Choosing The Right Freezer

The freezer is an important appliance in every kitchen. It keeps the food cold and allows it to be stored for long periods of time without spoiling.

Freezers have received some enhancements when it comes to storage convenience and energy efficiency. Most homes have a refrigerator with an ice box compartment, and while these may be convenient in the kitchen, they can be insufficient for the amount of frozen foods a family needs on hand.

And savings associated with buying in bulk can be substantial, but excess fresh food should be stored appropriately and properly in an ice box for long-term storage. There are basically two types, chest and upright models and each has its own pros and cons.

Many consumers will choose a style based on convenience, followed by capacity and how often they retrieve stuff from an ice box. Your current refrigerator capacity may also influence the style that most appeals to you.

Some households even have one of each style of ice box, over and above their refrigerator space. Ice boxes are available in a good variety of capacities from apartment-sized 5 cubic feet to large sizes in the 20 cubic feet range.

It really depends on what you need when it comes to storing frozen items. While the size of household will often influence how large an ice box you need, other things such as lifestyle may also affect the need for space.

Where you live and the availability of grocery stores or whether you need to stock up for in-between shopping trips, is also an important capacity consideration. Chest freezers are the most economical to buy and have the best frozen storage space for bulky items.

They are, however, the most inconvenient when it comes to cleaning the unit and retrieving items. Chest freezers require more space to place and they also need head room for opening the lid.

Uprights cost more than chest models but offer the most convenience when it comes to cleaning, organizing foods and finding what you want to retrieve. However, they are similar to a refrigerator, which tends to encourage lengthy browsing which can increase energy costs.

Best features will vary with the type of ice box, but the most important convenience features are those that help you organize and more readily retrieve items. Chest models offer basic storage options, while uprights offer more choice when it comes to small storage bins and baskets.

Self or auto-defrost ice boxes are the most convenient because they require no defrosting. They do use more energy since they cycle on/off to keep the ice box frost-free.

Because the temperature fluctuates slightly when the appliance cycles to defrost, foods are more prone to freezer burn in a self-defrost appliance than in one that requires manual defrost. Most chest freezers are manual defrost while uprights come in either manual or self-defrost.

Confirm the type of defrost before buying so you will know if it requires more cleaning. When a ice box cycles on/off to defrost, there is more operating noise, which may also be a buying consideration.

Chest freezers have limited features but if you are buying a large capacity model, more than one basket and removable divider would help you to organize the contents better. Uprights tend to vary when it comes to features

When it comes to energy efficiency, chest models use less electricity because most are manual defrost and there’s less cold air loss when the door is open. There are also fewer tendencies to browse at the contents compared to an upright model.

However, this is where you must decide whether you would rather sacrifice a little energy for the convenience of an upright model. If you have problems with bending for food retrieval or organizing contents is a high priority, an upright is probably your best choice.

Avoid making poor appliance capacity choices. Buying too large an appliance can lead to wasted energy trying to keep empty space at freezing temperatures and buying too small may not meet your needs and require updating the appliance.

Keep in mind that the more storage capacity you have, the more tendency for waste from foods that become old and freezer burnt. A chest freezer is cheaper to buy than an upright model and a manual is cheaper than an auto-defrost model. BOLA TANGKAS