Why Won’t My Refrigerator Work in the Garage?

Do you have a refrigerator in the garage and are wondering why it does not work? The garage is not an ideal place for a refrigerator because many factors can affect its functionality and efficiency. A regular refrigerator can get damaged due to the extreme temperature inside the garage. Below, we will discuss the different issues why a refrigerator will not work in the garage.

Why won’t my refrigerator work in the garage? A refrigerator will not work in the garage because of different reasons. The most common is that the temperature inside the garage drops dips below freezing. When this happens, the thermostat inside the freezer section of the refrigerator will think that it is cold enough and will shut off. Other reasons include overheating, and damage to the internal part of the fridge.

If your refrigerator in the garage is not working, one of the problems can be the extreme cold temperature. Extreme cold can make the fridge stopped working. On the other hand, it will start working again once the temperature gets hotter. The problem is that once the fridge stops working, the food inside can thaw and spoil. Read the rest of the article below to learn more about the topic.

Why won't my refrigerator work in the garage
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Why Does My Refrigerator in the Garage Will Not Work?

The refrigerator in the garage will not work because of the extreme temperature. This is a common issue that homeowners encounter especially if they have an uninsulated garage. The fridge works by comparing the thermostat temperature setting inside it to the temperature in the garage. Take note that regular refrigerators are made to function at room temperature and the extreme coldness in the garage may be too hard for it to handle.

For instance, if the refrigerator’s thermostat is set to 35 degrees and the temperature in the garage drops to 30 degrees, the fridge will think that it has reached the optimum level and will turn off. This can be a problem because the food inside will start to thaw. The good news is that when the temperature gets hotter, the fridge will work again.

What are the Reasons Why Refrigerators Will Not Work in the Garage?

Extreme temperature levels and humidity are the common reasons why a refrigerator will not work in a garage. People always encounter issues with their refrigerator if their garage is unheated or uninsulated. A regular refrigerator cannot handle the extreme hot and cold temperature inside the garage. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a garage-ready refrigerator that can handle a wide range of temperatures.

Low Temperature in the Garage

One of the reasons why a refrigerator will not work in the garage is because of the low temperature. Most fridges are controlled by a thermostat that is located in the fresh food section. This means that the temperature in the fresh food section is the set temperature for the entire refrigerator. Take note that the fresh food section of the refrigerator is cooled using cold air that comes from the freezer section. Of course, this will have to depend on the type of refrigerator that you have, but this is a common occurrence for most refrigerators.

When the temperature inside the garage reaches 50 degrees, the fridge will not operate long enough so that the freezer section can properly cool. The reason for this is that the fridge does not need to operate very long so that the fresh food section reaches the set temperature if the garage temperature is already low. Moreover, when the temperature in the garage drops to 30 degrees, the fridge will stop working.

High Temperature in the Garage

The high temperature in the garage can also be the reason why a refrigerator will not work. While refrigerators in the garage work better when exposed to high temperatures as compared to low temperatures, they can still cause a lot of issues. If the temperature in your garage reaches 90 degrees, the refrigerator will not cut off. The reason for this is that the fridge needs to work hard so that the fresh food section maintains the set temperature.

This can be dangerous because the fridge will continue working for a long time which can cause stress to its internal parts. As a result, the fridge can overload and stop working. If your refrigerator comes with mechanical control, you can simply adjust the freezer section to low so that there will be more airflow into the fresh food section. However, if the fridge operates using electronic controls, it will need to work until the set temperature is obtained.

Humidity in the Garage

The humidity in the garage can cause damage to the refrigerator which can cause it to stop working. Humidity is a common problem in the hot season especially if the garage is uninsulated. When exposed to high humidity levels, the refrigerator will start to sweat badly. This can lead to the defrost system becoming ineffective.

If the refrigerator is designed with an energy saver setting, you need to turn it off when the garage gets too hot to lessen humidity issues. The energy saver turns off the heater near the door of the fridge where the freezer and the fresh food doors meet. You can also check out this article that discusses what a garage-ready refrigerator means. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

My Refrigerator in the Garage is Not Cooling, Why?

There are different reasons why the refrigerator in your garage is not cooling which include a broken inlet damper, dusty condenser coils, broken condenser fan, and broken evaporator fan. Let us delve more into each of these reasons below.

Broken Inlet Damper

One of the reasons why the refrigerator in your garage is not cooling is because of a broken inlet damper. The damper can be found between the freezer and the fresh food section. It is the one that controls the amount of cold air that enters the freezer and fresh food section. If the inlet damper is damaged, cold air will not properly circulate inside the refrigerator. Make sure to check the damper for any issues if your refrigerator is not cooling.

Dusty Condenser Coils

Another reason why the refrigerator is not cooling is because of dusty condenser coils. The garage accumulates dirt and debris that can get into the parts of the fridge such as the condenser and cause problems. The coil is located behind or under the refrigerator and is responsible for cooling and condensing the refrigerant. When it becomes dusty, heat will not be properly released and remains in the refrigerator. Check the condenser coil for dust and debris that can cause blockage and clean it regularly.

Broken Evaporator Fan

A broken evaporator fan can also prevent the fridge from cooling. The evaporator fan is the one that draws the cool air from the coils so that it circulates the fridge. In case the evaporator fan gets broken, cool air will not properly circulate. If this happens, the refrigerator’s freezer section will be cold but the fresh food is not. If this is the issue, then you need to replace the motor of the evaporator fan.

Damaged Condenser Fan

If the condenser fan is damaged, the refrigerator in the garage will not cool properly. It is located at the bottom of the refrigerator, near the condenser coils and compressor. The condenser fan is the one that cools down the compressor and coils. If it gets damaged, the refrigerator will heat up. You need to check if there are dust and dirt that got stuck in the blades of the fan and clean it properly. If the fan is not rotating as it should, you might need to replace it.

✅ Video – Troubleshooting a Refrigerator Not Cooling

Sears PartsDirect shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to troubleshoot a refrigerator that is not cooling. If you are having issues with the cooling features of the refrigerator, you can watch the video below for some tips.

What to do if the Condenser Coil of the Garage Refrigerator is Dusty?

If the condenser of the refrigerator coil is dusty, you need to clean it immediately. Dusty condenser coils will not be able to properly regulate the interior temperature of the refrigerator. This is an easy problem to solve. All that you need to do is to find the condenser coil and use a brush to remove the dust.

Is it Possible that the Refrigerator Can Get Overloaded?

It is possible that a refrigerator can get overloaded. Take note that there are limits to what the fridge can store. If it is overloaded, air cannot circulate properly. Too much food can also block the cold air vent so the fridge will not cool properly and the food inside will spoil. You can also read this article that discusses if it is hard for the refrigerator to be in the garage. We have shared helpful information that you can refer to.

How to Determine if the Refrigerator’s Evaporator Fan Motor is Damaged?

The evaporator fan motor might be damaged if the refrigerator is not properly cooling but the freezer section is okay. Aside from that, noise that comes from the refrigerator can also signal a damaged evaporator fan motor. We have also shared this article titled, why do people have refrigerators in their garage? You can check out the article for more tips and information.


In this article, we have discussed why the refrigerator will not work in the garage. We have found out that there are many reasons why this can happen and one of them is because of extreme temperature levels. Take note that a regular refrigerator is not designed for garage use and will encounter a lot of issues when you place it there. If you are planning to keep a refrigerator in your garage, you should choose one that is specifically made for garage use. Thank you for reading!

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