep a Chest Freezer in the Garage?
  • Considerations when Keeping Freezers Outside
  • Best Chest Freezers for the Garage
  • Minimum Operating Temperatures
Freezers in the Garage? (pic: flickr.com/photos/tachyondecay/2068146974/)
Keeping a chest freezer here?

An often asked question is "Can I use a chest freezer in a garage or other outdoor area?" The answer, according to most manufacturers is actually no. They usually only design their refrigeration appliances to operate within a temperature range defined by an official climate class rating.

The lowest climate class temperature is 10 degrees C; not helpful if you want to keep the freezer in the garage during the winter.

Happily, some manufacturers have come to the rescue and moved on from these strict climate classes!

Click to see all current Garage Freezers or continue reading for more important information.

Climate Class

The climate class for a freezer should be listed along with the energy consumption rating. There are several climate classes that cover different temperature ranges - with Class SN having the lowest operating temperature: 10 Deg C. This is fine most of the year but of course temperatures can dip below this in winter.

There is a lot of debate on the internet about this, with some people claiming to have used a freezer in the garage for years with no problems, and some appliance repair specialists saying it's a definite no-no and that manufacturers are unrealistic when they say that their freezers are ok to be kept in an unheated space.

Stay Lucky?

Four Leaf CloverWe all know that many people do keep their fridges and freezers in garages and experience no problems at all. In some cases this could just be down to luck or maybe their outside space doesn't actually dip too far below the recommended level. You do have to remember though that if your freezer does develops a fault, the warranty may not be valid if the product was kept in an area where there temperature was outside the range it was designed for.

They Say It's OK

Some manufacturers know that many people have limited indoor space and have specifically made their chest freezers suitable for the garage and some other types of outbuilding. This is often achieved with a 'concealed condenser' which is specially located inside the freezer to be better protected from the elements.

Beko FreezerGuardZanussi, Haier and Ice King confirm that at least some of their products can be used in a garage or shed while Beko go a stage further and say that some of their products can operate down to -15C with their FreezerGuard technology.

You should also be wary of some retailers that claim certain freezers are suitable for outbuilding use but where the climate class rating states 10c or 16c is the minimum.

Ideal Conditions

Whatever the case, it is important to ensure that the location for the freezer does meet some basic requirements. It should be dry, level, free from damp and extreme high and low temperatures and the surface should be level (some units may have adjustable feet to help here). It is vitally important to allow enough room around the unit (especially the back) for good airflow.

Oh and don't forget about the summer high temperatures too - your poor freezer will already be working hard so ensure that the location won't get too hot.

So, Can I Keep a Chest Freezer In My Garage?

There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer to this question as some manufacturers are quite adamant that it is fine, while others may only quote a climate class of N - that's a minimum temperature of 16 degrees.

But if you are concerned that the ambient temperature in your desired location will fall below freezing, it is worth seeking out a product from a manufacturer that specifically approves that their product is suitable for such environments. Luckily more and more manufacturers seem to be realising that people today really need their freezer to work reliably outside.

TIP: Use a minimum-maximum thermometer to check the lowest temperature that your garage falls to overnight, though this will only be useful to do during the winter.

Fridge Freezers are Different

Also, while a standalone chest freezer is designed to continually maintain a very low temperature, you should be aware that a combined fridge/freezer only has one refrigeration unit - therefore if the room temperature is too cold then you may find the freezer compartment starts to defrost because the fridge compartment hasn't got "warm" enough to cause the compressor to run.

Our advice: definitely don't keep a combined fridge-freezer where temperatures are likely to be close to or below zero degrees C.

Best Chest Freezers for the Garage

Update We've now updated the details for each chest freezer model and now show the minimum room temperature as recommended by the manufacturer. Where this is 0c or below, we have included this in the safe for garage/outbuilding section.

For the latest models where the manufacturer has designed their freezer specifically to be kept in unheated outbuildings, please click here