How to get garage freezer to work in cold weather

amyf5January 17, 2013

I have a 7-year-old GE refrigerator/freezer in my unheated, insulated, attached garage in the Midwest. When it gets very cold, the freezer stops working and my food partially defrosts. I have read that this is a common problem. If I understand correctly, the unit runs based on the temperature sensor inside the refrigerator. So when it's 30 degrees in my garage, it stops running which is fine for the fridge, but not for the freezer.

There is a product called a Chillerator made by Whirlpool which is specifically designed to work in very hot or very cold environments like a garage. But it's pricey.

I was wondering if a battery-powered halogen or LED puck light placed inside my fridge might generate enough heat to trick the whole unit into running even when the garage gets very cold. I'm interested in any comments on this idea or any other (easy) solutions to my problem.

Thank you.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ISTM that you would need a source of heat underneath the unit, not inside the cooling compartment. I'd try electrical heat tape, such as the type used to keep pipes from freezing, wrapped around the compressor. An insullating skirt around the base might also help.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think a light bulb [incandescent] is a great idea. I have the same problem in my mudroom.
It does not however address the change in the properties of the very cold air, and how it might? change the refrigeration abilities of the unit.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The problem is very similar to running a central air unit below around 50 F.

The oil is to cold to circulate correctly to lubricate the compressor (some compressors have heaters built in to prevent damage, others do not).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the suggestions. After some more research, I decided to go ahead and order the Chillerator. The light bulbs, electrical tape and other ideas sound like more than I want to do and are not guaranteed to work. I appreciate the advice and will post back on how the Chillerator works out.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
garage door remote opens but wont shut door
I have a 10 year old Craftsman garage door opener model...
Need help diagnosing Chamberlain Garage Door Problem
Hi, Have a 1/3 Chamberlain Liftmaster that started...
New construction.. Trying to decide on what flooring for garage..
Ok.. So we are building a brand new house and one of...
Snowblower help
I have a M t d model 317e760f118 track driven snow...
Ice in garage on mild winter days
We have a two story house with an attached 2 car garage....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™