Does a Refrigerator Work Harder in the Garage?

You might be wondering if a refrigerator works harder in the garage. Keeping an extra refrigerator in the garage is convenient for those who stock up on bulk items. It frees up space inside the house and is also beneficial when it comes to food storage. On the other hand, a lot of people are asking if a refrigerator works harder in the garage due to the fluctuating temperature especially if the garage is uninsulated. We will find out the answer below.

Does a refrigerator work harder in the garage? An uninsulated and unheated garage that has extreme temperatures throughout the year can make a refrigerator work harder. This is because the warmer the air in the garage is, the refrigerator has to work harder to maintain a cool temperature. Take note that prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can cause stress on the motor and cause it to fail.

Garage refrigerators are usually used to store beverages and other food items that do not fit in the kitchen refrigerator. However, the main issue with having a refrigerator in the garage is that it is exposed to hot and humid environments which can damage it. Uninsulated garages can put a lot of stress on the fridge, especially during the summer. Read the rest of the article below for more tips and information.

Does a refrigerator work harder in the garage
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Why Does a Refrigerator Work Harder in a Garage?

A refrigerator works harder in a garage because it needs to maintain a cool temperature so that the food inside will not spoil. If the garage is not climate controlled, the temperature can be too hot for the fridge to handle. Take note that most refrigerators have an ambient room temperature range between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the ambient temperature is higher, the compressor of the fridge needs to work harder. The fridge’s compressor does not work all the time. It only starts to work when the inside temperature drops beyond what is set on the thermostat. Moreover, it is the ambient temperature also determines how fast or slow the fridge absorbs heat. The higher the ambient temperature is in the garage, the faster the fridge absorbs heat.

If the fridge absorbs more heat, the inside temperature will rise above the thermostat setting. Because of this, the compressor needs to work harder. When the refrigerator is constantly exposed to hot temperatures, your energy bills can also increase.

Do Refrigerators Work Harder in the Garage During the Summer?

During the summer season when the temperature spikes up inside the garage, the refrigerator will work harder which can cause electric bills to go up and also increases the risk that it will get damaged. To prevent this, make sure that the temperature inside the garage is between 60 to 70 degrees.

Do Extreme Temperatures During the Summer and Winter Make the Refrigerator Use More Energy?

Extreme temperatures during the summer and winter seasons can make the refrigerator use more energy. How much energy the refrigerator will use depends on the outdoor temperature and humidity inside the garage. When the refrigerator is exposed to a 90-degree temperature, it can use up to fifty percent more energy. Moreover, if the ambient temperature in a garage drops below 40, the thermostat cooling and defrosting cycles will not properly work. You must read the user manual of the refrigerator so that you can learn about its ambient temperature.

How to Safely Keep a Refrigerator in the Garage

Proper insulation, keeping the thermostat warm, keeping the compartment full, and providing proper air circulation is some of the ways that you can safely keep a refrigerator in the garage. Do not forget to check the user manual of the fridge to determine the temperature ranges that they can work in.

Provide Proper Insulation

Before you decide to place a refrigerator in the garage, make sure that it is adequately insulated. This is important especially if you are experiencing extreme hot and cold temperatures in your area. If you do not have a budget to protect your whole garage, you can focus on the walls. Provide insulation so that the temperature inside the garage is within the range of the refrigerator.

Maintain a Warm Thermostat Level

Another way to safely keep a refrigerator in the garage is by keeping the thermostat warm. If you live in an area where your main concern is the freezing temperature, the best option is to install kits that will keep the thermostat warm so that it continues to function even when exposed to freezing temperatures. There is a wide array of kits that are available on the market. You might need to hire the services of a professional to install the kit on your fridge. On the other hand, if you decide to insulate the garage, there is no need to install a kit.

Keep the Refrigerator Protected

The garage also serves as storage for all of the things that you are not using inside the house. Hence, it is prone to dirt, dust, and debris. Make sure that your refrigerator is safe from dust and debris. The area around the fridge should be clean to have proper airflow. Moreover, flammable items should be placed as far away from the fridge as possible. Bear in mind that the coils of the refrigerator transfer heated refrigerant that can trigger a fire.

Fill Up Your Refrigerator

It is recommended that you fill up your refrigerator so that it is easier to keep a cold temperature. If the refrigerator is full, it does not have to work harder to maintain the temperature inside. If you do not have that much food inside the fridge, you can use gallons of water to fill it up.

Provide Proper Air Circulation

You must provide proper air circulation around the refrigerator. This will allow the fridge to breathe. When placing the fridge in the garage, make sure that there is space between the wall and the back of the fridge. Moreover, there should also be enough space at the sides of the fridge.

✅ Video – How Does a Refrigerator Work?

The Explained Channel shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how a refrigerator works. There are different types of refrigerators and some have higher-quality features than others. You can check out the video to learn about how it works.

Can You Place a Refrigerator in the Garage All Year Round?

As long as the garage is properly insulated, you can keep a refrigerator all year round. You need to consider the temperature inside the garage. Aside from that, it is also important that you understand how refrigerators function so that you can decide if a certain type of fridge suits the garage or not. Refrigerators function by sensing the air temperature around them so that they can adjust the temperature inside. We have also shared this article titled, why won’t my refrigerator work in the garage? You can check out the article for more tips and information.

What Type of Refrigerator is Best for the Garage?

The best type of refrigerator for the garage is the one that can handle a wide temperature range. Take note that some refrigerators are more suitable for garage use as compared to others. The main issue of keeping a refrigerator in the garage is that the thermostat can become confused if the garage temperature drops from its operating temperature range. When choosing a refrigerator for the garage, make sure that you opt for the one that has a wide temperature range.

Does Garage Refrigerator Have a Longer Lifespan than an Indoor Refrigerator?

The garage refrigerator does not have a longer lifespan as compared to an indoor refrigerator because it needs to work harder inside the garage so that it can maintain a cool internal temperature. Aside from that, if the garage is uninsulated or unheated, there is a greater risk of rust and corrosion. You can also read this article that discusses how to tell if a refrigerator is garage-ready. We have shared helpful information that you can refer to.

Outdoor Refrigerator Stops Working at What Temperature Level?

An outdoor refrigerator will stop working if the temperature level is over 90 degrees or below 32 degrees. The garage must maintain a cool and constant temperature level so that the refrigerator works efficiently. Otherwise, the fridge will shut off and its contents will thaw. You can also check out this article that discusses if you can put an indoor fridge outdoors. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

At What Conditions Does a Refrigerator Work Efficiently in a Garage?

Standard refrigerators can work efficiently if the ambient temperature is between 68 to 71 degrees. On the other hand, you need to note that specifics vary according to the brand of the refrigerator. The further away the temperature level is from the ideal range, the harder the refrigerator will need to work. This can stress out its motor which increases the risk of damage. We have also shared this article titled, what’s the difference between a regular freezer and a garage-ready freezer? You can check out the article for more tips and information.


In this article, we have discussed if a refrigerator works harder in the garage. We have found out that a refrigerator works harder in a garage that is exposed to extreme temperature changes. If the temperature inside the garage is extremely high, the compressor and motor of the fridge will work harder to maintain a cool temperature so that its contents will not spoil. It is recommended that you insulate your garage before you keep the fridge there. Thank you for reading!

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