Climate Classes for fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers

Climate Class Fridges, freezers, and fridge-freezers are all designed to operate within specific temperature ranges (climates). If you place one in a kitchen, or in a separate room inside your house, it’s likely that it will operate as intended. However, it’s not advisable to place a refrigeration appliance next to a heat source such as a radiator or a cooker – or even in strong direct sunlight).

If you place one in an outside building such as a shed or garage you may be putting it into temperature ranges that fall outside the designed limits. You could then experience problems such as not working properly or completely malfunctioning.

So think carefully before installing a refrigeration appliance in a garage or outbuilding if the temperature inside is likely to get much higher or much lower than that of its stated climate class. If you buy any refrigeration appliance in the UK it is highly likely to be only designed to work in a kitchen or utility room. (e.g. Freezer defrosted: Can you put a fridge freezer in a garage?)

All fridges, freezers, and fridge freezers should have a climate class printed on their rating plate (or maybe in the instruction book). This class indicates the minimum and maximum temperatures that the appliance is suitable to work in. The most common climate classes sold in the UK are listed in the form below. (where is the serial number on a fridge or freezer?)

NOTE: Your appliance may not necessarily use the phrase “climate class”, on my freezer the writing is very small and it just says “class SN”. I would expect most refrigeration appliances in the UK would be climate class SN but check your rating plate.

Climate ClassMin TemperatureMax Temperature
N16 °32 °
SN10 °32 °
ST18 °38 °
T18 °43 °

The above climate classes stand for – N = Temperate climate, SN = Extended Temperate climate, ST = Sub Tropical, T = Tropical.

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100 thoughts on “Climate Classes for fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers”

  1. Hi, Can somebody please explain how a Garage Beko Fridge Freezer with Freezer Guard actualy manages to properly control the Fridge and The Freezer when it only has one Thermostat and one Compressor?

    I have just bought a new one and it it failing to control these temperatures properly.

    The fridge is permanently too cold in ambients of + 10 to Zero which ruins frost susceptible groceries.

    There are many people on Revoo complaining of the same issue.

    Beko and Currys will not admit there is an issue.

  2. Hi Andy
    I’m afraid your article, which I had read, did not answer my questions.
    Beko state in their advertising that this FF (and many others) is “perfect for outbuildings below zero”.
    If it were true, this statement contradicts the climate class SN/T. What are we to believe?
    This FF does not appear to have a heater to prevent the Fridge Freezing at below zero ambients.
    This FF does not appear to have an air flow system to cool the fridge from the freezer as required – like some single stat FFs have.
    I could not get the Fridge up to the correct temperature of 4C. The crisper was always between -2C & Zero.

    PayPal found in my favour and after a huge battle Currys have picked it up. I will not be buying from Currys again.

    I have now bought a dedicated Freezer which supposedly operates down to -15C.

  3. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Sorry Andrew I meant the explanation as to why the fridge freezers do not operate properly in a cold climate. If Beko say that their fridge freezers will work in a UK garage then they should clearly work. It seems very strange that they would say that if they demonstrably don’t. If they use a fan to divert cold air from the freezer to maintain the temperature of the fridge that’s a novel workaround if it actually works properly. But if you’re fridge freezer did not have this feature then it’s a puzzle as to why it was advertised to work in cold temperatures.

    If a fridge freezer only has one compressor then unless they are going to use tricks like their flow system you cannot maintain completely different temperatures into different compartments.

    Regarding the climate class. I wonder if by any chance there is no climate class to cover these lower temperatures as Beko seem to be the only refrigeration manufacturer to make refrigeration appliances specifically designed to work outside the kitchen?

    Also regarding the ambient temperature. Don’t forget that a fridge will have insulation all around the casing and back which should mean that if air temperature in a garage. At 2 degrees centigrade it is highly unlikely that it would be -2 centigrade inside the fridge. However, it is still likely to drop below 5 degrees which is the lowest temperature we are supposed to have a fridge set at.

  4. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Andrew, with your permission I have pasted below some of the very interesting and useful points that you made to me by email, which will be of great use to other people researching this issue –

    Some fridge freezers and even some Bekos get round the 1 stat issue by cooling the fridge using air flow from the freezer. The Freezer is kept at a constant -18 to -20 C and cool air is sent to the fridge as necessary using an electronically controlled shutter.

    However, without a fridge heater (seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it) there is nothing to stop the contents of the fridge from freezing when ambient falls below zero.

    Unfortunately the Beko I chose did not have AirFlow Fridge Cooling.

    Beko could do well to explain exactly how each model is supposed to work so that customers can make informed decisions. We should not have to become Refrigeration Engineers in order to buy a fridge freezer. Beko definitely state FFs “Perfect for sub zero outbuildings”:


    I’ve just carried out an experiment. The ambient temperature in my garage at the moment is 10 degrees centigrade. I’ve had a thermometer inside my fridge, which is inside the garage but turned off (I usually turn it off when temperatures drop as I only use it to store beer). After about 20 minutes the temperature inside the fridge is 12 degrees, which shows that there is a small amount of protection against the outside temperature with the insulation around the appliance. It is quite rare for my garage to drop below freezing.

    But essentially it’s not ideal at all. The advice to people has to be don’t put a fridge freezer in an outbuilding. If you need to, make sure it uses some system for coping with the lower temperatures in winter or it has a separate compressor for fridge and freezer section – which will be expensive if anyone does it. If you try a Beko fridge freezer because they advertise they are OK for a garage make sure it has their airflow system.

  5. Andy
    I think you are correct. I’ve just researched and cannot find any other climate classes under +10C.
    I think they need to overhaul this rating system to cover down to -15C.
    Interesting that Leibherr only offer down to +5C. I wonder if Beko are overeaching in their claims?
    However the fridge in my Beko Garage FF could not regulate temp with ambients between +12 and +2.
    Regarding Fridge insulation, I would agree with you if it was 12″ of PU Foam but with only 1.5″ and temperatures this winter down to -6c in this area the frost perishable contents will freeze and be ruined.

    Regarding AirFlow Fridge Control – I think its a very good idea if properly implemented and controlled – with the freezer guaranteed to be around -20C.

  6. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Yes the fridge insulation will only offer a very small cushion but it is not by any means an answer. I was just meaning that for fridge contents to freeze the temperature would probably have to drop a couple of degrees below freezing rather than drop to freezing. But it was only meant as a small breadcrumb of comfort :-)

    I also agree that Beko may well be overreaching themselves. Essentially they are very much a budget brand. And one of the cheapest brands available. So it seems strange that they would be at the cutting edge in this area and no one else has bothered. You don’t need to be especially intelligent to realise that there is a massive demand in the UK for fridge, freezer, and fridge freezers to work adequately in a garage. Our houses are historically extremely small, particularly our kitchens. Many of our kitchens must be amongst the smallest in the entire world. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are millions of people with refrigeration appliances in their garages.

    Another one of the problems with cold environments is a separate issue to the one we’ve been discussing. Refrigeration needs a good temperature difference to work properly. Once temperatures drop below a certain point then the gases do not evaporate well if at all. And that will stop cooling.

  7. Good stuff Andy

    Add to that the fact that manufacturers have to use poorer performing refrigerants these days and you compound the issues and put Bekos claims even more in doubt!!!

  8. Just been looking on Revoo regarding some AirFlow Beko FFs.
    The 1* reviews make interesting reading e.g.:

    London GB Busy mum or dad
    Good Points+
    Had nothing but trouble with this

    Lost £100 0f pound s of food
    From defrosting in the freezer
    And also freezing stuff in the fridge !!
    Bad Points. Everything worst thing Iv ever bought
    Didn’t get any help
    Took loads visits to get it taken back
    I lost £100 pound worth of food

  9. OK, finally got a response of sorts from Beko.
    Having said in their advertising that Fridge Freezers are “Perfect for Outbuidings etc” they now admit that the fridge will not work properly at under +10C and I quote:
    “I can confirm that the fridge will not operate correctly where the ambient temperature is below 10°C” … “SN/T is the climate class for just the fridge”
    Draw your own conclusions regarding misleading advertising and mis-selling???

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