Deep Freezer Buying Guide
What is a Deep Freezer
Stand-alone freezers were once all about utility, and they had no-frills designs with an open-box interior that made it hard to keep things organized when you put them inside. You can still get these kinds of bare-bones freezers, and many of them are high in quality, but there’s now a trend towards new improvements in design and functionality. This is important when you want your freezer to hold a number of items, whether it be trays of lasagna or 5 pound bags of fruit from Costco. You can even keep these stylish freezers in your living area, as opposed to having to hide them in your garage.
When you’re looking for the right deep freezer for you, you need to start by deciding if you want a chest freezer or an upright freezer. You’re then going to need to select the right model in terms of capacity, size, features, and energy efficiency. Lets take a look at some key points that you want to keep in mind when you’re making a decision.
Where are you going to place it?
If you’re going to keep the freezer in the living area, as opposed to a garage, then you definitely want to pay attention to how noisy it is. The majority of manufacturers are going to say that their freezers can operate in rooms that are very hot, but you always want to read the instructions before you place the freezer in your home, so that you know for sure that it’s compatible with the climate of various rooms and spaces.
Sizing your model
There are basically four different sizes of freezer, and this applies to both the chest and upright models. There is the compact small freezer, which is 6-9 cubic feet, the medium freezer, which is 12-18 feet, then the large freezer which is 18 feet or more. The one that you choose should depend upon how much you’ll be storing in the freezer, and where you’d like to place it in your home.
Weigh blackout performance
Many manufacturers claim that their freezers can keep food frozen for 24 hours after the power is off, just as long as you don't open it. But tests have shown that the results are quite different from the claims. You certainly want to find a freezer that is going to keep goods cold for a prolonged time after the power is turned off, but just note that the time that is claimed might not really be what you get.
Manual vs. self-defrosting
Most freezers are designed to maintain a consistent temperature, but the only exception might be manual-defrost uprights. When the freezer doesn’t have a fan to circulate cold air, then temperatures of on-door shelves are going to be between 9 and 19 degrees higher than in the rest of the freezer. Self-defrosting uprights are going to excel at temperature performance. The shelves and bins of these freezers make it easier to organize fine food, but they’re also going to reduce the usable space in the freezer. With manual-defrost freezers, you’re getting something that is more energy efficient and quieter than self-defrosting models. Just keep in mind that defrosting can take hours.
Keeping food from spoiling
Self-defrosting uprights and chests are going to give you superior temperature performance, maintaining 0° F evenly throughout the interior. But many of the manual defrost uprights have trouble keeping the door shelves cool like the rest of the interior space. If a frozen food has reached temperatures above 40° F for more than a few hours then it should definitely be discarded. Be sure to check up on the frozen-food safety guidelines per the Department of Agriculture to use your freezer properly.
Every freezer is going to come with a yellow EnergyGuide, but you should take this with a grain of salt. On average, freezers are going to use about 17 percent more energy than they claim, and that makes a huge difference. Under real world conditions, you’re going to see that the results are different from what is specified by the U.S. Department of Energy. When the freezer is filled to capacity, as opposed to 75 percent full in the DOE testing, the results are going to be quite different. If it’s not an Energy Star product, then just note that the information on the labels relies on the manufacturer’s test data.
There are many types of deep freezers, and there’s really no clear winner when it comes to design. You want to choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and budget, and you need to weigh the pros and cons of each type of freezer before you buy. The two most popular types of freezer are the industry standards, and no doubt one of these is going to fulfill your needs. Lets take a look at these two designs so that you can make a proper decision.
These kinds of freezers are wide open, except that they have a removable hanging basket, so that they offer useable space that is superior to that which you get with an upright. These kinds of freezers also are slightly more energy efficient and they’re less likely to cause freezer burn. This is also the better kind of freezer if you live in an area where you get a lot of brownouts and power failures, because they keep food frozen for longer periods of time after there is a loss in power. The only downside here is that it’s hard to retrieve foods that are buried in the bottom of the chest. Even with the hanging baskets, it’s harder to organize than an upright model.
You’re going to see that an upright freezer takes up less floor space than a chest freezer. With all those drawers and shelves, it’s easier to organize things in this kind of freezer, but the downside is that you’re going to have less storage space. Also, this kind of freezer costs more money, and it takes more energy to operate.
In terms of cost, there are a lot of different price tags out there, and what you choose is going to depend upon your budget. Deep freezers can be quite expensive, but that’s because you’re buying an appliance that is just as hefty and complicated as your fridge, so don’t be surprised if you have to spend a lot to get a good deep freezer. If you want something that is going to go in your living space, then be sure to find a product that looks good on the outside, so that it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. There are so many different styles out there to choose from, so it should be possible to find something that works with your home decor.
The top rated deep freezers are the ones that customers love the most because they offer the most space, versatility, and performance, and they still come at a price that customers can appreciate. When you’re ready to own a freezer to add more convenience to your life, then you can purchase any one of these models with confidence. In our buyer’s guide, we also discussed the various features and design aspects that you want to look out for when it comes time to find the right freezer for you. Narrowing down your search is going to be about asking yourself key questions that will lead you to finding the right freezer for your lifestyle.