You may be looking to purchase a new bar fridge to complete your entertaining area and have an image in your mind of how the fridge will look. 


However, have you given much thought to how it will best function?


All too often we see fridges that haven’t been installed correctly and therefore don’t function as efficiently or for as long as they should. These common mistakes will help you understand the most important factors to think about during your design phase so your purchase lasts for years to come.

Sunlight & the elements - Direct sunlight and the elements can be extremely damaging to an outdoor fridge and the way it functions. Tests have shown that fridges sitting in direct morning sunlight for only one hour achieved an inside temperature of 65°C.

A refrigerator can be placed in an open outdoor area if it is positioned to only get small amount of sun (no direct sunlight) and is sheltered from rain.  For example, you could have it sitting in a covered area with a roof and surround to protect the unit from both direct sunlight and rain.  Low E Glass is a special coating designed to reflect heat rays by 70% and will help to lower condensation as well as keep the cold in and heat out.



 Ventilation – Building a bar fridge into cabinetry is not always a simple thing to do. There must be enough space for hot air to exit to ensure your fridge functions well. The make of the fridge and the fan type will determine how much space is needed surrounding your fridge.

For example, front venting units ‘breathe’ through the front grill meaning you can get away with minimal room (5-10mm) around the fridge and have them sitting in flush with your cabinet. Non-front venting compressor units need plenty of room around them to allow for airflow (20-50mm at the sides and 100mm at the rear). When buying from, check our product specs to help with the right installation.


Cleanliness - Regular fridge maintenance will prolong the life of your unit by many years. By doing a few basic things a few times a year your fridge will look better, cool better, use less power, and last longer. Dirt, debris, dust, food stuffs, and unwanted pests can all impact on the performance and lifespan of your fridge .

The number one preventative measure for a longer lasting fridge is simply keeping it clean.  Here are our top tips for good maintenance.

  • When installing an alfresco fridge, be sure to have it protected from the elements to reduce the amount of dust and debris that can build up
  • Keep the door seal clean
  • Remove dust from the coils
  • Clean the grill on front-venting units
  • To prevent against rust, clean stainless steel with fresh water and occasionally apply a thin layer of olive oil with a clean cloth


Are you ready to purchase the right fridge fit for purpose?

Contact us for more advice at or phone 04 526 6009.  Follow us on Facebook to keep updated with more tips!  @barfridgesnz or join our newsletter here