Can Freezers be Used As Refrigerators?

Some freezers can be used as refrigerators by modifying their perceived inner temperature so that they stop cooling all the time. This is done by using an external temperature regulator also known as an external thermostat applied on the power lead.

Have you ever struggled with frozen food without having the money to buy a new fridge? Is your home just too small for a second fridge? You might be able to turn a freezer into a refrigerator by using an external thermostat.

The process sounds complicated. It’s easy to follow, however.

The freezer begins freezing or releasing cold air inside whenever a temperature is too high. You can overpass this normal functioning mode simply by adding an external thermostat which gives the fridge another (fake) temperature which causes it to ‘freeze’ or to cool food less frequently.

Use an external temperature regulator to use the freezer as a refrigerator

An external temperature regulator can be used on freezers to be turned into refrigerators. They limit the freezing time until the refrigerator works as a fridge. This external thermostat overpasses the built-in thermostat of the refrigerator.

Firstly, you need to know that adding an external thermostat to your freezer voids its warranty. However, this method mostly works on old freezers which means your warranty might be already expired.

Secondly, you need to know an external thermostat can also turn the freezer back to its freezer status from a fridge status as it allows you to override its internal temperature by pushing a few buttons.

The easiest method to turn an old freezer into a fridge is to add an external thermostat. Mounted on the main power cord, this thermostat allows you to increase or decrease the perceived temperature which prompts the freezer to run or to idle.

Place the refrigerator in the garage (if you live in a cold climate)

Old freezers have been constructed with an external thermostat. The hotter the external temperature is the more the freezer run to keep food cold. This is a process that can sometimes be reverted or manipulated in cold climates. When you place a freezer in the garage in cold climates it starts to freeze the food rarely or even no time at all as it already detects the cold weather inside the garage.

Those living in northern countries can easily use this simple method to turn a freezer into a refrigerator. Simply getting it out of the house and controlling warm temperature to the garage where temperatures are often below the freezing line is sufficient for the freezer to fridge conversion.

Why turn a freezer into a refrigerator

Let’s get back to the basics for a moment. Why would anyone try a freezer to fridge conversion? It turns out it’s not necessarily about the money as many cheap freezers are working great. Here are a few commonly cited reasons.

To gain space

Some people say they simply do not have space to add a new fridge to their home. This is true given many kitchen cabinets are custom-made which means there’s no room for a new fridge in the kitchen.

Others simply prefer to keep their freezers in the garage or in the basement. These are all places where there’s normally a bit more space. But adding another refrigerator in can take up too much space which is often seen as storage space.

For home brewing

Homebrewing is one of the top reasons to turn a freezer into a refrigerator.

Freezers work at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerators work at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ideal home brewing temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the freezer that works as a fridge is simply a fridge. It’s good enough for homebrews.

To prevent frozen food

Others prefer to stock up on fresh food. Defrosting food can take hours, if not a full night. This is why some people don’t like freezers.

Frozen food lasts a long time but it also takes a long time to defrost.

Homeowners with large families often need food as fresh as possible and as ready as possible for cooking.

Those with children often make a dish on the go due to busy schedules. People who don’t have time to defrost food or those who can’t put defrosting on the to-do list often consider stocking up more fresh food to have as needed.

To save money

One of the reasons to turn an old freezer into a refrigerator is to save money. Sure, you can buy a cheap refrigerator for a few hundred dollars. However, some people prefer to save up and not spend money on a refrigerator that might not even fit in the kitchen.

You can save at least $500 by converting the refrigerator into a fridge. An external thermostat costs about $20. This is why it doesn’t make sense to get a new refrigerator from a financial perspective.

Final words

Yes, freezers can be turned into refrigerators. They will run exactly like a refrigerator and they will save you hundreds of dollars.

However, this process voids the warranty, if the freezer is still under warranty. It’s a process that also comes with limited practicality as freezers don’t have the multiple storage options as new fridges have.

However, if you aren’t interested to place the freezer in the kitchen or if you simply want to gain more space for fresh food, a freezer to fridge conversion is a great DIY project.