There are two main differences between indoor and outdoor refrigerators. Outdoor refrigerators are designed to maintain reliable temperatures even in unstable environments. The ability to keep items cool in the scorching heat of summer means that such units should have increased insulation and be fitted with more powerful cooling components as compared to indoor refrigerators.
These refrigerators should also be weatherproof against the outdoor elements. If water were to penetrate the electrical system, there is a risk for electrocution. One way to know that an outdoor refrigerator is weatherproof is if it has the Underwriters Laboratories seal of approval. An endorsement of an outdoor refrigerator by the UL involves several battery tests that are meant to prove that it’s safe for use even in wet conditions. This is important because even in your well designed outdoor kitchen island, appliances will still be exposed to moist conditions.
4 Things to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Refrigerator
The outdoor fridge you choose should be made from rust-resistant material. Almost all refrigerators in Central Florida are constructed using stainless steel. However, not all stainless steel material is equal, and it’s important that you seek one that has grade 304 stainless that is also called 18/8 due to its high alloy that is resistant to corrosion. Don’t be tempted to invest in a grade 430 stainless or plastic-wrapped steel fridge which is prone to rust.
2. A Freestanding or Built-in Outdoor Fridge
A built-in refrigerator is designed in a way that allows it to be easily integrated into your luxury custom home’s outdoor kitchen cabinetry, but a freestanding unit on the other hand can be placed on any position at the outdoor living space. Built in fridges require little to no clearance at all on the top, rear and sides of the appliance because they are front vented. You can position freestanding refrigerator models beneath island countertops; however, they require at least one inch of space all round for ventilation purposes.
3. Capacity or Size
Outdoor refrigerators are more compact compared to freezer and fridge combos. Most outdoor fridges have a 24 inch wide and 34 inch tall measurement, and an interior capacity of 5 to 6 cubic feet. However, there are slimmer models that have about 3 cubic feet. You can also choose a slide-out type of built-in refrigerator. They are sold in either two or three-drawer configurations and occupy dimensions of 24 by 34 inches.
4. Refrigerator Features
Compared to indoor fridges, outdoor refrigerators are typically simpler but can still have features such as automatic defrost, adjustable shelves, and adjustable thermostats. If you have small children, you may want to purchase a model that has locking doors. Outdoor fridges aren’t designed to work in temperatures below 35 degrees, so you may need to take precautions should temperatures drop in the Winter.
Following the above tips will help you choose a reliable and durable refrigerator for your outdoor living space. It’s also important to partner with an experienced luxury custom home builder like Empire Custom Builders who can remodel your outdoor custom kitchen to fit your unique needs.