Security Cameras in Extremely Cold Weather

Outdoor cameras keep your house’s parameters safe and sound. But can security cameras work in extremely cold weather? Read on to find out.

Harsh and cold seasons make us want to crawl under the covers near a fireplace and have us reaching for a warm beverage. While cameras have to stay outside, exposed to all sorts of weather, all year long.

This is a concern for many consumers who live in severely cold areas but still want to maintain their safety. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer to this question.

Various cameras year sound withstand heat, snow, rain, etc. However, that does not mean that the camera will perform well and effectively.

Furthermore, each brand claims that its product can withstand a certain maximum level of heat or cold, depending on the model of the camera. Nevertheless, it is a given that the camera’s functions may be impacted over time.

Other factors that come into play are affordability, installation, and compatibility. You might not be willing to invest significantly in a top-of-the-line camera, and you might refrain from buying different brands that are incompatible.

Below, we will cover whether security cameras work in extremely cold weather and other tips and tricks to keep them working efficiently even as the seasons change.

Security cameras work in extremely cold weather– True or False?

True! Up to a point, of course. If you want to install an outdoor camera, look for weatherproof models on the market. Those are the most equipped to stay outside.

You should never install an indoor camera outside; the temperature changes will damage it because it is not prepared for the weather. There are also other things you should keep in mind. Let’s discuss them.


Prior to buying things, especially investments for your safety, you need to research. Watching videos and reviews is a nice way to get your toe dipped in the pool, but you need to go deeper.

Find the camera you are considering investing in; the website should also show you a specs sheet that can go into detail about the camera’s capacities.

In it, you should find the maximum and minimum temperature that the camera can withstand. You should then compare that to the average range of temperatures for your specific area.

Be mindful that the camera’s specs sheets might display storage and operating temperatures separately. That is because cameras can get damaged if they are stored outside and are not turned on.

You should focus on operating temperatures, as it is the range it can record in. If it does not meet the needed range for your location, you should consider researching another camera instead.

Camera and company

Remember that cameras have other components, and they work together as a team to provide you with safety. So, security cameras work in extremely cold weather, but other parts like cables and recorders don’t.

Recorders (DVRs/NVRs) should always be stored inside in a controlled temperature environment. This is because of the hard drive’s lubricant, which thickens up and damages the drive.

The cold, harsh weather can damage cables and connectors. All other CCTV components that you will use for your installation need to be able to handle the weathering they will go through.

Rating Matter

You shouldn’t run into any problems if you select the right camera. A rating was developed for selected cameras that were made to withstand dust and debris, rain, snow, freezing temperatures, and sun exposure. This rating is called “IP66.”

It is still essential to check your camera every so often for moisture and to ensure the housing is tightly closed to prevent any water from getting inside.

Humidity might occur outside and inside your camera, which can blur your lens or damage your camera entirely. If you live in harsh, cold weather, the humidity inside the camera can end up freezing and damaging the inside of the camera.

You can take measures to further protect the cameras from the humidity, such as placing silica gel packs inside the housing, applying anti-fog to the lens, or marine coating.

You might also want to invest in a built-in camera heater, which keeps the camera and its other components nice and warm, thus protecting it from the weather. This will also minimize humidity, fogging, and condensation.

Tips and Tricks

Security cameras work in extremely cold weather, but there are a few tips and tricks you can take up to keep them at their potential when the temperatures continue to drop.

Cover it up

If your camera is not under a roof, you can purchase an outdoor camera cover to keep it away from direct rain, snow, and sun. This will add a layer of protection between your camera and the weather.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Don’t make it a habit to leave your camera unattended for months. Once a month, you should take the time to clean and wipe away debris from your outdoor cameras.

All the weathering and dirt can create issues with visibility as it will cover your camera’s lens, keeping you from visualizing the area entirely.

Utilize resources

The sun hitting your camera can help keep the snow away. So if you utilize the natural sunlight and the heat, you can have an easier time keeping your camera warm.

Invest in a house

No, not that kind of house. A special housing case that warms up can protect your camera from the weather. These housings may be more expensive, but they keep your investment, the camera, from breaking.

To relate it to a more common situation, you wouldn’t purchase a phone without a case; thus, don’t use a camera without its housing. 

Final Thoughts

Do security cameras work in extremely cold weather? Yes, they do. But one must take care of it to avoid any internal damage that might occur. 

Only install cameras outside if they can handle the weather and range of temperatures. Purchasing special housing to keep the camera warm is another investment you should be willing to take to keep your camera on and running.

If you are in the market for a new outdoor camera, consider the Nest IQ Outdoor camera, here is the review we did on it.