An outdoor refrigerator is the perfect place to store drinks and chill food in a patio kitchen. Even if your kitchen is inside, you can utilize a freestanding outdoor fridge for al fresco entertaining. Purchasing outdoor refrigerators is no easy task, however. Because these appliances are subjected to a wide range of temperatures as well as weather and moisture, they have to work even harder than their interior counterparts. Before deciding which outdoor freezer or fridge is for you, take a peek at these 4 tips.
What safety specifications does my outdoor refrigerator need to meet?
Because your outside refrigerator will have to withstand weather and fluctuating temperatures, you need to make sure it’s weatherproofed. This includes an approval by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which means it can safely operate in wet conditions. Even if your outdoor freezer will be built into your kitchen island, it still needs an UL approval.
Which is better, a freestanding or built-in outdoor fridge?
While a freestanding design can be placed anywhere, a built-in unit seamlessly integrates into your kitchen cabinets. Aesthetics aside, there are differences in the design of each style, as well. Freestanding units require at least an inch of ventilation on all sides. Built-in units are front-vented, and can be fitted flush with your cabinetry.
What materials and features should my outdoor freezer come with?
You’ll find that most outdoor refrigerators are made from stainless steel. This is due to stainless steel’s rust-resistant properties, but you’ll want to make sure your refrigerator’s stainless steel is grade 304, also known as 18/8. This grade includes a larger amount of alloys that contribute to a higher resistance to corrosion.
Most outdoor refrigerators include an automatic defrost, adjustable shelves and thermostat, and an interior light. While your indoor fridge may include many more fun features, adding these to an outdoor fridge can be difficult due to its smaller size. You can, however, find models with doors that lock as well as units with slide-out shelving that’s perfect for storing and retrieving wine.
How can I protect my outdoor fridge during the winter?
When a chill starts to set in, it’s time to retire your outdoor fridge for the season. Most are not designed to operate in weather below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. To get yours ready for winter hibernation, empty out all contents and unplug it. You can limit the growth of mold by placing a small spacer between the door and the frame, then taping it shut. If yours is a freestanding unit, don’t forget to cover it, as well.
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