Table of Contents
- Garage-Ready Refrigerators vs. Standard Refrigerators: Side by Side Comparison
- Standard Features Every Fridge Should Have
- Find the Right Refrigerator for You
If you want a refrigerator in the garage, you may be tempted just to buy a regular refrigerator and plug it in the garage. That should work, right?
Not necessarily. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters and considerable snowfall, a standard fridge may not withstand the drastic temperature changes in your garage. Likewise, if you live in a hot climate, a regular household refrigerator may not be able to withstand the hot and humid air since garages typically don’t have air conditioning.
Here, we’ll discuss the differences between garage-ready refrigerators versus standard refrigerators. We’ll cover the key components of both types, the standard features every fridge should have, and how you can decide on the best cheap fridge for your house or garage.
Garage-Ready Refrigerators vs. Standard Refrigerators: Side by Side Comparison
You might find it tough to decide on the best refrigerator for you. However, knowing the differences between garage-ready and standard kitchen fridges will help you pinpoint the one that’ll fit your needs.
Key Components of a Garage-Ready Model
There are two primary components of garage fridges that set them apart from standard fridges.
Wide Operational Temperature Range To Withstand Extreme Ambient Temperatures
Garage-ready refrigerators are designed to work in broader temperature bands. Many models can withstand temperatures ranging from freezing to over 100 F. In contrast, standard refrigerators are designed to work only in narrow temperature bands — houses and kitchens typically aren’t colder than 60 F or warmer than 80 F.
Here’s what may happen if you place a standard refrigerator in your garage:
- If the temperature gets too hot: The fridge spends more energy to keep your food cold, quickly wearing out the compressor.
- If the temperature is too cold (close to or below freezing): The fridge’s thermostat may display false readings and cause the freezer to thaw. The low temperature may also freeze your fridge’s components and the food inside it.
Adjustable Thermostat and Temperature Sensor
Like standard refrigerators, a garage fridge has an adjustable thermostat that allows you to fine-tune the internal temperature as needed. These controls are usually located in an easily accessible location.
However, garage fridges also have sensors that monitor the outside temperature to regulate the refrigerator’s internal temperature. This is what allows a garage fridge to work in a broader range of temperatures.
Key Components of a Kitchen Refrigerator
Despite not being able to withstand extreme ambient outside temperatures, kitchen refrigerators have a wider variety of storage options to accommodate fresh and frozen foods than garage-ready fridges. These include:
Freezer Compartment or Freezer Drawers
Kitchen fridges come in all shapes and sizes. Many of them come with freezer compartments or drawers that you can use to freeze non-frozen foods or store frozen foods. Some models also have trays and compartments on the backside of the door that you can use to store delicate items, such as eggs.
Humidity-Controlled Crisper Drawers for Fresh Food
Many kitchen fridges also have humidity-controlled drawers for foods that tend to wilt, such as berries and leafy vegetables. These drawers come with closed windows that allow moisture to stay in the drawer, keeping your produce crisp and fresh for longer.
Standard Features Every Fridge Should Have
Whether you’re buying a fridge for your kitchen or your garage, your chosen fridge should have the following standard features:
Maximum Cubic Feet of Accessible Storage Space and Versatile Storage Options
Does your kitchen or garage fridge have ample room for storage? Does it come with flexible storage options, such as drawers, compartments, and trays?
You may not have room to store larger items, such as produce, deli meats, and larger meat products like turkeys, if your refrigerator doesn’t offer a lot of accessible storage space. If that’s the case, you may have to buy a second fridge or mini fridge to store irregularly shaped goods.
You may also find it hard to organize your products if your refrigerator doesn’t have versatile storage options. For example, you might find it difficult to protect cartons of eggs if your fridge doesn’t have organizational trays, baskets, or compartments.
Low Annual Energy Costs
Large refrigerators can have a big impact on your energy bill since they run 24/7 year-round. As such, you should choose a cheap refrigerator that is energy efficient. Most mini fridges are energy-efficient since they don’t require much operational power.
Although most kitchen fridges tend to be on the energy-efficient side, that’s not always the case. Instead, judge each fridge on a case-by-case basis. For example, bottom freezers and top freezers are more efficient than French doors and side-by-sides because French door bottom freezers typically have add-ons that use a lot of energy, like anti-sweat heaters and icemakers. Similarly, side-by-side models expend a lot of energy because they have tall, thin freezers that have a lot of surface area that gets warm.
A refrigerator-only fridge — a refrigerator without a freezer — will also help you cut energy costs. Fridges with freezers, particularly older models, typically use a lot of energy to keep your food frozen, especially if they have auto-defrost features.
Find the Right Refrigerator for You
To find the best refrigerators for you, ask yourself what you want to use your refrigerator for and what your climate is like.
Consider a garage-ready refrigerator if you need more room for extra groceries or cooked food but are concerned about your extra fridge facing a broad spectrum of outside temperatures.
On the other hand, consider a standard or kitchen-ready refrigerator if the outside climate is a factor, and you won’t need compartments to organize your food. Although many garage-ready fridges have these components, kitchen fridges have a wider range of drawers from which to choose — protective trays, baskets, and crisper drawers that you can use to protect and keep food items safe and fresh.