Can You Keep a Refrigerator Outside? Is It A Wise Idea?

Refrigerator at outdoor fun
Refrigerator Outside

Ah, nothing is better than spending a hot summer day outside with friends. As we relax beside the pool and giggle over jokes and gossip, our thirst and hunger start to kick in. Wouldn’t it be great to grab a cold drink or a snack without going inside? Well, with a refrigerator outside, that dream can become a reality!

However, when the thought of keeping a fridge outside hits your mind, consider whether you can keep it or not. Is it safe to keep a refrigerator outside?

Yes, you can keep a refrigerator outside, but it is important to choose one that is specially made for outdoor use. These refrigerators are designed to withstand the elements, such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. They come with built-in insulation, rust-resistant components, and tight seals to keep their contents safe and cold.

Pros of Keeping a Refrigerator Outside

Keeping a refrigerator outside has many advantages, including:

  • Easily accessible food and drinks when enjoying the outdoors
  • More space in the kitchen for cooking and entertaining
  • Designed to withstand the elements such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures
  • Longer lasting than traditional refrigerators
  • It can be used to store medical supplies and other items.

Cons of Keeping a Refrigerator Outside

  • Damage from extreme weather conditions such as strong winds, hail, and heavy rain.  
  • Risk of theft or vandalism when left unattended.  
  • Higher initial cost due to extra features and materials.  
  • Potential for decreased energy efficiency in extreme temperatures.

What to Consider Before Placing a Refrigerator Outdoors

Before placing a refrigerator outdoors, there are several things to consider:

  1. Location: Choose an area sheltered from the elements, such as a covered patio or deck. Avoid placing the refrigerator in direct sunlight or near a heat source. 
  2. Security: Securely lock the refrigerator when not in use to protect against theft or vandalism. 
  3. Capacity: Refrigerators intended for outdoor use are typically larger than indoor models and require more energy to keep running. Consider what size you need according to your storage needs.
  4. Power: Ensure the refrigerator is plugged into a weatherproof outlet and properly grounded.  
  5. Maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain the refrigerator to ensure it functions properly.  
  6. Warranty: Check the refrigerator’s warranty to ensure it is covered for outdoor use.

Best Practices for Keeping a Refrigerator Outside

  • Covering: Cover the refrigerator with a waterproof cover to protect it from rain and snow.
  • Temperature Regulation: Make sure you set the temperature of any outdoor fridge to the proper level (usually between 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit). You can get a thermometer to help detect any temperature changes or problems.
  • Servicing: It is important to check and maintain your outdoor refrigerator regularly. Clean it at least once every month and ensure that all doors are securely closed and latched.
  • Energy Efficiency: Outdoor refrigerators use more energy than indoor models, so ensure you optimize energy efficiency by managing its settings as needed. Also, check the insulation levels periodically, as this can significantly impact energy costs in the long run.
  • Consider a Lock: Securely lock the refrigerator when not in use to protect against theft.
Refrigerator Outside
Refrigerator Outside

What Type of Refrigerator Is the Best for Outside?

Outdoor refrigerators are the best ones to keep outside. However, it would help if you also kept in mind a few things so that you can end up with the best fridge for your outdoor living space.

Stainless Steel Body: Firstly, make sure that the fridge is made with 304-grade stainless steel and comes with a UL Certification for outdoor use. The 304-grade stainless steel body is important because it can fight with elements and keep the fridge rust-proof and running. UL Certification states that the appliance is super safe to use outdoors.

Additional Insulation: You must also never forget about adding insulation. Even though fridges generally work between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should get one with an insulation level higher than this range. Additional insulation makes the fridge way cooler than usual and helps to protect the machine even in blazing summer.

Such insulation also keeps the foods and beverages fresh and makes outdoor fun more enjoyable.

If a refrigerator meets these aspects, you can keep it outside without concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can You Leave a Fridge Outside In The Summer?

As you need an outdoor refrigerator mostly in the summer, you can leave it outside to enjoy chilled beverages while you lounge on your patio or grill a barbeque. However, to ensure that your appliance is running at its best capacity, try to place it in a cooler spot away from direct sunlight. The blazing heat from the sun can make the fridge’s temperature fluctuate, affecting its cooling capabilities.

Q2. Can You Leave a Fridge Outside In The Rain?

Even when your fridge is made with element-resistant material, leaving it outside in the rain is still unsafe. Constant water pouring can damage the body and the machine sooner than later and damage your expensive refrigerator even before you know it.

As your outdoor activities lessen during the rainy seasons, it’s best to keep the fridge somewhere safe where it wouldn’t be exposed to water.

Q3. Can You Leave a Fridge Outside In The Winter?

It’s better not to leave your fridge outside during the winter, especially if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions. If the temperature outside drops below the inside temperature of the fridge, the machine won’t work properly and damage the appliance in no time.

Q4. Is it Illegal To Leave a Refrigerator Outside?

No, leaving a fridge outside is not illogical if it’s a part of your outdoor setup and still functions. However, if you just dump your damaged refrigerator outside, it’s unlawful, and you might have to face punishment for it.

Indoor Refrigerator vs. Outdoor Refrigerator;

If you are wondering why you specifically need an outdoor refrigerator and not an indoor one for your outdoors, let’s explain why. 

As the name suggests, an outdoor refrigerator is specially designed to deal with the constant temperature change outdoors. Even when the weather outside is too hot, its additional insulation feature will still make ice for your convenience.

However, as there is no temperature fluctuation in the interior of your house, an indoor fridge is not made to cope with the temperature changes. It will not go the extra mile to keep your food and beverages cold when using this fridge outside. 

Also, outdoor fridges have a super strong body because they are meant for outside use. They are built to endure the abuse of elements yet still work perfectly. But this quality is absent in indoor refrigerators. They do not feature such a strong construction. And if you plan to use these fridges outsides, they will suffer corrosion and damage sooner than later.

For better understanding, let’s summarize some of the other features that differentiate between an indoor and outdoor fridge. 

Key FeaturesIndoor RefrigeratorOutdoor Refrigerator
UL/ CSA CertifiedNoYes
Security Lock and KeyYesYes
Weatherproof FeaturesNoYes
High-Grade Stainless SteelNoYes
Digital ThermostatYesYes
Additional InsulationNoYes

Wrapping Up

If you have just the right one, you can leave your refrigerator outside to enjoy all the convenience it offers outdoors. However, make that you follow all the safety precautions to not only keep the fridge safe but also your as well as your guests’ security.

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