Do you have a fridge out in your garage?  Chances are, you are going to experience some problems with it, especially in the extreme winter cold.  Refrigerators do not work as well in the cold, as they were designed to work in room temperature. Most of the time, the freezer stops working before the fridge section does.  

Why Your Freezer Doesn’t Work

The thermostat is within the fridge compartment, rather than the freezer. Let’s say your fridge is set at 40 degrees.  If the outside temperature is 40 degrees, the fridge will recognize that it doesn’t need to get colder, so the machine will not turn on.   While that is great for your fridge, it is not so great for your freezer.  There is no temperature gauge inside your freezer, so if the machine is not clicking on, your freezer will not be at its ideal temperature, rather the same temperature as the refrigerator.  

 

However, if you try to turn your fridge temperature down to compensate, the items in your fridge will probably start to freeze.  This also happens if it starts to get really cold.  While it may keep the things in your freezer from thawing, it may not be beneficial for your sodas down below.  

Dangers of a Garage Fridge

There are two different dangers associated with a garage fridge: frozen food in the refrigerator compartment, and thawing food in the freezer.

If your food in the fridge becomes frozen, the produce can become ruined.  More dangerous, however, are the pressurized containers like sodas that you keep in your fridge.  If they freeze, they can explode inside of your fridge, causing quite the mess.  Diet sodas have a higher freezing temperature than other sodas, and are more likely to freeze.  

If the food in your freezer thaws, you can get food poisoning from spoiled foods.  Often, you do not know that your food has thawed because it has refrozen, so you can become sick without realizing you are in danger.

Tips To Help Your Garage Fridge Work Better

Purchase a “garage kit” for your refrigerator for about $20-$40.  You install the garage kit next to your thermostat, and it generates just a little bit of heat, making your refrigerator think that it is warmer than it really is.  This will kick on the compressor, so that the fridge and freezer will work better.  Optionally, you can keep the foods less likely to spoil in your garage fridge, and keep the foods you are concerned about inside.  (E.g. keep condiments outside and meats inside.)