How to Make a Garage Refrigerator Work

Summer or winter, it takes extra energy

Keeping an old refrigerator running in an uninsulated garage can cost more than it's worth. First, you'll have to heat it in the winter to make the freezer work; then it needs more power in the summer heat. If you have to have it, here's how to make it work.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Why the fridge in the garage doesn't work right in winter—and how to fix it

You may be able to solve your problem by installing a “garage kit,” a heating coil to warm the air around the thermostat. The warmer air makes the compressor run longer and keeps frozen food, well, frozen. Check with the manufacturer to see if it makes one for your model.

But before you shell out $20 for the kit, consider how much you’ll have to spend to keep your brews chilled and pizzas frozen in the summer. Your old fridge is less efficient than your new one, so it’s already costing you more to run. Add 25 percent to run the old clunker in an 80-degree garage. Then double the bill if it’s running in a garage at 90 degrees and up. Are you sure you want to pay that much just to save a trip to the kitchen?

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Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Garage kit heating coil