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The Best Garage Refrigerator Models - Reviews, Features, Prices

Posted by Meredith Czymmek on Jul 22, 2020 10:36 AM
Meredith Czymmek

Above the Fold Image Best Garage Refrigerator - GE Lifestyle

 

Although you can "trick" a normal refrigerator into working in a garage setting, when it comes to perishable foods, you're better off getting a garage refrigerator specifically made for the task. A typical refrigerator is designed to handle ambient temperatures from around 50 to 85 ºF (although the range varies from model to model), while garage refrigerators can handle broader ranges. In this article, we'll review a few different garage refrigerator models!

It can be frustrating to research garage ready refrigerators and have lots of results pop up that have conflicting information. For this article, we've separated out refrigerators that can only handle ambient temperatures above freezing and those that can handle colder temperatures under 32 ºF. (We use Fahrenheit throughout, in case you were wondering.)

If you live in the northeastern US or a similar climate where temperatures drop below freezing, you should probably look into all-refrigerator and all-freezer units. These models can often handle lower temperatures, although a freezerless refrigerator will typically let your food freeze if it gets to that point. 

If you live in a climate where temperatures reach 0 ºF or lower, you'll likely need a more advanced solution, like insulating your garage or a portion of it for the refrigerator. This is definitely is outside of our area of expertise!

Regardless of your climate, pay attention to the operating temperature range listed in the installation instructions or owner's manual and double-check that your garage doesn't leave that zone. 

 

Table of Contents

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE REFRIGERATOR BUYER'S GUIDE

 

Why Buy a Garage Ready Model?

In case you're not sure if you really need a garage ready refrigerator, here's what happens when a normal refrigerator is faced with temperature extremes:

  • Too hot: Your fridge has to work overtime to try to keep things cool, and after running up your electricity bill it's likely going to break down! - Garage ready refrigerators typically come with better insulation to handle wide temperature swings, and use different thermostat and compressor designs as well.

  • Too cold: You may find that the freezer thaws out and/or that the fresh food section freezes up - because a single thermostat in the fresh food section is telling your fridge not to bother turning on, even though that means the freezer section will get too warm. Mechanical issues can also result if the compressor isn't designed to handle low ambient temperatures.

A "garage refrigerator kit" is designed to help refrigerators handle very cold temperatures. These kits basically stick a heating coil near the thermostat in the fresh food section to trick the compressor into running continuously. The coil's heat helps keep the fresh food section from freezing over while also keeping the compressor running so the freezer section stays frozen. This isn't ideal for energy usage but it's a "good enough" fix in many cases. This article has some great research and resources!

 

 

The Best Garage Ready Refrigerators for Mild Climates

 

1. Whirlpool WRR56X18FW All Refrigerator - 18 cu ft - $949 MSRP

The Whirlpool WRR56X18FW all-refrigerator is Energy Star rated and tolerates temperatures as low as 40 ºF. It has up front electronic temperature controls and humidity controlled crispers, plus full-width adjustable glass shelves.

Inside the reversible door you'll find tons of door storage, including wire racks for large, flat items like premade pizza dough rounds. There are two half-width drawers plus two humidity-controlled crispers. The bright white LED lighting is energy efficient. 

If you'd like a refrigerator with no freezer that's a step up from basic wire shelving and limited storage choices, this is a great model to consider! Although an upper temperature limit isn't listed, it should be able to handle temperatures up to 85 degrees. If your garage can easily reach 100 degrees or more on a summer day, this may not be a good option for you.

 

Features:

  • Temperature Tolerance: 40-? ºF

  • Energy Star rated

  • Glass shelves and plenty of storage options

  • Reversible door

 

Dimensions:

  • Height: 66.75"

  • Width: 31"

  • Depth: 30"

 

Click here to read over 225 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Whirlpool WRR56X18FW - $949 MSRP - CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICING!

Whirlpool WRR56X18FW All Refrigerator-1

 

 

2. GE GTS19KGNRWW Top Freezer Refrigerator - 19.1 cu ft - $809 MSRP

GE has some new options for top freezer refrigerators in 2020. Their garage ready models have two independent thermostats to regulate the refrigerator and freezer sections to address the issues we described above with regular refrigerators. The GE GTS19KGNRWW can tolerate temperatures from 38-110 ºF!

This model is available in black, white, stainless steel, and even GE slate, so you have plenty of color options. Plus, the white and black finishes are smooth and glossy rather than the pebbled "elephant skin" texture found on most white and black refrigerators. The fresh food door storage includes adjustable clear bins. In the main compartment you'll find a half-width deli drawer, clear crisper drawers, and glass shelves. An optional icemaker is available.

The wide temperature tolerance of this garage refrigerator makes this a good fit for hot summers as well as mild winters.

 

Features:

  • Temperature Tolerance: 38-110 ºF

  • Glass shelves and modular door storage

  • Separate thermostat controls for fresh food and freezer sections

  • Reversible doors

 

Dimensions:

  • Height: 66.75"

  • Width: 31"

  • Depth: 30"

 

Click here to read over 45 real customer reviews of this product!

 

GE GTS19KGNRWW - $809 MSRP - CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICING!

GE Appliances GTS19KGNRWW Top Freezer Refrigerator

 

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3. Frigidaire FFTR1425VW - 13.9 cu ft - $629 MSRP

At first, this model appears to have a smaller temperature tolerance than the GE model above of 55 degrees. However, Frigidaire has tested their garage ready refrigerator models and found that they can handle temperatures as low as 38 degrees. A garage heater kit (part # 5303918301) can help it go even further and handle ambient temps as low as 34 degrees.

The 14 cubic foot Frigidaire FFTR1425VW is spacious enough for a family. The fresh food section has glass shelves, an LED light in the ceiling, and full plastic door bins to keep all of your items in place. You'll find humidity-controlled crisper drawers and a half-width deli drawer. The freezer has a wire shelf and two fixed door bins. The self-closing doors are a nice feature to prevent spoiled food, especially if you have kids in the household that might leave the door cracked open!

If you're looking for an icemaker ready top freezer refrigerator for your garage, check out this model! Frigidaire notes in the manual that "If your unit is in a garage or area where the temperature is below 55 ºF, adjust the freezer control to the coldest setting to improve performance."

 

Features:

  • Temperature Tolerance: 38-110 ºF (As low as 34 ºF with a heater kit)

  • Glass shelves and fixed white door storage

  • LED lighting in fresh food and frozen sections

  • Optional icemaker available

  • Reversible doors

 

Dimensions:

  • Height: 60.5"

  • Width: 27.625"

  • Depth: 29.4"

 

Click here to read over 90 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Frigidaire FFTR1425VW - $629 MSRP - CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICING!

Frigidaire FFTR1425VW Garage Ready Top Freezer Refrigerator

 

 

The Best Garage Ready Refrigerators for Freezing Winters

When temperatures reach freezing or below, your options for top freezer refrigerators diminish. After a certain point, you should consider a garage ready freezer or "2-in-1" convertible freezer/refrigerator instead, because most top freezer refrigerators aren't rated to function below 30 degrees.

As of this writing, Summit is a standout in this category, although their products can be hard to find. Some brands like Frigidaire offered 2-in-1 freezer/refrigerator units that could work in these settings, but it looks like the model lineups are being refreshed and production may be slowed down due to the pandemic.

 

 

1. Summit R17FF All Refrigerator - 16.5 cu ft - $1,599 MSRP

This frost free all refrigerator with fan cooling is a pretty unique option that offers a feature Summit calls Automatic Freeze Control. It claims to maintain the proper interior temperature in the fridge even in ambient temperatures down to 10 degrees (and can also tolerate ambient temperatures up to 110 degrees). Fan cooling distributes cold air evenly throughout the interior. 

Summit notes that the Summit R17FF is "not available in all markets." You may be able to purchase it from an online retailer even if you can't purchase it at one of your local stores (some stores may not carry it in stock but will allow you to purchase it via special order). It is covered by a one year full parts and labor warranty plus 5 years on the compressor.

This refrigerator was made with commercial applications in mind so it's definitely built to a high standard, and the price reflects this. 

 

Features:

  • Temperature Tolerance: 10-110 ºF

  • Adjustable wire shelves and fixed door storage

  • Interior light

  • Frost free operation

  • Doors are NOT reversible (Lefthand door swing model: see model R17FFLHD)

 

Dimensions:

  • Height: 67.5"

  • Width: 34"

  • Depth: 28.25"

 

Summit R17FF - $1,599 MSRP - CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICING

Summit R17FF All Refrigerator

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: Freezer Buying Guide - 7 Steps

 

2. Summit FF1511SS Top Freezer Refrigerator - 13 cu ft - $1,024 MSRP

Another top freezer refrigerator that could work well in a garage in a temperate climate is the Summit FF1511SS. This frost free refrigerator is Energy Star rated with LED lighting. It's counter depth, so it's designed for interior installation needs. However, it also tolerates ambient temperatures as low as 23 degrees. The upper limit is not listed, so we will assume it's the standard 85 degrees.

It offers 13 cubic feet of capacity with compact exterior dimensions. It has clear glass shelves, a crisper drawer, and door storage. It has a digital temperature control panel for two separate thermostats in the fresh food and frozen sections. Summit covers this model with one year parts and labor plus five years on the compressor.

 

Features:

  • Temperature Tolerance: 23-? ºF

  • Glass shelves and modular door storage

  • Separate thermostat controls for fresh food and freezer sections

  • Reversible doors

  • Energy Star rated - Most Efficient 2019

  • Vacation setting and door alarm

  • Counter depth

 

Dimensions:

  • Height: 67.75"

  • Width: 27.625"

  • Depth: 25.625"

 

Summit FF1511SS - $1,024 MSRP - CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT PRICING

Summit FF1511SS Top Freezer Counter Depth Refrigerator

 

 

One brand of garage ready refrigerators that we don't currently offer is Gladiator, owned by Whirlpool. The Gladiator GARF30FDGB is an all-refrigerator with a foot pedal to open the door and large casters that make it easy to move around. They also offer an upright freezer. These models are designed to withstand ambient temperatures between 0-110 °F and remain operational. Although when ambient temperatures reach 32 degrees and below, the contents of the refrigerator will freeze. The MSRP is around $1,199 each.

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE:  Refrigerator Buying Guide 6 Important Steps!

 

We hope this article helped you explore some refrigerator options for your garage. Due to the pandemic, some of these models may be unavailable or in short supply. Leave us a comment below - We'd love to hear from you!

Topics: Refrigerators

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