Storing a refrigerator in the garage can be a convenient solution for extra food storage or for creating additional space in the kitchen. But before you move your fridge to the garage, it’s important to consider the environmental factors and if it will be safe to use.
You can put a refrigerator in the garage, but it’s important to ensure that the temperature stays within the recommended range for safe food storage. Additionally, you should also be mindful of the potential for damage from fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
This article will cover how to store a refrigerator and the complications that can happen. We will also review what can happen if you leave a refrigerator unplugged for too long and the best ways to run a refrigerator in your garage.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If you’ve recently moved and are concerned about keeping your refrigerator in top shape, even while in storage, we understand!
Before you place your refrigerator, make sure you use these great options to keep your fridge pristine, no matter what the weather conditions!
1. Insulation Market Place LLC Insulation Roll: This is a roll of high-quality insulation that keeps out heat and does not attract bugs or moisture. It can be placed around any size freezer or refrigerator for storage during extreme weather.
2. Insulated Moving Blankets – For moving and storage! Make sure that your fridge is fully blanketed, and it should last for years!
3. Garage Insulation – Keeps your whole garage insulated!
Storing a refrigerator isn’t as simple as storing winter clothes. Thankfully, in this section, we will go over the ways you should and should not store a refrigerator. Plus, we’ll tell you what can happen when you leave it unplugged.
Can You Store a Fridge in an Unheated Garage?
If your area has mild temperatures, you can put a fridge in an unheated garage. However, refrigerators may shut down after the temperature around them becomes colder than the temperature inside because it thinks it’s already cold.
The opposite is true in the summer. The fridge will work much harder if the heat gets above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This will drive your power bill up, and the fridge will not last as long. It’s also best to keep your fridge away from a stove or oven.
Can Fridges Be Kept in a Garage?
You can keep a fridge in the garage, but if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, that can kill your fridge. For example, being kept below freezing for long periods is bad for a fridge in an uninsulated and unheated garage.
It’s also bad to keep a fridge in a garage that gets above 100 degrees because the fridge has to work harder to keep the inside cold. However, if you live in an area where it rarely gets below freezing or about 100 degrees, you can leave it in the garage.
How Do You Store an Unused Refrigerator?
To store a refrigerator, remove all food from the fridge so it will not spoil; clean the fridge with water and baking soda; leave all the drawers and the door open for at least a day before storing it.
Also, turn off the temperature with the dials or switches in the refrigerator before unplugging it and moving it. If you have an ice maker, turn the water supply off and disconnect the water from the fridge. Give the fridge a day to go through another cycle and to thaw and dry out.
Can You Store a Fridge in an Unheated Garage Unplugged?
You can store a fridge in an unheated garage unplugged, but you will need to turn it off and clean it out properly. You can turn all the switches and dials inside to off before unplugging the fridge. Also, let it air dry out before closing it up.
If you are saving an older fridge, you might want to reconsider recycling it instead. This is because older fridges use more energy than new fridges. The same is true for freezers. Purchasing an energy-efficient model is better for you and the environment!
How Do You Know if a Refrigerator Is Garage Ready?
If you are storing your refrigerator unplugged, you will need to clean it out, dry it out, and store it with an open box of baking soda inside. If you are keeping it on and using it, make sure the temperature in your garage does not overheat or freeze.
You can also use an insulation blanket in the colder months. Cover the fridge entirely while it’s cold out to protect it from extreme temperatures. You can also use insulation panels to put around the fridge. In the warmer months, check to ensure the fridge stays dry inside. Once mold gets in, it’s hard to get out.
Are There Insulation Blankets for Storing Fridges?
You can use an insulation blanket to store a fridge in the freezing months. However, make sure the fridge is dried out before sealing it up.
When preparing your fridge for storage, clean it with baking soda and water. Leave it open with a fan on it to dry it out. Then add a box of baking soda to the fridge. Keep the door slightly open to keep the moisture and odor out and to prevent mold.
What Do I Need to Do to Store a Fridge in My Garage?
If you live in an area with mild temperatures ranging from 32 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you need two boxes of baking soda, water, and a cloth. You will need to take out all items in the fridge, clean it with baking soda, and allow it to dry fully.
To dry it out, keep the fridge open for a few days in a place with low humidity. Then, you can place the second box of baking soda in the fridge to soak up any moisture. If you do not have a low-humidity space, you can create one with a fan and a dehumidifier.
Leaving a Fridge Unplugged
In this section, we will go more in-depth with storing your refrigerator unplugged. We will discuss the length of time you can leave a fridge unplugged and the effects or consequences of unplugging it for too long.
Can You Leave a Refrigerator Unplugged for a Year?
With food inside the refrigerator, you can keep it unplugged for four hours. If you take the food out and clean and dry out the inside, then you can store it unplugged for months and even years. However, the number of times you unplug the refrigerator may damage it.
If you unplug it, wait at least 15 minutes before plugging it in. Also, if you move the refrigerator, ensure it is clean from all perishable items, and do not plug it back in for at least 24 hours because the oil in the compressor needs to settle first.
What Happens if a Refrigerator Is Not Used for a Long Time?
If your refrigerator has food in it and it has been months, you will need to remove all items and deep clean your fridge with baking soda. However, if the fridge has grown mold, you will need to also go over it with vinegar.
If you properly store the refrigerator and all food is removed, the fridge can last years unplugged. However, you should always store it upright so as not to dislodge the compressor. Additionally, older fridges are less likely to turn back on after being unplugged.
You might also enjoy our post on Where Does a Garage Floor Drain Go?
How Long Can You Keep a Fridge in Storage?
You can keep a fridge in storage for years and still be able to use it. However, you will need to store it upright and, after moving it again, wait 24 hours before plugging it back in. If you do not wait to plug it in, the oil in the compressor may not have settled.
To properly store a fridge, clean out all food items and clean the fridge with baking soda and water. Additionally, if you leave food in a fridge while it is unplugged, make sure it is no longer than four hours. However, it is best to remove the food first.
Can You Switch off a Refrigerator for Three Months?
You can switch off the refrigerator for three months. If the refrigerator is out of use, switching it off and unplugging it will save electricity. However, you should remove all perishable items first and clean the fridge.
Mold can grow quickly in a fridge because it is dark and can become moist. To prevent mold, thoroughly clean the fridge with baking soda and warm water. Then keep it open to dry for about three days before storing.
How Long Can a Refrigerator Be Unplugged?
A refrigerator could remain unplugged for years if you stored it properly. However, if at any point someone turned over the refrigerator or if they did not properly turn it off and unplug it, then the compressor may become damaged.
Another issue with storing a refrigerator unplugged is mold growth. If any food is left in the fridge, or the fridge is not clean and dried before being unplugged, mold will grow inside and create a toxic place to store food.
Running a Fridge in the Garage
If you decide to keep using the fridge but don’t want it in the house, you may be thinking about putting it in the garage. So this section will go over the pros and cons of putting your refrigerator in the garage while keeping it running.
Is It Okay to Run a Refrigerator in an Unheated Garage?
You can run a refrigerator in an unheated garage if the temperature doesn’t get below freezing too often. When it does, insulate your fridge with insulation panels or a blanket. The fridge will not work properly if the outside is colder than the inside.
Periodically, check your refrigerator’s thermometer to ensure it is at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to check it after plugging it into an unheated garage. It’s best to check it as the temperature begins to change.
Do You Need a Special Refrigerator for the Garage?
The best refrigerators for the garage are small ones because they use less energy to cool. This is helpful in the summer. However, a refrigerator will need to be covered or insulated if it starts to get below freezing.
Temperatures that get below 40 degrees Fahrenheit also can hurt a fridge if the fridge is set at 40 degrees. This is because the fridge will sense that it’s cold enough and turn off, but it may not turn back on properly.
Can You Run a Refrigerator in the Garage in the Winter?
You can run a refrigerator in a garage in the winter, especially if the area it is in is insulated. However, if the area it is being run in gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the refrigerator may stop working.
You can also put insulation around the refrigerator during the colder months. You should also have a thermometer inside the fridge to make sure it is at the right temperature.
How Do You Get a Refrigerator to Work in a Cold Garage?
To get a refrigerator to work in a cold garage, you can put insulation around the refrigerator. The easiest ways to do so are to insulate the garage, put an insulated blanket around the fridge, or place insulated paneling on it.
Also, make sure your power connection is working properly. Additionally, if you just moved your refrigerator, then it could be that the compressor turned and the oil drained out of the chamber. Wait 24 hours before plugging it in again.
What Fridges Are Suitable for a Garage?
Any fridges are suitable for a garage if the temperature is not over 90 degrees Fahrenheit or below 40 degrees. However, you should cover the fridge in the winter with insulation and always check the thermometer.
You can also store a fridge in a garage while it is unplugged, but be sure to clean it out and leave it open to dry for three days. You should also place an open box of baking soda in the fridge before closing it or use a refrigerator deodorizer.
Should I Unplug My Garage Refrigerator Over Winter?
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to unplug your refrigerator over the winter if it gets very cold where you live. Refrigerators will stop working if they get too cold on the outside. You can find ways to insulate the refrigerator, but it may be best to leave it unplugged.
Another upside to unplugging your refrigerator in the winter if it is in the garage is that you will save money on a power bill. Additionally, a cooler in the winter may work just as well if it is cold and they don’t use electricity!
Should I Unplug My Fridge if I’m Away for Four Months?
It is smart to unplug your fridge if you are away for four or more months. You don’t need to keep any perishable food in the fridge that long, and it will save energy which is better for the environment and your pocketbook.
If you decide to unplug the fridge, remove all the food first. Clean the fridge with warm water and baking soda, and then place a box of deodorant to remove moisture and odor. Both prevent mold from growing in your fridge.
Why Do You Have to Wait for 24 Hours Before Plugging in a Fridge?
You should wait 24 hours before plugging in a fridge if you moved the fridge because the oil in that compressor has not yet settled. However, if you just have it off and do not move it, you can plug it back in after 15 minutes.
If you are moving your fridge, wait 24 hours before plugging it in after sitting it down. If you are storing it for a while, clean out any food and wipe the inside with warm water and baking soda. Then fully dry it out before closing it.
How Good Is It to Switch off the Refrigerator During a Long Vacation?
If you are only going to be gone for a couple of weeks, then it’s not worth turning your refrigerator off. However, if you are going to be gone for a month or so, turning your refrigerator off and unplugging it will save you money.
If you do plan to turn it off, make sure you take out all perishable items from the refrigerator and clean it thoroughly. Then, make sure it is dried out before closing it. Also, add a refrigerator deodorizer or box of baking soda to the fridge.
Making these conscious efforts to save money, energy and resources can be overwhelming, but we hope this article helped you figure out one way to go about refrigerator storage. We also hope you can save a lot of money on your power bill using our tips.