As the summer months approach and you begin to enjoy the warmer weather, you may be wondering if you can safely install a refrigerator outdoors in your entertaining space.
The good news is, yes, you can, with a few caveats. Most importantly, you should select an appliance that is designed for outdoor use. Outdoor refrigerators generally cost more than their indoor counterparts because they have added features that allow them to operate under a wider ambient temperature range. When placing your outdoor refrigerator in its new home, you should protect it from the elements to keep running efficiently for many years. Here is what you should know about protecting your outdoor refrigerator from the elements.
Outdoor appliances need protection from direct sunlight. When possible, install your outdoor refrigerator underneath a countertop. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure your refrigerator has proper clearance to allow it to exhaust properly. It is also a good idea to shade your outdoor kitchen with a tree, pergola, or other shade structure.
Heat and Cold
No one lives in an environment with a consistent year-round temperature. It is important to note that while a refrigerator may be marked as safe for outdoor use, that does not mean it is weatherproof. When the temperature rises above the recommended ambient temperature range of your outdoor refrigerator (generally above 110◦F), your outdoor refrigerator will work harder to cool its contents. Protect your appliance from extreme heat by placing it under a countertop and shade structure. Your outdoor refrigerator should also be installed away from direct heat sources such as an outdoor stove or grill. If you live in a cold area with temperatures that drop below 30-40◦F, there is a chance the compressor will freeze and run inefficiently. During the winter months, consider moving the outdoor refrigerator into your garage or basement to prevent freezing.
Installing your outdoor refrigerator under a countertop will also protect it from direct exposure to rain, snow, and hail. If you live in an area where flooding is an issue, you may choose to raise your refrigerator by building a small platform underneath. If you can, you should consider installing proper drainage in your outdoor kitchen or entertaining area to prevent any standing water from damaging your outdoor appliances.
Another way you can ensure your outdoor refrigerator has a long lifespan is by performing regular maintenance. Outdoor refrigerators are not just exposed to heat, cold, and moisture, but they are also subjected to more dust and debris. Regularly clean your refrigerator to ensure it is exhausting properly and running smoothly. Prevent mold and bacteria from building up inside the refrigerator by regularly removing any expired food and drink.