Having a fridge is important because you need to be able to store food safely. Sometimes you might even have multiple refrigerators if you have a very large family and prefer to buy food items in bulk.
There might even be a situation when you will choose to keep a refrigerator outside. For example, you might like the idea of having a fridge out on your deck that you can use when you’re relaxing and enjoying the breeze.
As convenient as this might seem, there might be some problems that will arise when keeping a fridge outdoors. This is especially true when the winter months come around.
Can you leave a fridge outside in the winter unplugged? Or is it a terrible idea to keep a fridge outside when it starts to get cold no matter what?
Read on to learn more about this topic. It should help you to decide the best course of action.
Don’t Leave Your Fridge Outside in the Winter Without Protection
It’s not a great idea to leave your fridge outside in the winter. Even if you unplug the refrigerator, you’re going to risk damaging the unit.
There are ways that you can try to protect a fridge when storing it outdoors, but you shouldn’t just leave it outside and unplugged without protection. Doing so could wind up damaging the internal components of the fridge, and this includes crucial parts such as the compressor.
Typically, refrigerators are designed to function when placed in room temperature environments. Most refrigerators aren’t designed to be used outdoors where temperatures will fluctuate wildly.
During the winter, temperatures can dip well below freezing in certain areas. This could wind up ruining your refrigerator if you just leave it outside unprotected.
If you take the time to fully package the fridge and protect it so that it will stay warm, then you might be able to keep it outside for a while. Doing this for a prolonged period of time is still going to be impractical and harmful, though.
Essentially, you should just avoid keeping your fridge outside during the winter. If your area gets very cold during the winter, then you should absolutely not store your fridge outside.
Below, you’ll be able to see some of the reasons why storing a fridge outdoors is such a bad idea. If you’re on the fence about what you want to do, then this might help you to decide.
Compressor damage can occur when you leave a fridge outside when it’s cold. The compressor is what keeps your fridge running when it’s plugged in.
Leaving the fridge in an outdoor setting will damage the compressor. The damage will eventually get so bad that the compressor will stop working entirely.
When you go to plug the fridge in, it won’t even work any longer. This means that your fridge won’t be capable of functioning until you fix the internal components that were damaged due to being exposed to the elements.
To keep the refrigerator working as intended, it’s necessary to store it in a room-temperature environment. Even keeping the fridge in an insulated garage would be better than keeping it outside in the winter.
The Fridge Might Stop Cooling
The fridge might stop cooling if you choose to store it outdoors. Over time, you’re going to notice that the cooling capabilities of the fridge will decrease.
Your fridge might get so bad that it will have up to 50% reduced cooling ability. This is significant enough that it won’t make it practical to continue using the refrigerator.
At this point, you’d likely be better off getting another fridge. You could ruin the refrigerator if you choose to keep it outdoors instead of storing it in a protected indoor environment.
Even protecting the fridge outdoors by packing it properly is not the best course of action. You should keep the fridge inside if you don’t want your investment to go to waste.
If you want to be able to keep using your fridge, then be sure to avoid storing it outside when it’s cold. It can cause the refrigerator to stop working faster than you might think.
Power Output Issues
You might even notice that the fridge will experience power output issues. When the internal components of the refrigerator get messed up, the fridge will stop working efficiently.
It might start taking more power for the fridge to do what it needs to do. In some ways, this problem goes hand-in-hand with the ones mentioned above.
It’s just another reason why you shouldn’t store a fridge outside during the cold months of the year. When you want your fridge to work for a long time, it’s better to store it inside.
You might wish to think of other ideas for where to keep your fridge. Perhaps you could place the fridge closer to the deck or patio without actually allowing it to be outdoors.
Can You Repair a Broken Fridge?
Yes, you could choose to repair a fridge that has become broken due to being stored improperly. It’s possible to get the parts that you need to fix the fridge up and get it working again.
However, it might be a lot of work to do to just get the fridge to function normally. Depending on the severity of the damage, you might have many internal components that will need to be replaced.
Also, it might not be safe to try to repair the fridge yourself. You likely don’t know what you’re doing unless you have some type of training.
There might be some businesses that will repair appliances such as refrigerators for you. You’ll have to look for businesses in your area that provide such services.
You’ll have the option of calling the manufacturer to seek repair advice as well. In the future, it’d be wise to avoid situations where you’re storing the fridge outside so that you won’t have to deal with issues like this again.
Buying a New Fridge Is Likely Easier
For most, buying a new refrigerator will likely be the easiest thing to do. The cost of the components might wind up coming close to what it would cost to buy an inexpensive refrigerator.
Although it’s true that some of the best refrigerators on the market can be costly, you can also find refrigerators at fairly low prices. Even the most reasonably priced refrigerators will cost several hundred dollars, though.
You should expect to spend between $500 and $1,000 on an affordable fridge. If you need to spend hundreds of dollars to buy components to repair a fridge, then you can see how just buying a new unit is more appealing.
Now you know that keeping a fridge outdoors is generally not recommended. Even keeping it unplugged isn’t going to help the fridge to survive the cold temperatures.
Your fridge can get ruined if you leave it outside in the cold. Some might be able to have okay results if they protect the fridge by packing it in something warm, but keeping the fridge outdoors for long periods of time will be impractical.
The compressor could become damaged, and this will keep the fridge from working properly. Your fridge might not be able to keep things cold any longer and it could have reduced power output.
It’s necessary to store refrigerators at room temperature to keep them safe. Never store your fridge outside because it’s just not wise to throw away your investment like that.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.