Can you put a freezer outside? Yes… but you should only consider doing so if you purchase a garage ready freezer and put the freezer in your garage.
Placing a freezer outside exposed to the elements is a terrible idea - even if you take the proper precautions.
Many homeowners wonder if they can place their chest freezer or deep freezer outside due to lack of space, aesthetics, or other reasons. Outdoor placement of such appliances is possible in some circumstances.
A chest freezer or upright freezer placed outside exposes it to conditions that are usually controlled or prevented when it is kept indoors. It is best to take into account outside conditions to be able to find suitable outdoor chest freezer models.
Homeowners should also make the necessary preparations and adjustments to ensure the proper placement of the unit.
Instead of trying to make an indoor freezer work outside, consider acquiring a garage ready freezer and placing it in your garage. Many manufacturers make a “garage refrigerator” and a “garage freezer” specifically designed for your garage's harsh environment. Many brands even offer a combo garage ready fridge freezer that can handle a tough garage environment.
These appliances are designed to handle the wild temperature swings of an uninsulated garage. They do have limitations though and are unable to handle extreme temperature swings. In an unheated garage, freezers tend to do well between 0 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It may sound surprising that excess cold air (below zero degrees Farenheit) can damage a freezer - but extreme cold can be hard on electrical components.
As a result of extremely high or extremely low outside temperature, your freezer may malfunction and your frozen food may end up getting spoiled if temps go outside of that range.
When deciding whether to place a chest freezer outside, it’s essential to consider several factors. Some conditions to remember include weather and the elements, temperature fluctuations, security, and accessibility.
Even if you place your freezer outside, you must protect it from the elements. It should still be placed in an area out of direct sunlight and protected from rain and snow.
Rain, snow, and humidity can heavily impact a chest freezer’s performance outdoors. Water seeping into the unit can lead to electrical issues or damage to the compressor and other vital parts. You’ll want to ensure your freezer is free of coming in contact with water.
In coastal areas, the salt air can be corrosive and cause damage to metal components making them inoperable. This will happen much more quickly by the shore than in an environment free of salty air.
Chest freezers are designed to operate within specific temperature ranges. Extreme outdoor conditions and temperature changes can affect the efficiency and lifespan of your chest freezer.
Ensure the unit’s location is protected from direct sunlight. It is also best to avoid exposure to abrupt and drastic temperature changes. The freezer must work that much harder in extreme temperatures.
Theft and animal activity are risks when placing a chest freezer outside. Placing the chest freezer in a covered area like the garage, for example, keeps it away from the public’s view and out of reach of wildlife.
As an example, bears are extremely resourceful and able to fairly easily work their way into unlocked vehicles. Trash cans are easy prey for bears as well (which is why they created bear-proof trash cans).
The odds of a bear or other wildlife getting into a chest freezer is higher than you might think. While your garage may be secure, a screened in outdoor living space may not be. Ensure that critters can't get to your freezer.
There are chest freezer models with built-in locks. If yours has none, invest in proper locks and closure systems similar to locks used on refrigerators. Locks will not only keep out bears, but it can prevent a young child from opening the freezer and getting trapped inside.
Your chest freezer should be accessible for loading or unloading contents and appliance maintenance. The unit’s compartment should be easy to approach with no fixed obstacles in front.
Moving or pulling out the chest freezer for cleaning and inspection must not be complicated. An ideal spot allows for easy access without compromising security and safety.
Space is the primary reason for keeping a chest freezer outside. Homeowners can free up valuable indoor space for other purposes.
Placing the chest freezer outside is the solution for homes with small living spaces or limited storage options. With this big appliance out of the way, you can also maintain the style or aesthetics of your kitchen.
Another advantage of placing the chest freezer outside is the reduction of indoor heat output. Chest freezers generate heat while maintaining low temperatures, which can contribute to increased indoor temperatures.
Placing the freezer outside keeps this heat output separate from the house’s living areas. Doing so makes sure that your air conditioning won’t have to work as hard to keep your house cool. As a result, you can help keep a cooler and more comfortable indoor environment, especially during warmer months.
Freezers tend to produce operational noise. By placing the unit outside, homeowners can enjoy a quieter indoor environment.
Homes with open-concept living spaces can significantly benefit from this setup. In such cases, noise generated by appliances may be more noticeable and even disruptive.
Energy efficiency may be a significant issue when keeping a chest freezer outside. Temperature fluctuations can cause the freezer to work harder to maintain the desired internal temperature, resulting in increased energy consumption and cost.
Furthermore, placing the freezer in a poorly insulated spot without cover from the sun can also contribute to decreased efficiency.
Exposure to the elements and drastic and abrupt temperature changes can reduce the lifespan of a chest freezer. Moisture and constant changes in temperature can cause damage to the compressor and other internal components.
Being exposed to the elements can lead to damage - especially in saltier environments
Chest freezers and other appliances kept outside are also less protected from corrosive materials from nature. As discussed, for those living by the beach, salt from the sea breeze can gradually cause metal parts to deteriorate, including electrical components.
Aside from reducing the freezer’s lifespan, placing the chest freezer outdoors exposes it to direct physical damage. Animals may try to break in or even chew on the wiring.
Debris carried by the wind can also dent the unit. Snow, foliage, and dust can accumulate on the door and exterior vents. They could also enter the compressor compartment, potentially damaging the circuits.
Most chest or deep freezers are generally designed for indoor use and may not include complete waterproofing for outdoor placement. If the body is constantly wet and exposed, rust may soon develop.
There are freezers specifically designed to handle outdoor conditions. These outdoor freezers typically come with features like weatherproof seals.
An outdoor freezer is engineered to withstand the temperature range and weather conditions. It may come with built-in heaters for colder climates and auto-shutoff points for extreme temperatures.
When placing a chest freezer outside, choose a location that provides adequate shelter from the elements. A covered patio or porch may be an ideal place where the chest freezer is shielded from the sun’s intense rays, rain, and snow.
If You Must Put Your Freezer Outside, Make Sure it is in a Well Ventilated Area
Additionally, ensure proper airflow around the unit to maintain its efficient operation. Appropriate clearance is needed at the sides and back of the chest freezer.
Employ insulation measures to regulate the temperature around the freezer. As mentioned above, extreme temperatures outside may cause these freezers to malfunction.
To manage this issue, consider installing weather stripping around the unit. There are also insulated chest freezer covers available in the market. Some homeowners in cold areas even build enclosures for their appliances.
Routinely inspect your chest freezer for signs of damage, leaks, or any other potential issues arising from being outdoors. Additionally, keep the surrounding area clean and free of debris.
Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring your chest freezer’s longevity and performance, especially when placed outside. Clean and defrost the chest freezer periodically. When cleaning the exterior of the unit, also check underneath.
Avoid frost buildup over a quarter of an inch
Remember that not all freezers are suitable for outdoor use. Only place a chest freezer outside that is designed for such conditions. If you have one, take all the necessary steps to ensure you put it in a safe, secure, and efficient spot.