Freezer Buying Guide: Everything We Need to Know While Choosing Best Freezer
Freezers are fantastic, they save us time and money and help prevent food waste. Some ingredients like chilies and ginger are best kept in the freezer and used from frozen. You can use your freezer to take advantage of seasonal products or as a way to cut down on shopping trips. Freezers are ideal for the smallest households and the vast extended family.
How Do You Choose The Best Freezer?
Before you choose a freezer, you need to figure out the following queries:
How are you going to use the freezer?
which is the best freezer to buy?
How does a freezer compressor work?
Should I use it for home or commercial freezer?
Are there any advanced features in the freezer?
Is the freezer size compatible with my room space?
How much does a freezer cost?
Don’t get confused! Let’s have a clear-cut discussion about the freezer.
Determine The Freezer Size
Your lifestyle will dictate how you use a freezer. If you prefer to buy in bulk and cut down on shopping trips, then you need a freezer that can store a bulk load. A solo cook may prefer to cook big meals and freeze individual portions to save time and money, and still have a varied diet. A Keen gardener may have seasonal gluts as can a hunter or fisherman. You may prefer to cook ahead of events or batch cook for a week.
How you want to fill the freezer will determine the size and type of freezer you need. The amount of food held in the freezer will vary but remember a full freezer uses less energy. Hence, opt for energy-star commercial freezer depending upon the requirement.
The available space in your living room determines the type and size of the freezer. A chest freezer occupies more room than an upright freezer and a small kitchen may need a mini or a bar freezer. If you are on the move then a small portable freezer may fit your lifestyle.
Before selecting a glass lid freezer measure the space available and the door to the room. Moreover, the freezer cools the air and maintains a low temperature. A hot room means the compressor works harder and uses more energy. If the room is too cold, then the compressor can cease to function. Also, check the acceptable temperature range, some models continue to work well at sub-zero winter temperatures and are ideal for garages.
The chest freezer usually costs less to buy and run than an upright small freezer at home. You pay more for increased capacity and extra functions. Adding up, it's worth paying attention to the energy label. An energy efficient freezer will cost you less every year and saves money.
There are two designs of standalone freezers - chest or upright. Everything else is a variation on these, you are either opening a door (upright freezer) or lifting a lid (chest freezer). Each type has its pros and cons.
A premium chest freezer has more usable storage space than the equivalent upright freezer. The inside of a chest freezer is challenging to organize compared with the shelves and drawers in an upright model. The drawers and storage features of an upright freezer can occupy 20% of the available storage capacity leaving less space for food. It is more difficult to store a larger cut of meat or bulky pack in an upright freezer.
An upright freezer occupies less floor space and is your best option for home. A 22 cubic foot chest freezer covers 12 square feet of floor space but the upright freezer covers 6.75 square feet (2.5x2.5 feet). There are small mini freezers and freezer drawer models that fin on or under work surfaces for cramped spaces.
Size Of The Freezer
Both types of freezer come in a range of sizes. You get 5 to 9 cubic feet of storage with a small freezer or compact home freezers, between 12 and 18 cubic feet with a medium freezer and a large freezer gives more. If you can fill it and you have space then you can invest in 40 cubic feet of storage with an industrial freezer.
Freezers use electricity all day to maintain the cold temperatures. As the size of the freezer increases so does the energy usage. Chest freezers tend to be cheaper to run than smallest upright freezer as cold air sinks. When you lift the lid of a chest freezer, the cold air stays inside and cold air falls out incase of an upright freezer.
Chest freezers need a manual defrost but upright may come with a self-defrost function. On the other hand, the EER (energy efficiency rating) gives an estimate of the annual cost of running the freezer and a comparison of its efficiency compared with similar models.
In general, the compressor vibrates while operating and makes noise. Chest freezers are quieter than upright freezers and they tend to be in garages, basements and utility rooms. The noise from a freezer is low but if the freezer is going to be in a living space it is worth checking the expected noise level.
The average freezer will generate noise between 38 and 48dB, a bit high and if you are sensitive to noise, then it may be worth investing in a quieter freezer model than the standard.
Power cuts may be frequent or infrequent depending on where you live. If you don't have a back-up generator then when the power goes off, you are relying on the freezer to keep your frozen food cold for as long as possible.
Most manufacturers say that the food will stay frozen for twenty-four hours. In practice, this will vary depending on actual conditions. The freezer will defrost more rapidly on a hot summer day or if it is only half full. Chest freezers maintain their chill longer than uprights. Larger freezers stay colder because of the mass of frozen food taking longer to thaw.
In the event of a power outage, avoid going into the freezer until the power is back on (unless it is more than a day). Remember that food in the middle of the freezer will be colder than the edges.
Some foods are bought frozen and are unloaded straight into the freezer, while the rest can be converted into frozen foods.
Most top-rated freezers have a fast freeze section that allows the rapid chilling and freezing of food. And few have a soft freeze function where you want to scoop and serve frozen. Furthermore, exposure to cold air causes freezer burn. Hence, it’s better to avoid freezer damage by wrapping food before storing and using it in a reasonable amount of time.
Some freezers allow setting the temperature so you can decide how cold to keep your food. The ideal temperature for the storage of food is 0F (-18C) but if you are loading up the freezer with food to freeze, then dropping down to -10F (-23C) will rapidly freeze everything.
Some upright freezers come with a frost-free function. Every day the freezer switches the compressor off and on and uses a heater to melt the frost. The temperature inside the freezer rises by about 2 which won’t spoil the food. It uses slightly more energy daily, but it saves you from having to allocate time to complete a manual defrost.
Chest freezers and other non-frost-free freezers like commercial portable freezer and benchtop models need regular defrosting. Frost forms because of water in the air freezing and depositing on the inside. It occupies space and takes up more energy.
Ideally you defrost a freezer twice a year. It gives you a chance to sort through the contents, clean the inside and get rid of the frost build-up. The frost is going to melt and form water. The best freezers have good drainage and easy front access to the drainage plug. Regular defrosting prologues the life of your freezer and saves on running costs. It’s worth checking out how you defrost the freezer before you buy it.
Interior LED lights are a standard feature in chest freezers, handy for helping you locate the last pizza at midnight.
If you are opting for a chest freezer a lid that stays open (counterbalanced) is an essential feature, along with a decent lock if you intend to store it in the garage.
There are different finishes available with upright freezers (but you pay more), the basic finish is white. White reflects heat and is an excellent color choice for an appliance that keeps food cold.
A chest freezer is a large (or small) box with a lid. It is an excellent choice for bulk storage and ideal for a garage, basement or utility room. Some models are suitable for apartments, and outdoor use. They are affordable and use less energy, but they take up more space and need manual defrosting.
An upright freezer is like a cupboard. You open a door and the inside has shelves and baskets. It is easy to organize food inside an upright freezer, but you are limited in the size of items you can store. If you need to freeze a whole deer carcass then a chest freezer is better. Upright freezers are more expensive to buy and run, but they fit into kitchens and are simple to organize.
These quality compact freezers are ideal for camping, car vanning, stocking an RV or in a smaller apartment. They are also great as an overflow freezer for when you need extra freezer space. Apart from that, we do have a deep freezer which is trending in the market of 2020 for maintaining large number of food items at specified temperatures.
You can get a freezer which is a compact chest freezer on top and has a pull-out drawer. This combination freezer means you only access half of the freezer space at any time. Furthermore, it is well-suited for commercial purposes like restaurants, ice-cream parlors, etc and comes at affordable price range.
This upright freezer can be used either as a fridge or a freezer. That seems a strange idea, but this flexible use means that at times when you don’t need space for frozen food, but you do need fresh food storage then you have a solution. Also, if you only need extra freezer space for a few weeks then you can switch to using it as a freezer.
If you only have space for one appliance, then the combination of the fridge and freezer provides both chilling options in one package. These units are flexible in their combinations – small top fridge and large bottom freezer, more fridge than freezer or an equal amount of both.
Modern life involves frozen food because it makes preparing to cook and eat simpler, faster and healthier. A freezer has a long life and it’s worth spending time on selecting the model based on reviews, ratings that gives you all the features you need at a price you can afford.
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