Table of Contents
- What Constitutes a Garage-Ready Refrigerator?
- Garage Refrigerator Buying Guide
- TOP 5 Garage Refrigerators: Review
- Final Word
One of the most common features of the modern home is a refrigerator. The kitchen is the chosen installation area for most people, but when there are space limitations or the need for a second fridge, the garage is the next best installation space.
While discussing garage refrigerators, many wonder if the garage is really a suitable place for a fridge. The answer depends on two things; is your garage insulated, and is the refrigerator garage-ready?
What Constitutes a Garage-Ready Refrigerator?
You may be asking yourself: what does garage ready freezer mean? A garage-ready refrigerator can operate at lower and higher temperatures, which is ideal because your garage undoubtedly experiences fluctuating temperatures. And these temperatures are usually a lot higher and lower than the interior of your home. Therefore, the ideal garage fridge is able to handle temperature highs and lows.
Of course, you need to consider the precise temperature fluctuations of your specific garage, as each garage-ready refrigerator has a unique operating temperature range. However, the normal range is 0-100°F. Some garage refrigerators also come with a fan heater that tricks the thermostat in the fridge and keeps the compressor running. This feature is beneficial when the chilly winters come around. Online reviews tell us that they work best in states like Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana.
That said, it is still important to note that garage refrigerators are not designed for outdoor use. These units are not weatherproof against wet weather, so it’s best to ensure you install yours in a protected area of the garage.
It is important to highlight that garage-ready refrigerators come in different shapes and sizes, and each model has different installation requirements. Checking the dimensions of your available space before buying a new garage refrigerator is important. It’s also important to understand all of the unit’s features and limitations before you get one.
To help you select the best garage-ready refrigerators, we have created this handy guide. We have researched some of the top models currently available and picked the best five from the lot. Apart from a detailed review of each refrigerator, this article will also walk you through a buying guide and a FAQ section.
Garage Refrigerator Buying Guide
A buyer’s guide helps you pick the right product for your needs. No one buys a new fridge every month. Hence you have to make sure that you don’t end up with the wrong product. When you are on the hunt for a garage refrigerator, you need to avoid possible miscalculations. Our buying guide includes all the factors that directly and indirectly influence the working of a garage-ready refrigerator.
How to Choose the Right One For You?
Never buy a garage refrigerator before checking the operating temperature of the machine. It is mentioned in the user manual, specification sheets, or in the relevant details. Once you know the optimum operating temperature of the machine, compare it with the temperature in your area. If both the temperatures are in the same range, you can go with the machine.
If your garage gets too cold in the winters and the temperature outside falls below the freezing point, then there is a high chance that your refrigerator will stop working, and all the food inside will rot. To avoid such mishaps, you need a refrigerator that can operate in chilly weather or even when the temperature touches 0F. Only a few refrigerators can work in such conditions, and GE is one of them.
If your garage gets extra hot in the summers, you need a refrigerator to handle the extreme heat and provide you with cold beverages. What’s the point of having a garage refrigerator which can’t work properly and still consume a lot of electricity? If you pick the wrong refrigerator for the garage and make it work in extreme heat, it is probably going to die, and then you will be spending hundreds of dollars for repairs.
The next important factor to consider is the capacity of the fridge. You will need a big refrigerator if you are a large household or planning to use your garage refrigerator as your household refrigerator. On the contrary, if you just need an additional food storage space or something to chill your beer, then you can go with the small ones as well. Magic Chef’s 2-door model is unique and can meet your freezer and fridge needs at one time. It has enough capacity to handle the needs of an average American household.
Compartments and Shelves
Don’t forget to check the compartments and shelves inside the refrigerator. If you need a separate freezer for frozen entries or ice-making, don’t go with a fridge-only model. Similarly, if you need to keep fresh items in your fridge, then a freezer-only option will not work for you. After checking the compartments, look for shelves. You need to consider the shelf material, adjustability, and the number of racks. A fridge with multiple supports for racks is mover versatile than the one with only one support for each rack. You must also check the storage design in the door. If you love chilled beers, then the fridge must have ample space for keeping the cans. It must also offer big racks for keeping 1-2 liter bottles.
A new refrigerator means more utility bills. The energy consumption of a refrigerator is directly linked with its size and efficiency. Luckily all the models on our list have a moderate energy consumption rate and will not make a big dent in your pocket. If you are buying a refrigerator from the list above, don’t forget to check out the energy guide given with each review.
The initial price is also important to consider. The bigger models are costly to buy. Other features like temperature control mechanism, number of racks, materials used, and compartments/shelves also impact the machine’s price.
Warranty and Certifications
Machines like refrigerators can malfunction at any point in time. You must look at these features before making the final purchase. Some refrigerators come with extended compressor warranties and lifetime customer support. Don’t forget to check out the relevant certifications for a specific machine and make sure that you can use the machine in your state.
These features are not directly linked to the performance of the machine but make it user-friendly. Some refrigerators come with electric temperature control, while others offer mechanical knobs. The door movement and door handle design are also important to consider. Some door handles may hurt your fingers if you open the door carelessly. LED lights allow you to open the fridge without turning on the garage lights, and adjustable legs help in the installation and leveling of the fridge.
Safety and Operational Tips
- Place your refrigerator on a flat, dry, and cool floor.
- Make sure water and dust stay away from your refrigerator.
- Keep your pets away from the refrigerator.
- Ensure insects and other uninvited animals don’t make homes near or at the back of the refrigerator. It usually happens in winters.
- Only use a GFCI outlet to run your garage refrigerator.
- Ensure empty spaces at each side of the machine.
- Don’t leave the refrigerator open for a prolonged time.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.
TOP 5 Garage Refrigerators: Review
GE Appliances is a trusted name in American households. Its products are high-quality, energy-efficient, come with a warranty, and offer excellent value for money. GE’s FUF21DLRWW garage-ready refrigerator is an excellent option for people who want a super-size garage-ready refrigerator. Its 21.3 (shelf-area: 11.5 sq ft) cubic feet frost-free storage space can easily handle a medium to large-sized family’s refrigeration needs.
The garage-ready refrigerator performs from 0°F to 110°F. It will even work in Alaska, so you don’t need to worry about its ability to handle low temperatures. It comes with an audible temperature alarm to alert you if the door is left open or if the temperature rises beyond the specified limit. The temperature control is located on the external side, and you can adjust it with the help of a touch panel even without opening the door. You can lock the door so that you can protect your food from unintentional entries.
The turbo freeze feature produces an extra boost of cold air, which helps restore the internal temperature for maximum food freshness. There are a total of four glass shelves and two adjustable freezer shelves. The freezer bins are slide-outs that give flexible storage and help find items without any hassles. The internal LED lighting is bright enough to help you source the required items without any inconvenience.
It is a frost-free model with a coil-free back and door hinges on the right. The handle is a high-gloss reach-through design, and the door gasket is magnetic. The hidden hinge increases the aesthetic value and complements the overall white appearance of the appliance. You can level the refrigerator with adjustable leveling legs. This fridge comes with a 1-year warranty for parts and labor, and Energy Star and California Prop 65 certification. You can use the refrigerator in all 50 states.
- Interior LED lighting lets you see everything clearly so it's easier to find
- Electronic external temperature control make adjusting the settings quick and simple
- Lock and key deter thieves or unauthorized persons from accessing your frozen food
Avanti offers an excellent garage-ready small-sized refrigerator. It is a perfect fridge for people with less space in the garage. It is also one of the best machines for small families, garage enthusiasts, and people who have set up small workshops in their garages. The 3.1 cubic foot retro design fridge offers enough space to keep your food fresh, beverages cold, and frozen entrees preserved without the risk of going bad.
This garage-ready fridge has two storage shelves, one fresh food slide-out basket, and a small freezer section to make use of. You can adjust the two glass racks on five different levels. These features make the fridge a versatile one, allowing you to keep large and small jars and boxes neatly stored. The Avanti garage-ready fridge also provides three glass compartments on the door side for storing beverages, cans, bottles, and glass jars. The freezer section has a separate door to keep the cold inside when you open the fridge door.
The door handle is an embodiment of the retro era and looks just like a Cadillac door handle. The temperature control is internal with a manual dial. Please note that there is no chiller or dispenser, or electric temperature control on this unit. It has a manual defrost feature with a coil back. It means that cleaning the refrigerator is a difficult and time-consuming task compared to other garage-ready units.
This refrigerator is an indoor model and will only work in areas where the temperature doesn’t get too low or reach freezing points. It is a small model and is only ideal for a family of 2-3 people or an individual. Many people use it as a bedroom fridge.
- COMPACT DESIGN: 3.1 Cu.Ft. of refrigerator space is perfect for food, soda, beer, or other beverages
- SPACE SAVING: Ideal for dorm rooms, offices, apartments and more. 17.75 x 19.25 x 33.75 inches
- ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE: Mechanical temperature control with manual defrost
- VERSATILE FEATURES: 3 Adjustable removable shelves, crisper drawer, 3 door shelves for drinks or snacks
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Energy Star certified
Magic Chef’s garage-ready refrigerator offers large storage space in a small and compact size. The 3.1 cubic foot fridge has an independent refrigerator and a freezer section with separate doors. It is an ideal machine for frequent refrigerator openers. The separate door on the freezer compartment saves the cool air in the freezer when opening the fridge.
The fridge portion has two storage shelves made from glass and a fresh food basket to keep your vegetables and fruits fresher for longer. The door compartments consist of a can holder and a bottle holder. The vertical design allows easy can management without spilling. The bottle holder has enough space to allow you to keep two 1-liter bottles at one time. Above the big bottle compartment, a small storage rack is ideal for keeping medical syrups and other small bottles.
The freezer compartment is one wide section. The shelf-less design gives greater space and allows you to keep big boxes in storage. This space is ideal for keeping frozen food boxes or even a whole turkey. The door of the freezer section has one shelf where you can place boxes and soda cans for quick cooling. The interior of the fridge is lit up with a bright LED light. The leveling legs are adjustable, and the doors are reverse style.
The temperature control is a manual knob located in the bottom compartment. The freezer and the fridge are both controlled with the same knob. One feature we don’t particularly like is the door hinges design. It can hurt your fingers if you open the doors carelessly.
This fridge is a manual defrost model that it is ideal for insulated garages or homes located in areas with moderate temperature.
- Energy Star qualified - meets or exceeds federal guidelines for energy efficiency, which means year-round energy savings. Upfront Adjustable thermostat control allows you to quickly modify the interior temperature if needed
- Glass refrigerator shelves provide for efficient organization and easy cleaning. Can dispenser in door lets you grab your cans with ease
- Door racks provide storage for larger items and smaller items to efficiently utilize interior capacity. 3.1 cu. ft. capacity provides convenient food storage for small spaces
- Separate top freezer compartment allows for freezing your smaller frozen food items. Interior light for easy viewing of stored items
- 3.1 cu. ft. compact refrigerator is manual defrost. 2 reversible doors allow you to place according to your space requirement and the refrigerator is flush back for easy placement
Danby’s refrigerator is an ideal machine for hot garages. It can operate up to 109°F, making it perfect for tropical areas and warm temperature areas. The 4.4 cubic foot refrigerator comes in a single-door design with a refrigerator compartment and a fresh food cabinet. It has two storage shelves which can be adjusted at three different levels according to your needs. The storage space on the door is divided into two vertical compartments. One side has four racks for keeping soda or beer cans cool. Each rack has enough space to fit two cans. On the other side, you can keep ketchup, jams, and other such bottles. The bottom rack on this side can carry two 1-liter bottles easily.
The Danby fridge is one of the best garage refrigerators for people who want a steady supply of cold drinks during hot weather. The fresh-food compartment is big enough to keep 2-3 days of fruit and vegetables. The door comes with a unique opening design and a rubber grip ergonomic handle. You can open the door with the help of an engraved handle on the top side. You can control the internal temperature of the fridge with a single manual knob.
This refrigerator is IPX4 rated with water ingress protection and stainless steel ball bearings for rust resistance and corrosion protection. The white interior with a bright LED, glass shelves, stainless steel door, and scratch-resistant worktop give this fridge the perfect modern look. It will add beauty and functionality to any garage. The door hinge is reversible, allowing you more freedom to move things in and out of the fridge. It is a very user-friendly machine with easy operation and maintenance.
Another top feature of this machine is the automatic defrost system. Automatic defrost refrigerators are easier to clean compared to manual defrost units. You can wash the shelves with water and soap.
- Outdoor-Rated Compact Mini Fridge: This Danby Contemporary Classic Outdoor Mini Fridge is the ideal mini fridge for backyard or deck
- 4.4 Cubic Feet (124 Liters) Capacity: The All refrigerator unit is roomy with 4.4 cu. ft. of fridge space
- Outdoor Refrigerator Functionality and Durability: Waterproof electrical housing, UV protected plastics, rated to IPX4 water ingress protection for safety and 4 castors featuring stainless steel ball bearings for rust-resistance makes this your perfect outdoor compact fridge
- Tested for a Tropical Environment: Cooling capacity for a tropical environment for outdoor temperatures of up to 109°F / 43°C
- Integrated Door Shelving: Tall bottle storage is ideal for large pop, water, juice, or other drink bottles
For all the people on a tight budget, Midea’s WHS-121LSS1 is an amazing option. The refrigerator offers a 3.3 cubic foot capacity which is ideal for a small family or garage workers. This single-door refrigerator comes with a separate freezer section with a sliding door and three refrigerator racks. Out of the three racks, you can only adjust the bottom one to increase or decrease the storage space. There is no separate fresh food drawer or compartment. You will either have to place your fruits or vegetable in bowls or keep them directly on the floor of the refrigerator.
The refrigerator’s door is reversible and has a designated space for keeping cans at one side, one rack for large bottles, and two racks for small bottles. You can keep up to eight cans in the door. Please note that you can’t use the freezer section for making ice or keeping frozen entrees. The sliding door helps keep the cool air inside when you open the door.
This standalone refrigerator can operate at a 32-36 Fahrenheit temperature range and generates 42-decibel sounds. You can adjust the legs with adjustable locks, and the internal doors of the machine are slightly tapered towards the back to give it a compact look. It is an energy star-compliant machine and rated for indoor use only.
It is pertinent to mention that this fridge is only suitable for insulated garages and homes located in moderate climate zones. The unit will not work in an extremely cold and hot environment. It is a manual defrost model and will take some time to clean.
- Includes separate freezer compartment for foods that need extra chilling | However cannot be used for Storing Frozen Foods or making ice cubes
- Product dimensions – 17.7” D x 18.6” W x 33.9” H | Refrigerator capacity – 3.3 Cubic. Feet | Weight – 39.5 lbs. | Voltage – 120V | Temperature range – 32ᵒ to 35.6ᵒ Fahrenheit | Noise rating – 42 dB
- Features Adjustable Legs and a Reversible Door that open from Left or Right
- Large Storage Areas Excellent at Chilling Beverages and Healthy Snacks | Energy Star Rated
- The Internal Walls of the Main Compartment are Slightly Tapered Toward the Back | Rated for indoor use only
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If your garage is not insulated, a garage-ready refrigerator such as GE FUF21DLRWW is best for garages. Garage-ready refrigerators can work in very low and high temperatures and keep your items fresh. For insulated garages, any refrigerator will work nicely.
Yes. Hot weather will affect your garage refrigerator. It can cause extreme pressure on the compressor and fan motor and result in failure. For garages with a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, consider purchasing a garage-ready refrigerator or insulate your garage. You can also avoid opening the refrigerator unnecessarily when the temperature is too high. You can also store water jugs in empty spaces to regulate the temperature.
You can also attach a garage kit with the thermostat of your refrigerator. It works by tricking the refrigerator by keeping the temperature around the sensors warmer. It results in the compressor running and keeps the refrigerator running so that your food doesn’t rot.
GE FUF21DLRWW Upright Freezer is the best garage-ready refrigerator.
No. You must not unplug your refrigerator in the winter. If you don’t need it, you must store it away properly. Turning your refrigerator on/off frequently can harm the compressor and cause the cooling gas to leak.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are special outlets that trip when they sense an increase in the load. It keeps the appliances safe and eliminates the chance of electrocution. According to National Electric Code, all outlets in your garage must be GFCI. Hence, you need a GFCI outlet for your garage refrigerators.
Now that you know everything about the best garage refrigerators, purchasing the right machine will not be difficult for you. Either you are looking to transform your garage or planning to add a secondary refrigerator in your garage, our guide has got you covered. All the best for enjoying cold beverages in your garage.