Summer is just around the corner. Imagine inviting your friends to chill together in your backyard. The weather is superb, you’re all in a great mood, you laugh and you listen to good music. Everything is perfect and your beers are kept perfectly cold in the fridge. The fridge in the kitchen, that is. And you have to get up and go back and forth every time someone finishes their drink.
This doesn’t sound like a great party if you’re the host, right? However, you won’t have to do this if you invest in an outdoor fridge. Such a fridge would spare you from getting up and going inside, carrying all those bottles, and repeating the same thing over and over again. You may think, why would you need one, where will you put it, is a good investment, how to take care of it? Well, we have the answers to all your questions.
It’s an Ideal Investment for Outdoor Fun
It doesn’t matter if you have a backyard, a patio, a small balcony, an outdoor fridge is a superb investment. And it’s not only great for parties, but also when you chill outside by yourself or with your family and feel like refreshing with cold water, juice, wine, or beer. Outdoor refrigerators are one of the most practical gadgets you can get for the long, hot summer days in Australia. Let’s say your kid is having their birthday party in your backyard and they simply don’t want any adults flying around. Just store the bottles with juice and water and you can let them have fun on their own.
But Can It Endure All Kinds of Weather?
Now, the main question. Sure, you’re getting this patio fridge so it can assist you in the hot days. But, can it work well in all weather conditions? The good news is, most of the time such a fridge can endure the outside condition thanks to its suitable isolation and properly protected electrical parts. However, this doesn’t mean you should just leave it out on the lawn. You’ll still have to protect it from rain and storms. So, place it close to the house, on your patio, in your alfresco kitchen, or cover it with an awning.
Almost all outside fridges are made from stainless steel (it can resist wet environments and UV exposure). However, this doesn’t mean that stainless steel can’t rust under the worst weather conditions. Not all stainless steel is made to be top quality, so make sure you check this before buying your fridge. To protect it from rust, get a model made of a higher grade of stainless steel (they’re a bit pricier). The cheaper models are a lower grade of stainless steel or are made of plastic-wrapped steel.
If the weather is terrible (heavy rain), be sure to cover the fridge (large plastic nylon will do a good job). Also, keep in mind that outdoor fridges aren’t designed to work in extreme temperatures (below -4oC). So, if the weather is that cold, don’t turn it on or it can cause many problems. For instance, the freeze section won’t be able to turn on and everything inside will thaw. If you keep the outdoor fridge outside when the weather is cold, empty it completely, unplug it and cover it during the cold days. It won’t be a bad idea to keep the door slightly open to avoid mould.
While the fridge shouldn’t be used in extremely cold temperatures, cooler weather is actually (temperatures between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius, mainly). This way the fridge won’t have to work as hard to keep the contents cold. Extremely high temperatures, on the other hand, may force the fridge to work extra hard to cool the contents.
Freestanding & Built-In Models
If you have a complete alfresco kitchen outside (or some cabinets), pick an outdoor refrigerator that will fit well. And remember: refrigerators require good ventilation to work properly and transfer the heat out of the fridge.
Built-in models have vents at the front (on the bottom mostly) so you can build it into an outdoor BBQ kitchen with a flush fit without worrying about ventilation.
However, if you decide on a freestanding model, you’ll have to provide enough space in the back, on the sides, and on the top. These models aren’t supposed to be built into a cabinet or a kitchen island, because they won’t be able to transfer the heat out. If you go with a smaller model, you can place it under a counter, but make sure that there’s enough clearance on every side for ventilation.
Tips to Ensure the Fridge Operates Well
Add Extra Insulation
It will reduce the work required to keep the internals working and in good condition. You can consider building an insulated area for your outdoor fridge (if possible).
Put It Away From Direct Sunlight
At least this is not a complex thing to do. Simply find a place where sunlight won’t be able to reach it. It can be on your covered porch or patio, or you can simply place the fridge underneath a kitchen island, for example.
Protect the Fridge from the Elements
Besides sunlight, the fridge should be protected from rain and snow. Water can easily cause it to rust and damage the internals. If your patio has issues with standing water, you may want to install a small platform to place the fridge on it.