I can honestly say from personal experience, adding a quality outdoor fridge to our outdoor entertainment area was a great decision.
Initially I did not think it was necessary as we had a ‘spare’ fridge in the shed. However, several advantages became clear from the first time we used our new outdoor fridge.
The first was, it was a great place to store uncooked meat waiting to go onto the BBQ. This reduced the number of flies hanging around and kept the different meats in easy reach to save juggling and covering plates of food.
The second was it stopped the little (and big) kids from jumping out of the pool and going inside for a cool drink. This made my wife very happy as there was less cleaning up required.
Obviously having cold drinks is the primary function and this is where you need to be sure you are selecting a fridge that has been designed for the outdoor space you have.
There are many variables that can impact the ‘performance’ of the fridge.
Below are some things to consider –
Avoid Direct sunlight as it will definitely impede fridge performance, it is recommended that the unit be in a covered area and in no way in contact with sunlight or other variables that will heat up the area in which fridge is to perform. Glass door fridges work much harder than a normal domestic fridge, especially when your desired temperature is quite low for beer chilling, say 2 degrees Celsius.
Most of these fridges require minimal ventilation, the under-bench styles have a system where they are vented from the front, so fitting snugly inside a cabinet is what they have been designed for.
All units, built in or not will work at the start, but within 3-6 months if you have a unit ‘built in’ that isn’t a proper designed fridge you will start to have a lot of problems due to overheating and extended running times, not to mention up to 6 times the energy consumption.
When ambient temperatures exceed 30°C it takes far longer for the units to get to the set temperature – so if you were planning to have a party and know it will be an extra hot day, then it would be best to fill the fridge the night before and get as many cold ones happening as possible. Adding warm drinks during the day take longer to CHILL – especially when the door(s) are being opened and closed repeatedly by many people.
Fridges with ‘Low E Glass’ reflect heat rays up to 70% better than normal glass and this really helps with condensation issues.
Heated Glass is where glass is electrically heated. By warming the glass to the appropriate level will stop condensation in its tracks. This is an expensive part of the fridge design, and therefore it is only available on select models.
Remember that a fridge works and chills much better when it is full of product. The reason is that the fridge has to only chill about 25% of the air volume of what it would have to chill if the fridge was empty. When first starting a new fridge, it’s best to load it up and let it run flat out for 24 hours. This effectively runs it in, and it will settle into its normal operation. All fridges should NOT BE TURNED ON for a minimum of two hours (I prefer waiting overnight) after relocation, transport, or moving. Oil in the compressor will be relocated to the walls of narrow ducts and needs to find its way back before operation. Failure to let a fridge “settle” can result in compressor failure and an expensive repair which is not covered under warranty.
Your individual location will be different from other homes, so please ask for advice from one of our staff.