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How To Keep Your Refrigerator Outside

There are a lot of reasons you may have a refrigerator outside. Maybe because you often grill out and need cold beverages close to the action. Maybe because your garage isn’t climate controlled, and it can’t fit in your basement refrigerator. Maybe you just love to have friends over and need that extra space. Reasons aside, keeping a fridge outside means learning how to take care of it properly so that it lasts as long as possible

Refrigerators don’t have to be limited to indoors. You can have a refrigerator outside where you can get food and drinks without having to go in and out of your home. There are even refrigerators built specifically for outdoor purposes.

Although you have many options, there are some necessary precautions you should take when storing your fridge outside. Here is everything you need to know to protect your fridge while keeping it outside.

How To Keep Your Refrigerator Outside

You can store a regular refrigerator outside but it is often best to buy one that is specifically made for outdoors. These types of fridges are meant to withstand weather changes and can fend off rusting that can occur from water oxidation.

If you don’t have an outdoor refrigerator and would like to use one that you already own, you can do these steps to make sure that it is protected and will last:

  • Keep it hidden from the elements.
  • Prepare during extreme weather.
  • Protect electrical outlets and cords.
  • Hide it from the sunlight.
  • Add some insulation.
  • Keep it clean.

Keep It Hidden From The Elements

You don’t want to store your fridge just anywhere when you have it outside. It is best to have the fridge residing somewhere where the elements like storms, wind, and water can’t access it too easily.

When these elements are able to get to your fridge, they can degrade the surface layers of the fridge and start the breakdown of the material. Your fridge’s life expectancy could be cut in half by just exposing it to all the elements.

A refregirator outside.
Your fridge’s life expectancy could be cut in half by just exposing it to all the elements.

Water exposure can make your fridge break down all the more quickly. Dew and other exposure to water will increase the risk of rust and hinges falling apart. Although you can’t completely protect it from water, you can protect your fridge from rain and stagnated water.

Prepare During Extreme Weather

Whether it is storms or extreme temperatures, you will want to prepare your fridge for these times. You can do this in many ways, one simple solution is turning the fridge off so that the motors and parts within the fridge don’t get overwhelmed.

You can also change the temperature settings inside the fridge so that it doesn’t have to work hard against extreme temperatures, especially if it is hot water. Hot weather can overwork your fridge and the electrical components can get burnt out.

When you know that a storm is coming, you will always want to protect your fridge from any damage. Cover it or wrap it in something if you have straight-line winds or hail that could damage the surface. You will want to air the fridge out afterward so the water doesn’t sit on the fridge and cause erosion or rust.

Protect Electrical Outlets And Cords

Exposed electrical outlets or cords will always pose a threat when outside. You can buy simple outlet covers to give an extra shield against water. This can prevent surges from occurring and causing problems for not only your fridge but your home.

Baby hand on outlet covers.
You can buy simple outlet covers to give an extra shield against water.

Any exposed cords shouldn’t have any wear or tears in the protective rubber. If there is, you will want to immediately wrap it in electrical tape and some duct tape for extra measure. Any exposed wires can cause a surge and cause problems in your home.

If there is a lot of traffic where the cords are laying, you may want to invest in a rug or a cord protector. These will prevent any sharp objects, shoes, or paws to rip through the cord. It is always good to have this added protection just in case.

Hide It From The Sunlight

Sunlight can cause problems in two ways: erosion and overworking the fridge. The sun’s rays can erode the material of your fridge over time and cause the parts to become weak. This is especially the case if the refrigerator is made of plastic or PVC material. 

An old refrigerator.
The sun’s rays can erode the material of your fridge over time and cause the parts to become weak.

The sunlight can also cause your fridge to overwork. Direct sunlight can make the refrigerator fight against high temperatures and cause the motor to break due to the constant work to maintain the internal temperatures.

Add Some Insulation

If you live somewhere where the outside temperatures vary drastically, you may want to invest in some insulation. Doing this can help keep the temperatures surrounding your fridge from getting too hot or too cold and reduce the workload on the motor.

You can add simple insulation like hard foam that you can put around it or you can use the malleable, reflective insulation. There are many types that you can use and depending on how or where you store it can change what kind of insulation you can use.

Keep It Clean

Try to keep your fridge clean. This goes for any kind of machinery or utility device. Keeping things clean only makes the product last longer and keeps rust at bay. You want to make sure you clean especially after storms, bad weather, or high winds as dirt and water can get in places it shouldn’t be.

A person cleaning the refregirator.
Keeping things clean only makes the product last longer.

Can You Keep A Refrigerator Outside In The Winter?

Yes and no. This all depends on how extreme your winter weather is. If you are located where the weather doesn’t get too cold during the winter, you don’t have to worry too much about your outdoor fridge.

If you live in an area that has extreme cold conditions, you may want to invest in some of the steps that were said before, especially insulating your refrigerator. It may also be a good idea to just turn off the fridge during these bouts of freezing weather.

Issues With An Outdoor Refrigerator

Like any piece of equipment, you will find that there are some issues that can sometimes arise with it. An outdoor refrigerator although has its perks, can have its problems. Here are some common issues that you will find with an outdoor fridge:

  • Cannot withstand extreme temperatures.
  • At risk for condensation build-up.
  • Exposed parts to water can cause a quick end.
Dumped refrigerators.
Refrigerators exposed parts to water can cause a quick end.


Your refrigerator can last for years outside if you take these measures to protect it. Maintenance is key and you will find that you can store your beverages outside just by keeping up with your fridge. You won’t have to go without a cold drink again.

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