How to Keep a Deep Freezer Outside

Going inside the house is too much work when you need ice (or ice cream). If you spend a lot of time outside in the summer, you might be wondering how to keep a deep freezer outside. This also applies to keeping one in the garage! Yes, it is possible.

How to Keep a Deep Freezer Outside

The way you keep your deep freezer outside is going to depend a lot on its purpose, the climate, and whether you want it outside all season or just for the summer. Since it’s a major appliance, it’s not as simple as just plugging in.

Freezers can be affected by the heat, cold, humidity and bugs or animals. They’re not just electric; freezers cool the food with a compressor.

Without going into too much detail, the refrigeration cycle involves transferring refrigerant between two coils (called condenser coils and evaporator coils) which facilitates the cooling process. During the cycle, the refrigerant becomes a gas. 

While it works well in a variety of conditions when the freezer is well sealed, the freezer’s compressor will be strained under certain conditions. Learn more about how freezers work here.

Can you Keep a Deep Freezer Outside in the Winter?

Winter is going to mean different things for different people. Here in Manitoba, we could easily keep an unplugged freezer outside all winter and our food would never thaw! If your outdoor temperature stays below freezing all winter this might be an option.

Mild winters are the best candidates for keeping your deep freezer outside. The biggest concern is steep fluctuations in temperature. If it warms up suddenly, for example, the compressor may struggle to keep up. 

Some freezers’ compressors can get damaged in the cold. It’s definitely a risk leaving it outside all winter, but if you’re willing to try it or your freezer’s manual says it’s OK then it will probably be fine.

Another concern is ice building up on the unit or the lubrication oils in the compressor thickening and being less effective.

How to Keep a Deep Freezer Outside in the Summer

Keeping a small deep freezer on the patio or in the garage in the summer seems like a dream. You can keep ice for entertaining or have ice cream and popsicles ready to go for the kids.

For the most part a deep freezer won’t be any worse off outdoors in the summer than it is inside. The biggest concern is high temperatures because they’ll cause the compressor to work extra to maintain the optimal internal temperature.

Not only will this up the wear and tear on your freezer, you might also see high electric bills too.

If possible, keep your freezer in the coolest place possible over the summer. That might mean the garage, or at the very least in a shaded area.

You should keep your freezer out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

Keeping a Freezer Dry Outside

It’s important to keep your freezer dry when you have it outside. That can be tricky, especially if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain.

The best way to keep it safe is to set up your outdoor deep freezer in a sheltered area. A garage is ideal, but even a shed would be fine too. If that’s not available (or convenient), a covered area is fine too. 

You could also cover the freezer during storms, but make sure you don’t keep it covered for long periods of time. Adequate airflow is important to keep your freezer functioning properly.

Other Concerns for Keeping a Deep Freezer Outside

It’s really important to keep your freezer clear of all outdoor elements. That includes leaves and other debris. Don’t let anything pile up around the freezer and keep the space around it clean.

You should also make sure that the lid of the freezer closes firmly. If possible, consider a locking freezer instead of one that can just be pulled open. That will help secure the lid and keep it from blowing up in the wind or being opened by a crafty critter.

Check your freezer regularly to make sure nothing has gotten into it.

Consider an Outdoor Freezer

If you don’t want to risk your freezer getting damaged, consider picking up a deep freezer that’s specifically designed to be kept outside.

These freezers are usually designed to withstand weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. The only downside is they’re a bit pricer and harder to find. 

Still, there are some awesome outdoor freezers out there if you’re looking for something small to use in an outdoor kitchen or patio. You can also get portable freezers that work in cars or on boats.

Other Tips for How to Keep a Deep Freezer Outside

  • Build a shelter for your freezer. If you don’t have the space inside (or just want it outdoors) and plan to keep your freezer outside permanently then building it a shelter is a great way to preserve the life of your freezer.
  • Avoid storing expensive foods in the freezer if it’s exposed. Your freezer should be safe in a locked garage or shed, but if it’s in the backyard it could be vulnerable to animals, being opened accidentally, or the freezer failing and the food spoiling.
  • Don’t let it get mouldy. If you’re only using the freezer outdoors during the summer months make sure to clean it properly before it gets unplugged. You should also leave the lid propped open to avoid mould growth when the freezer isn’t in use.
  • Be aware of energy costs. A freezer kept outside in the summer is going to cost a lot more than one kept inside a temperature controlled home. Then again, an outdoor freezer may cost less to run in the winter outside than in.

How to Keep a Deep Freezer Outside – Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, freezers can be kept outside. Although most people find them most convenient indoors (if not in the main living area than in the basement or garage), that’s not possible for every situation. Outdoor freezers are also great for summer entertaining.

Just keep in mind that there is a certain level of risk involved – not all freezers tolerate cold, heat, and temperature changes the same way. 

That being said – if you take precautions to protect it from the elements and follow steps on how to keep a deep freezer outside then you’ll likely have good luck with your outdoor freezer adventures! 

Anne