A freezer unit allows for bulk storage of perishable food items such as meat, fish, soups, veggies and other food items for weeks or even months and can keep them fresh for extended periods, even in the event of power outage, until you are ready to consume them. This helps families save big on home expenses as they can purchase food in bulk and save excess in the freezer for long term storage. They are some major points to consider before buying a freezer and they are listed below.
- Type of Freezers
The 2 major types of freezer are the Chest and Upright Freezers. Below is a comparison of the benefits of each.
Chest Freezer: Box-like design with a top-mounted door (lid). Generally, offers more storage space, so it’s suited to storing bulky items, and can accommodate odd sized food items. Because of the abundant space, they are less likely to cause freezer burn but this can also make you lose track of food items in there. Chest freezers are more energy efficient i.e. cold air does not escape easily when the lid is opened, hence food keeps for much longer periods even during power blackouts. They are generally less priced than uprights.
Upright Freezer: Upright Freezers look like the traditional fridge with a front-mounted door. The shape is better suited for most kitchen layouts, as food items can be organised horizontally on shelves, which makes it easier to access stored foods. They are easier to relocate and will generally fit through doorways. However, all the comfort that comes with these freezers come at a price too, as they are usually priced slightly higher than chest models because it freezes faster and consumes less floor space.
The best features vary with the type of freezer but the most important convenience features are those that help you organize and more readily retrieve foods. Which style of freezer do you prefer: Chest or upright – which style will fit best in your space? Chest freezer is good for bulk storage, while upright is good for more organised food storage. some features include;
• Manual or Self Defrost: Defrosting function helps to save energy. A self defrost freezer automatically keeps ice from accumulating, while a manual defrost freezer must be periodically emptied and turned off to remove any ice build-up by hand.
• Adjustable temperature control: This feature allows the temperature to be controlled as per the food you want to store, also helps in using the same unit as fridge/freezer.
• Interior and operating indicator light: This lets you know the freezer is working without opening the door, increasing energy efficiency.
• Lock with key for safety limit access to your freezer, protecting children and other at-risk family members.
• Number of baskets or shelves: Baskets/Shelves help organise and store your food effectively. Chest freezers usually have at least one basket, Uprights usually have at least one adjustable shelf.
• Freezer light: The light inside the freezer makes it easier to find food.
• Quick/fast freeze function:This feature allows the freezer to cool your products fast.
• Alarm for Lid: This helps with energy saving by giving alarm, if the lid is left open by mistake.
Chest Freezers capacity vary from 60 Litres to approx. 700 Litres, while the upright freezer capacity varies from 100 Litres to 300 litres approximately. Your choice should depend on available space and family needs. Usually, 1 litre of freezer capacity can store 500 gms or 0.5 KG of food; and food storage requirement for one person is usually 70 litres of storage space. So on average a family of 2 can have a Freezer capacity of 140 Litres. This is just a guide, actual usage requirement might vary depending of quantity of food storage and frequency of replenishments etc.
- Freezer Location
Ask yourself how much space is available in my home? Freezers should be located in a convenient space that is far from heat sources, including sunny windows, to maintain efficient operation. The space you have available, as well as the width of doorways, may impact the size of the freezer you buy.
Proper care and maintenance of your freezer will not only improve efficiency and performance, but will save energy, and help your food contents to last longer.