Freezers

Best Garage Freezers Reviewed: Upright, Chest, and Deep Freezers

We can say for sure that one major habit born out of pandemic-mode life was stocking up on food. For this, a means to store your extra frozen food was required, but there was a run on dedicated, standalone garage freezers in the market back in 2020.

Fast forward to 2021, and you have plenty of garage freezers to choose from at the click of a mouse. However, the foray into the freezer world is not as simple as it looks, and this is because they’re found in different sizes and types. On top of that, you need to consider various factors and features before you arrive at a sound decision.

Leave the hard part to us. Our buying guide will give you a headstart in pinpointing what to look for and expect when searching for a garage freezer online. Keep reading to decide which storage unit would be most suitable for your household.

Garage Freezer Buying Guide

What Are the Two Main Types of Standalone Garage Freezers?

If you don’t have ample space to store your ground meats, grains and flours, prepped meals, and other items that just don’t seem to fit in your kitchen, there are two different types of garage freezers to choose from.

1. Upright Freezer

When it comes to internal organization, upright freezers take the crown. They’re well-liked by customers for their ease of use because they usually come with an excellent array of compartment dividers. This makes your food inventory easily accessible and organized in a way that’s most convenient for you. 

Generally, you’ll find upright freezers with the following dimensions—60-70 cm wide, 60-65 cm deep, and 130-190 cm high—that make them ideal for placing in a kitchen as well. The narrow width ensures your appliance occupies less floor space while also fitting in between doorways without obstruction. That said, you must ensure that there’s sufficient room for the freezer’s door to swing open and at least one-inch space behind it for proper air ventilation.

Keep in mind, though, that the best upright freezers don’t come cheap. This is mostly because they’re equipped with special features like adjustable shelves, automatic defrost functions, and sometimes even icemakers that increase their overall energy consumption. 

2. Chest Freezer or Deep Freezer

Since you have to reach deep inside to access your inventory, chest freezers were originally called deep freezers. They not only have a larger capacity than their upright variants, but they also use less energy and stay cold for longer durations in the face of a power outage. This is due primarily to their airtight locking seal that prevents warm air from circulating inside the appliance. Cost-wise they are comparatively cheaper than the upright models in regards to both energy and upfront costs. 

They are usually 100-105 cm wide, 60-70cm deep, and 80-85 cm high. When it comes to storing oddly shaped items, the larger width provides a tremendous advantage. But, at the same time, you’ll have to figure out a way to organize the food so that certain items don’t end up at the bottom, never to be found again. The best option for you would be to check off a list every time you take food out. It would also help to arrange the meat and other bulky food items in either cupboards boxes or milk crates, making it easier to move things around. 

Unlike upright freezers, the food from these must be manually defrosted, a process that tends to get messy at times. To lift the top, it’s essential to consider whether there’s enough headroom above it. 

How to Choose the Right Garage Freezer For You

Before purchasing the best garage freezer, you’d want to have a clear understanding of its various factors to decide which one would suit your storage requirements best. They are:

Size

Measuring your allocated freezer space, be it in your garage or kitchen, is probably worth the trouble because bringing home an appliance just to find out it doesn’t fit is a much more painful ordeal. 

Alongside dimensions, the capacity of the machine is necessary to factor in as well. Freezer capacities range from anywhere between 50 liters to 300 liters. A small family would do well with a freezer that stocks food for up to a week, as an excess of empty space in your freezer will allow warm air to circulate, increasing energy costs. 

While upright freezers are better suited in the kitchen, they’ll require enough ceiling clearance. Chest freezers, on the other hand, will fit better in a garage or basement since they occupy more floor space. 

Cost

Though it’s essential to narrow down on your budget from the get-go, you must also bear in mind long-term costs that pile on overtime. Convenience features like auto defrost, adjustable shelves, and a larger storage capacity highly influence prices. 

Chest freezers are usually $100 cheaper than upright versions because they don’t draw as much energy. But the added convenience of an automatic defrost option in an upright freezer may be well worth the hefty price tag.  

Unless you buy from a vendor that offers free shipping, even shipping costs can be expensive since freezers are large and extremely heavy. 

Energy Use

When your freezer’s loaded with food, it’s obvious that it needs to run 24/7, equating to round-the-clock energy consumption. Therefore, opting for an energy-efficient one will give some relief to the planet, not to mention your wallet. 

Also, check for Energy Star ratings, as this is a clear indicator that the freezer you’ve selected uses less energy, helping you save money on your electricity bill. 

As mentioned above, upright freezers are not as energy-efficient because they have small gaps in the door mechanism, unlike a chest freezer with an airtight locked seal.

Amount of Use

Put some thought into figuring out your typical household habits, which will determine how often your freezer gets used. This includes how frequently you’re making a trip to the grocers, the number of people likely to use the freezer, and your intake of food. 

If frozen pizza is what you crave weekly, ensure there’s enough space to accommodate the boxes. Whereas, if you’re a daily meat-lover, ample space is required to store large and heavy amounts of meat. 

Both chest and upright freezers can hold up with extensive use and will last you plenty of years, if not decades.

Temperature and Climate Classification

As for temperature classification, the ideal degree to set your dial is at 0° F (-18° C). In fact, if your freezer stays below 0° F at all times, there’s a possibility of storing your food indefinitely as it prevents bacteria from growing. That said, keeping food for too long may lead to freezer burns, discolored food, and a bland taste. 

Sometimes, the surroundings also determine at what temperature you must store your food. If you’re going to be keeping the freezer indoors, you don’t have to put much thought into this—0° F (-18° C) works perfectly well. But, if you’re looking at placing it in your garage or any space that’s susceptible to temperature fluctuations, note the optimum temperature range of the appliance and set the temperature accordingly. 

Suppose your freezer has trouble staying cold enough. In that case, it’ll inevitably draw more electricity, but some models are built with garage storability in mind, so be sure to check the freezer’s features before buying. 

Organization Options

An excellent factor that sets upright freezers apart from chest freezers is that they keep your food well organized and easy to access. This is because they have properly spaced-out compartment dividers. However, storing bulky, large quantities of meat, for example, may prove to be difficult with upright freezers because of these very same compartments. 

With chest freezers, you’re most likely going to end up stacking food. It’ll help to create a list of items that go in, so the food at the bottom is not forgotten. They also require you to bend to retrieve products, which may be a hindrance for many users.

Noise Level

Freezers tend to make noise, but it’s always best to choose one that’s comparatively quiet—factor in the noise levels of different models before deciding its allocated space. Usually, upright freezers are louder due to their automatic defrost function. To get an idea of the noise levels, user reviews are your best bet.

Blackout Performance

If you live in an area where power outages are commonplace, you’ll want to consider how long a freezer keeps the items cold when disaster strikes. With a freezer that has a decent blackout performance, you’ll be spared the unpleasant task of cleaning up pungent food. A chest freezer is your best option if you find yourself in such a situation time and again. 

Manual or Self-Defrost

Be it any type of freezer, over time, you’ll begin to see ice jammed around the edges. This directly links to a decrease in its efficiency. Thawing out your freezer manually is an arduous process. It involves removing your entire inventory, waiting for the ice to melt, draining it, followed by cleaning out the inside. Meanwhile, either your food begins to thaw outside, or you’re smart enough to eat everything up before getting started. 

That way, a self-defrosting feature that’s usually found in upright freezers is an absolute boon. All you have to do is wipe the freezer down, saving you time, energy, and probably also a backache. 

Safety Tips For Garage Freezers

As with all electrical appliances, there are specific guidelines that have to be met. Only then can you go about using your garage freezer safely. They are as follows:

  • Avoid using extension cords for your freezer, and instead, place it close to an outlet to avoid a potential fire hazard
  • Ensure there’s enough space around the freezer for air circulation
  • Vacuum the coils of your freezer regularly 
  • Do not store items next to or on the top of the fridge as this leads to poor air circulation
  • A licensed and certified professional must conduct regular checkups on your freezer
  • Avoid overstuffing the freezer as that can lead to the blower fan getting blocked, preventing cool air from reaching the interior

Review of the 5 Top-Rated Garage Freezers

1. GE FUF17DLRWW Upright Freezer

If there’s any model in the market that not only packs all the goodies in one machine and countless bonus features over and above that, it would be the GE FUF17DLRWW upright freezer. This model is equipped with a power-on indicator light, legs that balance on uneven flooring, a safety lock, glass shelves, temperature controls, alarms, and the list goes on. 

The storage baskets, as well as glass shelves, keep your freezer well-organized. This way, you don’t have to get hassled rummaging through your food inventory. Couple that with one of the biggest appeals of this GE model—bright LED lights—and you’ll find yourself locating those frozen ice cream boxes in an instant. Always remember the more time you spend digging for items, the more the freezer remains open, the result of which will be evident on your electricity bill. 

A technology that most upright freezers for garage use share is frost-free cooling technology that keeps your food fresh for longer and saves you the trouble of manually defrosting. That said, it lacks an ice maker, and its door only opens from the left-hand side.

This freezer is usually found on the larger end of the size scale, making it ideal if you have a big family. It also functions within a wide range of outside temperatures (0℉ and 110℉), so you don’t have to worry about the compressor getting damaged.

SUMMARY

GE FUF17DLRWW Upright Freezer

Pros

  • Door lock
  • Turbo Freeze cooling system
  • The product is frost-free.
  • Excellent customer support for damaged / defective units.
  • Quiet and No Humming
  • Great LED lighting and spacious.
  • Has lock with key

Cons

  • No ice maker
  • Door cannot be reversed
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2. Arctic King 5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer

At such an economical price point, this unit easily outperforms options twice its price. It takes up minimal space but somehow holds a ton, and it’s just what you need if you require extra storage for your meats and other essentials. 

As opposed to the GE model, this compact, space-saving machine doesn’t boast too many fancy features. It’s a good choice if you’re not looking to spend much. It weighs close to 60 pounds and has five cubic feet of space, making it slightly bigger than a mini freezer. 

If you’re an energy-conscious customer, you’ll love the fact that it uses only 218 kilowatts of power for a year. It’s shipped in double-layer packaging for safe delivery and comes with removable storage baskets, a defrost drain, and a recessed handle that saves on space.

SUMMARY

Arctic King 5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer

Pros

  • Energy-efficient
  • Comes with removable shelves
  • Garage Ready
  • Space saver
  • Very quiet
  • Value for Money

Cons

  • No power indicator light or light inside the freezer
  • Manual defrost
  • Contains hazardous chemical
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3. hOmeLabs 3.5 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer

You’ll be amazed by this small (21.42 x 19.21 x 33.31 inches) yet powerful chest freezer that has a capacity of 3.5 cubic feet. It’s well-liked for its noise-level operation of only 42dB and the fact that it only consumes 0.53 kWh per day. This makes it a perfect model to be placed in hospitals, pantries, apartments, and of course, your garage. 

For your convenience, the top door has two balanced hinges that stay up on opening while you search for the food items inside. You can find the thermostat knob externally at the bottom of the freezer, and it has two crucial functions—adjusting the internal temperature from 10.4 °F to – 0.4 °F and defrosting the machine. 

Lastly, its sturdy design incorporates a solid pure white finishing, adjustable feet, and an inside sliding basket (for frequently accessed items), making for a dependable addition to your home. The Homelabs unit has also received a 4.5 on 5 star rating on Amazon by happy and satisfied customers. 

SUMMARY

hOmeLabs 3.5 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer

Pros

  • Easily access food items with inside sliding basket
  • Has a power indicator light
  • Easy installation and troubleshooting procedures from the Manual.
  • Value for money guaranteed
  • Fast delivery

Cons

  • A lot of wasted packaging with shipped product
  • No free return
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4. Frigidaire FFFU20F1UW 20 CF Upright Freezer

Next in line, we have an upright freezer that sits comfortably at a point where ease of use, value for money, and massive storage capacity meet.  

Similar to the GE model, this robust unit features frost-free technology, LED lighting, and a security lock (in case you have curious children). It also boasts temperature controls, leaving temperature setting entirely in your hands. 

Another impressive facet of this freezer is its smart sensing technology that intuitively adjusts the temperature to maintain uniform cooling inside. It also has auto-close doors so that you never have to worry about spoiled food. And if by chance you do forget to close the door, a  door alarm will turn on to alert you. 

A combination of a 30 point quality check and an energy star certification is all the assurance you need to bring this machine home. 

SUMMARY

Frigidaire FFFU20F1UW 20 CF Upright Freezer

Pros

  • Smart sensing technology adjusts temperature
  • Features a door alarm
  • LED lighting help to find food quickly
  • Huge storage

Cons

  • Fan makes clattering noise due to moisture
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5. Koolatron KTCF195 Compact Top-Opening Chest, Mini Freezer

Falling under the mini freezer category, the Koolatron KTCF195 is an excellent storage freezer for your garage. Though it has a larger capacity (7 cu) than the Homelabs (3.5 cu) and Arctic King chest (5 cu) freezers, it’s not as spacious as the mega-sized Frigidaire and GE upright models. Thus, it’ll do you well if you don’t require excessive storage space.

You can easily access your frozen items with the removable wire basket and can rest assured that the magnetic door seal will keep the cool air inside, preventing your frozen goods from going bad. 

This energy-star rated garage freezer is a standout product mainly because the compressor’s cooling system is CFC-free, and keeps the temperature between 32°F and -11.2°F. It features a leak-proof external drain as well to collect the water when defrosting.

SUMMARY

Koolatron KTCF195 Chest Mini Freezer

Pros

  • Stores more than the Arctic King and Homelab freezers
  • Cool air stays inside due to magnetic seal
  • Has a power indicator light
  • Fast delivery
  • Easy to set up and install.
  • Lighter compared to others.
  • Small but deep enough to store food
  • Garage ready

Cons

  • Covered by a 90-day warranty only
  • Poor packaging by the seller
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FAQs

Is it OK to put the freezer in the garage?

Yes, it’s perfectly alright to put a freezer in the garage as long as it can hold up against fluctuating temperatures outside. Sometimes, when the temperature outside drops very low, that can trick the freezer into believing it’s maintaining an ideal temperature inside. Since that’s not the case, you may end up with spoilt, thawed food.

What is a garage-ready freezer?

A garage-ready freezer performs well between the temperature range of 0F and 110F. They adapt well to the outside fluctuating temperatures to keep your food fresh for longer.

What is the best upright freezer for a garage?

The GE FUF17DLRWW is hands down the best upright freezer for a garage. It has a wide temperature range (0°F and 110℉), within which it can function at its optimum level. Therefore, even if the temperature in the garage drops (up to 0°F) or rises significantly (up to 110℉), the freezer will maintain its cooling effect to keep your food fresh. Additionally, this model boasts plenty of features, from frost-free cooling technology and power-on indicator to safety locks and adjustable shelves.

How big of a garage freezer do I need?

This entirely depends on how big or small your allocated freezer space is. It’s a smart
choice to measure and compare it with the dimensions of garage freezers out in the market. Plus, you’ll want to assess your household habits, from food intake to the amount of storage that you require. This is usually the first consideration when buying a garage freezer, along with the budget.

Is it normal for my freezer to make vibrating sounds?

If you find that your freezer is vibrating, check whether it’s balanced on all four legs or touching the wall. Lastly, make sure there are no items on top of the freezer. Items inside the freezer tend to vibrate to a certain degree, but if it’s too much, try re-leveling the freezer.