The Elements & Outdoor Fridges

Direct sunlight and the elements can be extremely damaging to an outdoor fridge and the way it functions. It is vital when designing an outdoor entertaining area to ensure your fridge is placed out of direct sunlight and to be protected from the elements, such as rain, dust and dirt.



All you need to know...

SUNLIGHT ON FRIDGE

One of the biggest killers of a glass door fridge is direct sunlight, in no circumstance should your install allow direct sunlight on the glass. Results from independent tests showed some units reaching over 65ºC inside the fridge after only one hour of morning sun, not the ideal beer drinking temperature!

Take time to ensure your outdoor design allows for your fridge install location to be 100% out of direct sunlight.

IP RATINGS

‘Ingress Protection or 'IP' is a universal code used worldwide for all types of products, it measures solid particles and water’ ingress that could enter into a product and damage it. NOTE: 95% of fridges on market have no official IP testing done due to high costs affecting viability. However, it is helpful to know what important factors you need to consider in order to protect your fridge when looking to install it outdoors.

HUMIDITY AND CONDENSATION

Condensation forms when there is a combination of water in the air (humidity), warmer temperatures and cold glass or surfaces. To reduce this, consider triple glazing and LOW E glass on glass door fridges. A heated glass door is the only way to fully eliminate condensation.



INSTALLING A GLASS DOOR FRIDGE OUTDOORS


A glass door fridge can be in open alfresco area’s as pictured. This install is fully open to the elements with large openings throughout, however the refrigerator is positioned to only get small amount of sun through a large ‘tinted’ UV window. No part of the install allows direct sunlight. In heavy rain, this unit could still get rainwater through main opening so where possible make sure you have sufficient protection from water, dust and dirt. This could be in the form of a removable door that covers the unit when not in use, or have it placed behind solid walls and under cover.

 

INSTALLING A SOLID DOOR FRIDGE OUTDOORS

A solid door unit that is located undercover (under bench) outside can still survive if sun is passing over the fridge, as in fridge facing North or South. The below unit is in a position where the actual sunlight does not meet the fridge directly. In this application the IP rating also comes into effect as units can still be hit by rain.

STAINLESS STEEL PROTECTION

Your bar fridge features components using 304 and/or 201, 316, 430 or 418 grade stainless steels. All stainless steel grades require a level of care and protection to retain their appearance. Stainless steel is not immune to corrosion and nor is it maintenance-free, contrary to popular public perception.

Even the highest marine grade 316 stainless steel can rust without care. Modern tastes dictate that your outdoor bar fridge or BBQ features stainless steel with a brushed finish. This brushed finish is attained by running stainless steel sheets through an abrasive process that removes the ‘mirror finish’ to leave it ‘brushed’. Brushed finish stainless steel requires frequent cleaning and care, to maintain its quality of appearance. Without adequate care it is 100% guaranteed that it will show signs of corrosion in time.

Your refrigerator requires frequent cleaning with fresh water to avoid oxidation and other corrosive issues. After installation, we recommend you apply a thin layer of olive oil with a clean rag, to all exposed stainless steel areas. This should then be polished in and buffed off with another clean rag to a non-oily finish. This process will aid protection against dirt and other corrosive contaminants, by providing a temporary food-safe shield. This process should be repeated every 3-4 months.

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