Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Freezer/Refrigerator for garage


Aloha Steve
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi, i am hoping you folks can help me decide if my plan is feasible, which is to have an additional freezer and refrigerator located in my GARAGE and if so, what configuration i.e two stand alone units or all in one side by side and any recommendations of a model to get.

My needs go beyond the capacity of what is in the kitchen, which is a small sized kitchen and I have the largest capacity unit in the space now.

My biggest concern is living in Honolulu, its hot August - Sept and my garage is usually closed. I'd say during this time of the year, the heat inside the garage goes up to about 95 for about 5 hours of the day. This would be the warmest it would get. Most of the year, during the day the range would be a chilly :wink: 70 to about 85. Never getting colder than 65 or warmer than 100.

Are there units out there made for this type of climate ?

Will I need to sell my children's body parts to pay the electricity bills ?

Will the equipment hold up ?

Please feel free to jump in with any thoughts on the above and to point out if I missed asking something, meaning I had not though about it.

I will truly appreciate any guidance you can give.

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the freezer is for longer term storage, you might look into an old-style chest freezer that isn't frost free. Of course that means it has to be defrosted manually, but since you won't be opening it as often as the freezer in your kitchen, it shouldn't need it as often, and the food will stay better without the automatic defrost cycles that can contribute to freezer burn. I've also found that vacuum sealing extends freezer life (for food).

Generally freezers are more efficient when they are full, so if you have a lot of free space in the freezer, you can fill it up with ice until you need the space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't give you advice on the heat problem, but I can tell you about the cold problem and perhaps that will help a bit in some way.

Our oldest son lived with us for an extended period as an adult and we put a second fridge in our garage. In the winter, the enclosed garage gets very cold and so the fridge did too. We put a separate light bulb in the fridge on 24/7...cannot recall the exact wattage...and the problem was solved.

Good luck!

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will work just fine, but harder than it would in your cooler kitchen. Many people here in Missouri have an extra fridge in the garage or workshop, and our outside temps go to 100--heaven only knows how hot the garages get. My freezer, chest type is in my shed, and has worked well for 8 years.

Yes, your electricity bill will go up--a fridge uses a lot of power.

sparrowgrass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a chest type freezer in our Houston TX garage that cost less than $200 at Costco. It's run reliably for about 5 years, and I couldn't tell how much it adds to the electric bill -- it's overwhelmed by the A/C. I figure that if the extra work of fighting Houston summers causes it to last a couple years less, then we'll replace it cheaply. Lots of folks here retire their kitchen fridge to the garage when they redecorate or upgrade. Seems to work out well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are insulating "blankets" available for purchase, which are designed for hot water heaters. They would probably work for freezers, too.

My advice, though, is to purchase a newer more energy efficient, fridge/freezer, rather than picking up an older used one. The savings in electricity are worth the extra money for the newer model.

Karen Dar Woon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put a 5 cu. ft. manual defrost chest freezer in my garage a few years ago. Bought it at Costco, as was suggested earlier. I opened it daily. I found the manual defrost to be a major pain - the frost builds up badly to the extent that it was taking up storage room. Taking everything out, storing it (where) while defrosting was an afternoon's work. Plus, it didn't take long to quickly outgrow it, and it was a pain digging through the top layers to get something out from the bottom.

I finally bought an auto defrost upright, 17 cu ft. with multiple shelfs and drawers. I'm much more satisfied now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following this thread made me curious...just how old is our old huge manual defrost chest freezer anyway?

I probably shouldn't tempt fate by writing any of this. I have hated our freezer for lo! many years now and would dearly love to buy a new upright freezer with auto-defrost and no pit from heck to dig into to find things...with my head in the freezer and my feet and rump sticking up in the air as I rummage around trying to get the package down at the bottom.

OK. We bought it in April of 1975...that's just over 34 years! Omigawd! How much longer can it last? We have been putting a 20 pound lead weight on it for almost 20 years just to keep the lid properly closed. Defrosting it is a two-person job which takes hours. But it lives! It lives!!! And it has given us great service. And until it dies, I am stuck with it.

I continue to pine for a new upright frost-free version. :rolleyes:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Extra freezers in uncooled garage/shed space are common in hot-as-Hawaii south LA. Chest-type freezers are more energy efficient to operate, and they definitely maintain a freezing temp longer than an upright during a power loss (always a concern during hurricane season). In any case, fill up any empty space in your spare freezer with containers of water--the surplus ice adds cold mass & makes the whole system work more efficiently. A packed freezer, unopened, will stay below 40 degrees for 4-5 days without power. Stuff on the edges will defrost, but things buried in the middle will stay frozen.

edited to add: my parents' spare freezer, outdoors in an unheated storage closet, is still going strong after 20 years. The exterior got rusty after year 10 or so from the humidity in the air, but a quick coat of krylon took care of that.

Edited by HungryC (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Extra freezers in uncooled garage/shed space are common in hot-as-Hawaii south LA.  Chest-type freezers are more energy efficient to operate, and they definitely maintain a freezing temp longer than an upright during a power loss (always a concern during hurricane season).  In any case, fill up any empty space in your spare freezer with containers of water--the surplus ice adds cold mass & makes the whole system work more efficiently.  A packed freezer, unopened, will stay below 40 degrees for 4-5 days without power.  Stuff on the edges will defrost, but things buried in the middle will stay frozen.

edited to add:  my parents' spare freezer, outdoors in an unheated storage closet, is still going strong after 20 years.  The exterior got rusty after year 10 or so from the humidity in the air, but a quick coat of krylon took care of that.

Dear HungryC,

What a great idea! Thanks so much. :smile: Learn something new every day!!

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok here's my 2 cents:

I have owned both chest freezers and uprights, frost-free and manual defrost, and I used to sell them for a living.

I would never own another chest freezer or manual defrost.

1. As someone else mentioned, manual defrosting is a pain, and unless you do it often (and no one does) any energy saving is wasted.

2. The big detractor for me with a chest freezer is that stuff gets buried and forgotten on the bottom. Then you end up throwing it out when you discover it years later. This negates any cost savings of the chest freezer vs. an upright very quickly.

3. The chest freezer is a large horizontal space. In a garage, that's where you put stuff. Which of course means it has to be removed to access the freezer. Plus it's space lost. An upright saves valuable garage floor space, plus you can stack stuff on top without affecting access to the freezer.

4. Get a frost-free upright. The shelves may be (depending on the model) adjustable. Not the case with a manual defrost upright. You can also get glass shelves which I highly recommend. Soft food can "droop" around the wires in the shelves and then freeze, locking the food to the shelf. Doesn't happen often, but a pain when it does.

5. Get a good vacuum sealer. Food will last much longer in the freezer.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

My NEWER laser stuff site: Lightmade Designs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok here's my 2 cents:

I have owned both chest freezers and uprights, frost-free and manual defrost, and I used to sell them for a living.

I would never own another chest freezer or manual defrost.

1.  As someone else mentioned, manual defrosting is a pain, and unless you do it often (and no one does) any energy saving is wasted.

2.  The big detractor for me with a chest freezer is that stuff gets buried and forgotten on the bottom.  Then you end up throwing it out when you discover it years later.  This negates any cost savings of the chest freezer vs. an upright very quickly.

3.  The chest freezer is a large horizontal space.  In a garage, that's where you put stuff.  Which of course means it has to be removed to access the freezer.  Plus it's space lost.  An upright saves valuable garage floor space, plus you can stack stuff on top without affecting access to the freezer.

4.  Get a frost-free upright.  The shelves may be (depending on the model) adjustable.  Not the case with a manual defrost upright.  You can also get glass shelves which I highly recommend.  Soft food can "droop" around the wires in the shelves and then freeze, locking the food to the shelf.  Doesn't happen often, but a pain when it does.

5.  Get a good vacuum sealer.  Food will last much longer in the freezer.

Hooray for mgaretz. My sentiments exactly. Now is this freezer of mine would just quietly die... No, otherwise I cannot do it. :sad:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Make sure to purchase a reasonably sized unit that won't sit mostly empty. It needs to be at least 2/3 full to run at optimal efficiency. Frost free units dessicate the contents faster than manual defrost units, but, if you get a vacuum-sealer, that won't be a problem. Try to find the coolest place possible for it, so it isn't running like crazy to maintain temperature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement.

Long story short, I've been given (as in zero cost except to pay for delivery) a nearly new side by side 25 inch freezer/fridge and a decent rated brand to boot. We will block up from the inside, the ice maker hole to not let any air escape nor hot air to enter. We will keep the freezer side full either with my cooking 'experiments' (I'm a newbie so I won't call them dishes LOL), frozen meat and ice water or the like.

I have two questions, mgaretz you may want to wade in here SVP.

What can I do to help keep Fridge side cooler, like filling up the Freezer side ?

What vacuum sealer is the 'best' to get ?

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement.

Long story short, I've been given (as in zero cost except to pay for delivery) a nearly new side by side 25 inch freezer/fridge and a decent rated brand to boot.  We will block up from the inside, the ice maker hole to not let any air escape nor hot air to enter.  We will keep the freezer side full either with my cooking 'experiments' (I'm a newbie so I won't call them dishes LOL), frozen meat and ice water or the like.

I have two questions, mgaretz you may want to wade in here SVP.

What can I do to help keep  Fridge side cooler, like filling up the Freezer side ?

What vacuum sealer is the 'best' to get ?

I wouldn't stress too much about keeping the freezer side full. Yes it will make the freezer run more efficiently, but the difference isn't going to be huge. Keeping it full won't affect the fridge side temperature.

The unit should have temperature adjustment for both sides. Just set them where you want them and don't stress. Be aware that they will interact. The freezer control sets the temperature in the freezer, the fridge control controls how much frozen air from the freezer is moved into the fridge side.

I like my FoodSaver brand vacuum sealer, but get one of the higher end units. I got a low-end FoodSaver and it didn't last.

Edited by mgaretz (log)

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

My NEWER laser stuff site: Lightmade Designs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why don't you just hook up and use the ice maker?  (The "hole" will just be a piece of tubing.  If you don't want to use it, just plug the end of the tubing.  Don't go crazy.)

No water line. I could run a line as the washer/dryer are close but we use bottle water when we are there. Its a large garage and we also have the treadmill and weights all in the same space.

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... It needs to be at least 2/3 full to run at optimal efficiency. ... Try to find the coolest place possible for it, so it isn't running like crazy to maintain temperature.

Efficiency.

As a concept it gets misused and misunderstood.

Its important to distinguish between energy used per pound of stored food (or per cubic foot of food) and total amount of energy used per day/week/month.

If you want to keep food well, and reduce the amount of energy consumed, don't fill it right up! Allowing some air circulation inside the freezer is a good thing.

To reduce the energy consumption for any given freezer, cool its surroundings -- within reason! In cold climates, some garages can be too cold in winter for some modern CFC-free fridges and freezers. But in the tropics, its about the temperature difference between inside and outside.

If you can paint the garage roof white, that should make a significant improvement.

While reducing the ventilation can be helpful when outside is hotter than inside, that isn't always the case.

The freezer itself will generate heat to warm the garage. Let that heat out! Anything you can do to vent (ie lose) the hot air from the compressor and to ensure that the inlet air is as cool as possible will help to reduce the work the compressor has to do -- and that means to reduce your energy bills.

You might even be able to repurpose (operating in reverse - closing when hot) a greenhouse ventilator ...

If you get a Kill-a-watt meter (or an equivalent) you can monitor what the thing is using, which will help you decide what is economically worth doing to cut the bills and save the planet.

A freezer, over its whole working life, costs many times more than its purchase price in electricity bills! (And the hotter the climate, the more electricity it'll use ...)

Over here, its normal for decent fridge/freezers to have separate compressors (and controls) for each side. That's a better (more efficient) arrangement.

Re vacuum sealers - don't touch cheapies that only 'seal' with a hot wire. They give a woefully narrow seal. You'd like something wide, the wider the better, but about 1/16" of proper seal is fine.

I have a basic (full auto) Foodsaver. Its just fine. Except for liquids. Or any liquid in the bag. Hence I want to upgrade to something that gives me a 'stop-pumping-and-start-sealing-now' manual over-ride function.

OK, now, take a look at the vacpack thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=51526 :smile:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks dougal, I just ordered the Pro Vacuum Sealer after reading the thread from the link you so kindly sent. I asked there and will ask here for please, guidance in ordering freezer bags.

I will use it to freeze: Porter house and Rib-bone in steaks, dough balls and discs, am not sure about liquids but probably so, and I'm not sure what else at this point.

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why don't you just hook up and use the ice maker?  (The "hole" will just be a piece of tubing.  If you don't want to use it, just plug the end of the tubing.  Don't go crazy.)

No water line. I could run a line as the washer/dryer are close but we use bottle water when we are there. Its a large garage and we also have the treadmill and weights all in the same space.

Your new fridge undoubtedly has a filter system for the water. No need to do any real plumbing - just get a Y garden hose splitter and put it on the cold line to the washer. Rehook the washer to one side, then you'll need the appropriate adapter(s) to hook the tubing to for the other.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

My NEWER laser stuff site: Lightmade Designs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks dougal, I just ordered the Pro Vacuum Sealer after reading the thread from the link you so kindly sent.  I asked there and will ask here for please, guidance in ordering freezer bags.

I will use it to freeze:  Porter house and Rib-bone in steaks, dough balls and discs, am not sure about liquids but probably so, and I'm not sure what else at this point.

For bags (actually I prefer the rolls), make sure they have the "quilting" inside - it's necessary to provide channels to suck the air out. A smooth bag will collapse and not let all the air out - at least with the home-type sealers. I usually buy the Costco packs.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

My NEWER laser stuff site: Lightmade Designs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may want to look into getting the wide mouth jar attachment for the vacuum sealer. It's Foodsaver brand, but apparently the hose size fits several other brands as well. It's only $10 plus shipping and something which I have found to be very useful.

I use my jar sealer to vacuum seal canning jars, which are very inexpensive and food safe. I have all of my dry beans, grains, seaweed, dry mushrooms, and some pasta sealed in the 1 and 2-quart size jars to prevent pantry moths. (we had a huge infestation 5 years ago, no activity since we started using the sealed jars) I routinely seal & refrigerate homemade gari every year. If I make extra mayo I seal then refrigerate. I also find that leftovers last longer if sealed before refrigerating. I have given up on plastic storage containers almost completely -the canning jars run about $7 for a case.

My mom used to freeze peaches in glass jars, unsealed. They were far superior to canned peaches. So, the jars may be useful in your freezer as well, even without vacuum sealing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Side x Side Fridge/Freezer just got delivered. Not quite 'near' new. In fact since it was sitting in the appliance store warehouse it probably received a few fender benders. However, I know the owners of said store very well, for many moons and will believe that it is excellent new new mechanical condition. as they stated.

AND the price was right :cool: ZERO

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...