Does it Hurt a Chest Freezer to Be in the Cold or Outdoors

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There are advantages and disadvantages to where you place your chest freezer.
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A chest freezer can store all those fabulous finds that you plan to use at a later date, such as whole turkeys on sale after a holiday or that extra cache of ribs from a summer barbecue. While the freezer is a place to put all those extra ingredients for future dishes, finding a place for the freezer can be a challenge.

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Freezers tend to get tucked between the shelving in the garage, pushed onto the back porch or otherwise stored outside and out of the way until needed. Leaving a freezer outdoors or in a garage has its challenges as well.

Choosing a Freezer

Before you buy a freezer, and if you have the opportunity to be choosy, consider where you can store the freezer. Can it be kept in a dining or guest room and used as a table of sorts until you need to dig through its contents? Do you need a chest or upright freezer?

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An upright freezer may have a smaller footprint than a chest freezer, according to Consumer Reports. It also allows you to access its contents while using the top surface for stacking without having to move anything when you want to pull out that frozen hunk of meat for a big dinner.

A chest freezer may have a larger footprint but also can hold longer pieces of meat, such as a side of beef or stacks of ribs. Wherever this is stored, you'll need to have space in the front and above the unit in order to gain entry to the contents of the freezer.

Cautions for Storing Outside

There are a few reasons that storing the freezer outdoors is a bad idea. From animals to theft, consider the concerns for the area where you plan to install the chest or upright standalone freezer. According to Mr. Appliance, storing a freezer outside in coastal areas can cause the freezer to corrode due to the salty air.

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Extreme heat can be too much for the freezer stored outdoors. Direct sun will make the machine work harder to keep its contents at the correct temperature. If the garage becomes a hot box of high temperatures for a lengthy period of time, this can not only overwork the appliance but also run up your electric bill.

Check the user's manual to find the temperature range for the freezer and let that be your guide. If your area gets freezing weather, then the compressor can get covered in ice. This can decrease the viscosity of the oils that lubricate all the moving parts of the compressor.

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Freezers Designed for Outdoor Use

If you have no choice but to store the freezer in the garage, on a porch or otherwise outside of the comfort of your home, then look for one designed to handle the extreme temperatures. A freezer on the porch in a moderate climate should function well all year long, with higher electric bills in the summer and lower in the winter.

Leaving a chest freezer in the rain can short out the compressor that is located on the exterior of the unit. A chest freezer cover can protect the compressor as well as the finish and seals of the appliance.

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Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.