A chest freezer is a great addition to any home and is perfect for large families or anyone who likes to purchase or store food in large quantities. The downside to these handy appliances is their size, and for many, it can be a challenge to determine where to set them up so that they are out of the way, yet easily accessible when needed. While the great outdoors or your garage may seem like great options you may need to tidy up outside to make room or may be asking yourself the question "Can I leave a chest freezer outside?" The team of experts at Mr. Appliance® have the answer, and it may surprise you.
A Matter of Convenience
Next to space, the most important consideration for freezer placement is convenience. Installing the unit in an attached garage that is accessed through the kitchen may work well, provided there is enough space to get around the vehicles, but having to trek outdoors in the rain, snow, or darkness to your detached garage may not. The space you choose must have enough room around it for air movement and cleaning, and close enough to your home to make it easy to unload and retrieve your items.
While some freezers are designed strictly for use indoors, many are engineered to withstand the temperature fluctuations and more extreme conditions found outdoors. Once you've decided between a chest or upright freezer, the exact model you choose should be based on the climate and conditions in your area. Considerations include:
- Those living near the coast should avoid leaving a chest freezer outside due to the likelihood of corrosion from the salty air.
- If theft or animal activity is a concern, consider placing the unit inside your garage or purchasing a freezer with a secure locking system.
- In areas where there is extreme heat, ensure the freezer will have adequate protection from the sun.
- Moderate climates are ideal for outdoor placement, although you will likely pay more in energy costs during the summer months and less in the winter.
What Can Go Wrong?
Even those freezers which are designed specifically for outdoor use have limitations, but you can increase your chances of success by being aware of these potential downfalls:
Cold Weather Concerns
A freezer is designed to withstand specific temperature tolerances, and the refrigerant used will have an optimal temperature range. Because the compressor is on the exterior of the unit, exceptionally cold temperatures may cause a build-up of ice or reduce the viscosity of the oils used to lubricate moving parts. Any of these may result in compressor failure or malfunction resulting in a costly repair.
Hot Weather Issues
Extreme heat and humidity can cause the freezer to work even harder to keep your food cool, resulting in premature wear and tear on system components and excessive energy bills.
Enhance the performance and lifespan of your outside chest freezer with these tips:
- Provide shade and cover from rain and snow.
- Ensure there is adequate airflow around the unit.
- Routinely inspect the freezer for leaks or damage and remove debris such as garbage, foliage, or leaves from the surrounding area, which may pose a fire risk.
- During periods of extreme cold unplug the unit; the weather will keep your items frozen without risk of damage to the freezer.
- Install a "freeze stat" which is designed to turn off the power to the unit at pre-determined temperatures.