A standalone freezer is a vital home appliance for a household with many members. It can be a great choice for people who like to prepare a lot of food in advance and store it. This appliance can help avoid constant cramming and stuffing problems that the users experience when trying to store food in small built-in freezers.
What to Consider when Choosing a Freezer
Location: Since it is an extra appliance, the location is very important. There should be enough space to house a freezer in the kitchen or a basement. When placing this appliance in a living area, the noise it makes should be considered.
Size and power: Standalone freezers come in many different sizes. The size and power consumption can be an important factor for choosing one of them, depending on the purpose the freezer. Large freezers are often used for industrial purposes.
Layout: The internal layout of the freezer can help take maximum advantage of it. Baskets, drawers, bins and shelves are absolutely necessary to place as much food into a freezer as possible. They also help to remove the food much easier.
Features: The features of the freezer are important for its comfortable use. There are many useful options for different types of freezers. A big number of features can influence the cost of the appliance.
Type: There are two types of standalone freezers. Choosing the right type for the user's needs will simplify the operation in the future and will determine the number of options that come with it.
Budget: The cost of the freezer will depend on several different factors, including the number of features, size, type and energy efficiency.
Upright freezers are usually more popular due to their compact design. They take up less horizontal space and fit through doorways. They are also easier to use due to a large number of shelves, drawers, and other organizational features. However, they usually have less space than chest freezers.
Chest freezers usually cost less than their upright counterparts. They can fit more products. However, the food on the bottom can be reached only when the top products are removed which makes the operation more difficult. Chest freezers usually have manual defrost that takes a lot of time. These freezers offer a better performance during power outages.
Compact freezer has about 5 cubic feet capacity. Usually, 1,5 cubic feet is enough for one family member. Accordingly a compact freezer is good for a small family of two or three.
Small freezer has a 6 – 9 cubic feet capacity. 1 cubic foot of freezer space can be used to accommodate about 35 pounds food. A small freezer is good for a family of 4 -6 members.
Medium freezer has a 12– 18 cubic feet capacity. Such freezer is great for families who like to stock up during sales or cook in bulk.
Large freezer has a 18 – 25 cubic feet capacity. Large freezers are usually used for industrial needs. They can also be used for storing half cows or a lot of fresh fruits and berries in the summer. Large appliances are great for fishers and farmers.
Manual defrosting usually takes up 24 hours and can be a rather messy job. Freezers with manual defrosting are usually cheaper than the no frost appliances. Manual defrosting requires 40% less energy than automatic defrosting. Models with manual defrosting are better for keeping the internal temperature at stable level.No frost models keep the frost from building up by defrosting the appliance daily. The temperature inside the freezer goes up by only about 1 -2 degrees during the defrosting process. No frost freezers prevent the food from getting freezer burns. The absence of ice crystals inside frost-free freezers allows the food to retain its taste and nutrition qualities.
Calculating energy consumption is important to understand how much money it will cost to run the freezer. Each region has its own kilowatt-per-hour rate. The annual energy consumption cost can be calculated by multiplying the kWh the appliance is consuming per year by the kilowatt-per-hour rate. The sticker on a freezer will show the annual wattage consumption .
Energy efficient models can cut freezer energy costs. A large freezer that has over 25 feet capacity can consume about 1000 kWh per year. If the kilowatt-per-hour rate is 15 cents, then the annual cost will be $150. By reducing the size of a model, the energy costs can be significantly cut down. A medium freezer (12 – 18 cubic feet) will cost its owner $100 per year or less. Models with manual defrosting option consume much less energy than no frost freezers.
Energy saving is possible in most of the models. It can be done by turning off extra features such as “anti-sweat” that reduces moisture formation or setting higher temperature inside the freezer.
Some customers choose between buying a new or used freezer in order to save money. While the used freezer will allow the customer to cut the buying costs, it might increase the running costs in the future. Freezers manufactured in the 1980's or earlier consume about 1400 kWh a year. Modern freezers can consume as little as 350 kWh. The money saved on the energy costs can be used to buy a newer and more energy-efficient freezer.
Temperature alarm. Most of the freezers are equipped with a temperature alarm that sounds when the temperature inside the appliance rises over the set parameters or to an unsafe level. This alerts the user of a power outage or a malfunction in time to prevent food spoiling,
Open door alarm sounds if the door is left open whether accidentally or due to overloading of food in the freezer.
Defrost drain is very useful for the models that are defrosted manually. The melted ice flows out of the freezer during the defrosting process. The drain tray will prevent water leaking to the floor.
Fast freeze option is perfect for quickly freezing large amounts of food. The faster fresh food is frozen, the more nutrients it keeps and the fresher it will be upon defrosting. This feature requires a significant amount of energy.
Ice maker feature allows to make cubes or small chunks of ice for immediate use. This option is useful for cooling drinks in the summer. However, the ice maker usually takes up a lot of space inside the freezer.
The Key lock feature is useful to keep the freezer inaccessible to the small children.
The Seamless interior feature makes the freezer easier to clean and prevents the food from getting into the seams and causing bad smells.
Storage options are important for making better use of the freezer. More food can be stored when placed in the special storage compartments. Upright freezers can have both shelves and drawers, just as refrigerators do. Chest freezers can have baskets.
Rollers on the base of the freezer will make it easier to move from one room to another if needed.
Interior lights are useful for trying to find something inside a freezer, especially when it is large. Lights turn on when the freezer is open and turn off when the door is closed to save energy.
Exterior power-on light allows the user to know if the freezer is working.
Controls. The right placement of the controls is very important. They should be easily accessible to the user, but hidden or installed high enough to be inaccessible to the small children.
Freezer liner. The right freezer liner will ensure the right work of the freezer and reduce the chance of damage. Heavy duty liners are preferred.
Freezer coils on side walls (not just the back wall) help keep the temperature at the same level.
N (normal) class – fit to work at room temperature between +16 and +32 degrees Celsius (60° – 90° F)
SN (subnormal) class – fit to work at room temperature between +10 and +32 degrees Celsius (50° – 90° F)
ST (subtropical) class – fit to work at room temperature between +18 and +38 degrees Celsius ( 65°–100° F)
T class (tropical)– fit to work at room temperature between +18 and +43 degrees Celsius ( 65° – 110° F)
Size is one of the most important factors in the price setting process. Compact and small freezers will cost less than medium and large ones. However, they won't provide space to accommodate as much food as the large ones and might not satisfy the needs of a big family.
Running costs should be considered before buying the appliance. A cheap freezer might be expensive during exploitation. This will negate all the advantages of the initial price reduction. The label on a freezer will state the number of kWh the appliance will use annually. Yearly or monthly running costs can be the deciding factor when choosing between the freezers.
Most features of the new freezers might seem imperative to the user, however, most of them can be easily overlooked, depending on the purpose the freezer used for. Freezers with a basic set of features can easily satisfy the needs of most customers.
Defrosting methods make a difference in the freezer price. The appliances that need to be defrosted manually cost less than their frost-free counterparts.
The type of a freezer is also impacted by its cost. Chest freezers are usually cheaper than upright freezers and can be a good choice for someone who wants to save money and energy.