Finding space for all the food in your freezer can quickly become a game of Tetris. We’ve all been there — desperately tying to flip boxes and bags anyway possible to squeeze everything in.
Besides the fact that it’s an obvious hassle, it’s also far from the most efficient way to store things.
On the one hand, famine is still a serious issue in many parts of the world. Having so much food that storage is difficult is a good “problem” to have.
On the other hand, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating in the moment, especially when your kitchen refrigerator starts to fill up. Some have turned to putting a second freezer in their garage – but is that really the solution it promises to be?
It too takes up space better used by other things. What about keeping a deep freezer outside? It’s possible, but not without it’s own problems. However, those problems can be mitigated! Let’s dive in and see what we’re dealing with.
Will It Work?
First things first: is it even okay to leave a deep freezer outside? As with most questions (including whether it’s okay to keep refrigerators outside or leaving a keg outside), the answer is “it depends.”
While many deep freezers are rated specifically for outdoor use, you will likely find differing results with your run-of-the-mill chest freezer. One such model, the Frigidaire 14.8 cu. ft. Chest Freezer has the following to say about it from its manual:
For the most efficient operation, the appliance should be located where surrounding temperatures will not exceed 110°F (43°C). Temperatures of 32°F (0°C) and below will NOT affect operation.The Frigidaire Manual
So, is it okay to leave a deep freezer outside? As we can see, not if temperatures are expected to exceed 110°F (43°C).
Problems with Heat
The coolant systems employed by indoor freezers are not designed to handle extreme temperatures. In hot conditions, their internal sensors can detect that the temperature stays too warm. This keeps the cooling system working overtime to try and cool things down. In turn, this makes the fans and internal cooling systems operate harder and longer than normal. The same is true of placing freezers in high humidity conditions.
Problems with the Environment
Those aren’t the only problems that can stem from storing your indoor freezer outdoors. Leaves and other debris can clog systems, pose a fire hazard, and diminish effectiveness.
Either way, your indoor freezer will at best rack up higher energy bills by being forced to work so much when placed outside, and at worst may break down completely.
In most interior freezers, the compressor is located on the outside, which means that if the temperature dips too low, ice can start to build up on the exterior of the unit. Extreme cold can also diminish the viscosity of the oils it uses to keep the freezer’s parts lubricated, which is necessary for these freezers to operate properly.
That being said, chest freezer generally operate fine even when exposed to the extreme cold.
Consider Outdoor Freezers
All of those reasons should demonstrate why indoor freezers may be a bad idea if you live in a hot, humid climate.
Outdoor freezers are different. They are specially designed to handle fluctuations in temperature. Their construction often moves or shields their compressor to prevent overheating or buildups of ice.
How to Safely Keep Freezers Outdoors
If you want to keep freezers outdoors, these tips can help:
- Look for freezers that are designed to work outdoors.
- Moisture and precipitation is still a concern, so you’ll want to place the freezer in a dry place with adequate ventilation.
- Excessive sunlight, rain, and snow can all damage outdoor freezers.
- Be sure to inspect your outdoor freezer on a regular basis. Make sure that you clean the freezer of any debris.
- When the temperature gets extremely cold, consider unplugging the freezer.
- Find freezers that have an auto shutoff point, or install one on your own.
By finding the right freezer and following these tips, you can make food storage easier by storing them in a specially-designed outdoor freezer.