The purpose of a man cave is to have a dedicated, self-sustaining area in which a man and/or his friends can get together and hang out. It is an area in which they can escape and relax. So, climbing stairs each time you are hungry or thirsty and want a cold beer takes away from the pleasurable experience of hanging out in your own area.
By adding your own fridge, whether it’s a beer fridge or a more general beverage fridge, men can avoid waiting for commercials during a game just to grab a drink. Everything is easily accessible and convenient.
Most men decide to incorporate at least a mini fridge into their space. It allows them to chill beverages and beer. It also adds that layer of independence and keeps snacks away from the rest of the family.
So, what should you consider when buying your own man cave refrigerator? What should you choose for your man cave, and what do you even look for?
Types of Fridges
The most important thing to consider, first and foremost, is size. What size fridge can you install? Where will it go? What do you need to use it for? All these have a role in determining what size fridge to purchase.
Which one you end up purchasing will also depend on your budget and the number of beverages you want to store in it.
The typical man cave fridge comes in three sizes (outside of a full-sized fridge). They can easily be perched on top of a bar, tucked in a corner, or even under a counter if you have the space.
The smallest fridge available is a cube fridge. It is also the most affordable. It only weighs 25 lbs., and it can be placed on tables or additional appliances.
If your family members are prone to sneaking food, this type of fridge also offers a locking feature. It also has a small freezer attached to it, which can fit a tray of ice cubes comfortably.
If you are looking for a retro look, the Igloo Refrigerator may be just was you are looking for.
Mid-sized Mini Fridge
This fridge is a little bit larger than the cube fridge. It also costs a bit more. The difference, aside from size, between the two fridges is that the mid-sized mini fridge has an adjustable thermostat. This makes it more energy efficient to use.
Advanced models may contain an automatic defrost, which reduces cleaning and maintenance. The most stylish of these models is the Antarctic Star, which comes with a wine cooler.
Counter High Mini Fridge
This is the largest size of the mini fridges. It can also substitute quite well for the main fridge. It has all the features of a standard refrigerator, such as a drink dispenser, crisper, and interior light.
However, they do cost more, and take up more space than the other fridges. For a great counter high mini fridge, consider the Black & Decker BCRK32V. It comes in several finishes and colors. It is quiet and the refrigerator is easy to clean. It also has a drink dispenser and freezer included.
This is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but people do have a preference on what type of door their fridge has. The question boils down to convenience and preference when purchasing what type of door your fridge will have.
This type of door is clear glass, which allows people to see exactly what is in your fridge. Many mini fridges have a glass door, since they are designed mostly for drinks. Drinks don’t require a great deal of cold air to remain fresh, so that is why these types of fridges tend to have glass doors.
The pros to this type of door are that it is aesthetically pleasing, and it’s easier to see when you need to stock up on beverages. It is more affordable and lightweight over other models. It can also be easily moved.
The downfall to a glass door is that it gets dirty easily and needs to be kept clean. If there is a spill, someone will know it. Smudges on the glass show up easily as well. A lack of insulation limits the snacks you can store. These types of fridges don’t maintain a very cold temperature. They are also not terribly energy efficient.
This is the most popular material available. It keeps everything secure, and while it may be more costly, it’s better at saving energy. It offers improved insulation, so users can store different food items.
Cleaning is easier on stainless steel, as they aren’t as prone to fingerprints or smudges.
The downfall is that they cost more over glass doors, they are heavier, and you can’t visibly see what is inside the fridge.
If you are into super spy movies, you will love this type of door. Most men find it amusing to surprise their friends with a fridge that is revealed by the push of a panel or button. It is also great when you want to keep people out of the fridge when you are not using the space.
While this kind of door is less common, it’s becoming somewhat of a trend for secretive man cave lovers.
People love these doors because they guarantee security against family members, they don’t take up man cave floor space, and they allow you to live out your fantasy of being a secret spy like James Bond.
The cons are that they are usually custom made and are more expensive. They require prep time for finishes and walls to ensure the man cave isn’t damaged by moisture and heat.
How Much Energy Does it Consume?
Some things can cause you to be displeased with your fridge. Refrigerators are known to hog energy, and even a small fridge can accomplish this.
The type of door, features, and fridge size all play a role in how much energy is consumed. Generally, refrigerators with superior insulation use less energy, as they don’t overwork to maintain an internal temperature.
If you are concerned about how much energy your fridge uses, you can select to only plug it in when guests are expected.
This occurs when warm air cools the fridge and moisture forms. This usually happens when the fridge doors are left open too long. Condensation is a problem when moisture damages floors, walls, or countertops.
Condensation is especially bad in the case of a concealed fridge because it can damage surrounding walls or paneling.
To avoid this, select a fridge with a moisture management feature. Keep the fridge dry and cool while turned on as this minimizes damage. If it produces more condensation than is safe, consult a professional. They can add a vent to deal with warmth and can seal cracks/gaps in fridge space.
Mini fridges can be especially noisy if you have the wrong type of fridge. This is very annoying if you are in a small space, or it is close by. Converted garages are especially bad due to the acoustics and can amplify the noise a fridge makes.
Energy efficient fridges (look for inverter compressor technology) are less noisy. Examine the technology they use. Newer advanced models of refrigerators tend to make less noise.
Even though you may have a certain amount of space, manufacturers recommend leaving some room for proper ventilation. Tight, cramped spaces with poor air flow can cause the unit to overheat. If it is built into a wall, leave room along the rear, sides, and top of the fridge so that it works properly.
If your fridge is not in a cramped space, or is just against a wall, you may not need much space for ventilation.
This is very important, as sometimes we get so caught up in the features that we fail to consider how much room we have. This can be eliminated by visualizing what you want to put in your man cave beer fridge, or just a regular man cave fridge. If you just enjoy chips, drinks, and pretzels, you can get away with a small fridge.
However, if you like a variety, or at least, your friends do, you may want to invest in a larger fridge.
It is the small details that make all the difference in a man cave fridge. The most important decision is space and ventilation. Noise and energy efficiency are tied for second. The rest of the decisions are just a matter of personal preference, style of the man cave, and taste.