Our state’s unique climate truly has an impact on our lifestyles, so like you, we wonder, “is it okay to put a freezer in a garage in Arizona?” For many households, extra freezer space makes it possible to enjoy seasonal favorites year-round or to bulk up on sales without having to think twice if there’s enough room in the freezer for this week’s latest deal.
The problem is standalone freezers aren’t exactly promoted the same way refrigerators are—and that makes knowing which models buyers should shop for easier said than done. To give these appliances some much-deserved PR, we’re evaluating the best freezer for garage use—one upright model and one chest freezer. Inside, you’ll discover how to shop for a freezer with tips, pros and cons, and expert recommendations for keeping your freezer in tip-top shape.
At a Glance:
The average refrigerator dedicates five to nine cubic feet of freezer space into its overall capacity, but for many kitchens, it can be a struggle fitting everything into those dimensions. With volumes ranging from 5–20 cubic feet, standalone freezers can essentially double or even triple the frozen food storage, and that can mean more opportunities to save by buying in bulk or to stash up on items that aren’t available all year.
The biggest tradeoff is having enough space for the extra storage, which is why the garage is a handy option homeowners are encouraged to explore. But before you buy, these factors are what you need to consider.
Before you start thinking about the perfect spot to hide your favorite ice cream sandwiches, let’s recap what you should know before buying a freestanding freezer for your garage.
Types of Freezers
Let’s start with the basics. The two main freezer choices available on the market are either a chest freezer or an upright freezer. Both are great options for supplemental frozen food storage, but each also has its pros and cons, too.
Also known as deep freezers, these models use a lift-top and a bin users reach into. Overall, these freezers offer the most capacities on the market, but they also take up a lot of space. Consider these additional factors before shopping for a chest freezer.
✓ Most energy-efficient models
✓ More affordable than upright freezer models
✓ Best for food safety during a power outage
✗ Require manual defrosting
Learn More: The Best Chest Freezers
If you’re searching for a space-friendly freezer solution for your garage, upright freezers are your best option. These models look and work like a refrigerator and even come in similar finishes for those who care about design. Here’s our final verdict when it comes to vertical freezers.
✓ Use less floor space
✓ Often offer more freeze settings versus chest freezers
✓ Better for organization
✓ Automatic defrosting
✗ Not the most energy-efficient
Arizona’s climate can be particularly trying, but today’s standalone freezers are designed to protect foods even in desert conditions like ours. For your money, chest freezers do the best job at keeping cold air in and hot air out. Unlike standing models, deep freezers use gravity to keep an extra-tight seal around the door, and since cold air sinks, there’s less of a chance for frosty air to escape when the door is opened.
Upright freezers are still a great alternative, and many manufacturers offer enhanced gaskets to prevent air from seeping out of the unit. Additionally, while chest freezers might offer just a few temperature settings, upright models often feature extra freezing modes for the flexibility to accommodate various frozen foods.
Looking for another reason to consider a deep freezer? Chest freezers outperform all other types of freezers when it comes to protecting foods during power outages. Overall, you can confidently keep frozen items in a fully stocked freezer chest for 48 hours after a power failure. In some cases, these freezers can even protect food for up to 72 hours.
Don’t worry, though. Your upright freezer will still pull its weight during an outage. It may not be as impressive as three days, but health experts suggest foods stored in a standing freezer anywhere between 24–48 during a power outage should be safe for consumption.
Considering standalone freezers can use up to three times the energy as full-size refrigerators, energy efficiency is an important factor to think about before making a purchase. The good news is today’s selection includes ENERGY STAR freezers that help curb the cost of use, in many cases, around $5 a month.
Chest freezers are the best at conserving energy since their airtight seals protect against cold air leakage, which also keeps their compressors from having to generate more cold air. Single door freezers get a few points docked for gaps in their doors and gaskets that are vulnerable to cold air leaks, bringing internal temperatures down and cueing a cool-down process.
Just when you thought lift-top freezers would make a clean sweep, upright freezers reveal their secret power: organization. While chest freezers are still serviceable when it comes to organizing, the drawback is foods pile on top of another, which means a little digging is sometimes required to find what you’re looking for. Usually, these models come with baskets (removable freezer baskets offer the most flexibility), but for the most part, some strategic stocking is necessary.
Standing models work more like a refrigerator with shelves and bins that let you customize how to store your frozen foods. But keep in mind, these additions also take away from the overall usable capacity, especially on freezers with in-door storage.
The last thing you want to do is invest in a freezer that turns into a frosty lemon a year after you purchase it. Luckily, standalone freezers are built tough and resist a lot of use but following a few tips like these will ensure you get the best experience and most use out of your freezer.
Where You Should Place Your Freezer in the Garage
Something as simple as the right location can turn a garage freezer into a high-performance food storage solution. Best of all, a few guidelines are all you need to follow to ensure your unit works at maximum efficiency.
✓ Prioritize cooler zones – The best spot to place a freezer in the garage is where it’s the coolest. Avoiding sunlight is key for preventing overheating, which will trigger your freezer into overworking to maintain internal settings.
✓ Remember ventilation – All refrigeration requires even a few inches of space around the entire unit to encourage ventilation. Not enough air circulation prevents the coils from working properly, and you guessed it, that leads to more work from your freezer.
✓ Be wary of clearance – Whether it’s a lift-top door or a swinging door, you’ll also need to keep in mind how much clearance is needed to fully open the door to your freezer. Learn more with these quick videos on how to measure to fit a freezer and what to expect when purchasing a freezer.
We admit, it’s easy to toss items into the freezer and completely forget about them, only to find these relics from yesteryear’s leftovers still lingering around. The point is, freezers are one of the most neglected areas in the kitchen when it comes to cleaning, but good freezer upkeep keeps your unit sanitary, and it can also improve its performance.
Aim for a routine freezer cleaning a maximum of every three months. Make sure to evacuate everything inside—including any racks, shelves, or bins—before continuing onto the defrost stage. (Most upright freezers come with an auto-defrost function that doesn’t require unplugging and manual cleaning.)
How to defrost your freezer for cleaning:
- After removing all the items inside, unplug your freezer.
- Once unplugged, keep your freezer door open to speed up the melting process. We recommend placing towels around the freezer to absorb the ice as it melts.
- Once all the ice has melted, use a towel to wick away any residual moisture that’s left in the interior. Chest freezers often have a bottom drain you can use to remove most of the accumulated water before wiping the interior down.
- Once dry, clean the interior with a solution of water, soap, and bleach (we recommend a gallon of water with a tablespoon of dish detergent and bleach each).
- After sanitizing your freezer, dry the interior.
- Once dry, plug your freezer into the power source; let it run and come up to temperature before replacing items into the freezer.
It’s also a good idea to practice regular temperature checks to ensure your freezer is working properly and keeping your food safely frozen. A digital thermometer is the easiest way to determine if your freezer’s temperature is accurate and to adjust the settings accordingly.
Discover the best freezer for hot garage settings in this roundup evaluated by our appliance experts.
Best Upright Freezer for the Garage: Frigidaire® 15.5 Cu. Ft. White Upright Freezer (FFFU16F2VW)
This best upright freezer for garage space keeps frozen treats and bulk items safe from melting with exclusive EvenTemp cooling technology that distributes cold air throughout the entire interior. Three temperature settings give you the freedom to freeze how you fancy, and with a performance that’s designed to operate in spaces between 0–110 degrees, this Frigidaire upright freezer is ideal for garages, laundry rooms, and outdoor settings.
- EvenTemp Cooling System
- Power outage protection
- Frost-free management
- Door ajar alarm
Best Chest Freezer for the Garage: Frigidaire® 14.8 Cu. Ft. White Chest Freezer (FFCL1542AW)
Frozen food hauls and this best chest freezer for garage use are a match made in food storage heaven. Enjoy the spacious interior with 14.8 cubic feet of capacity, including a removable basket for greater stocking flexibility or as a handy spot for go-to items. Overall, 9 out of 10 buyers recommend this Frigidaire chest freezer with over twice the room of a refrigerator freezer.
- Defrost water drain
- Removable freezer baskets
- Mobile caster wheels
- Lock with pop-out key
Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.
Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!
Shop Garage Freezers at Spencer’s Appliance & TV
At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop garage freezers today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you with your food storage needs. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!
Learn More: Chest vs. Upright Freezers