Shopping Checklist: Freezers
Chest freezers are generally bulkier than upright freezers and come with a top-mounted door. They are better suited to storing large items, such as hams, and are usually more energy efficient. Upright freezers look similar to traditional refrigerators with a front-mounted door. Their shape makes them more suitable for kitchens and they are better designed for accessing food.
• Freezer size
Freezers are measured in litres (L), and range in size from 80L to more than 700L. For an average family household, a storage capacity of about 150 to 200 litres should be enough; this will vary depending on how often you buy and eat frozen food. Don’t forget to measure the available space in your chosen area before buying the freezer.
• Energy efficiency
The Energy Star rating system is a government-backed program that alerts buyers to energy efficient products. Labels that display more stars and lower kilowatt-hours (kWh) will cost less to run. Some freezers have a daily usage monitor that allows the freezer to adapt its temperature controls, thereby reducing long-term power consumption.
Frost-free freezers take away the hassle of removing ice build-up by using a fan to circulate dry, cold air throughout the freezer compartment. They are also more expensive and require more energy to run.
• Replaceable shelves
Make sure there are replacement options for plastic shelves and baskets, in case of any breakage or cracking.
Transporting a freezer is hard work, so it’s usually worth getting someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Ask the store about their delivery fees.
• Warranty and return policy
This information is useful in case there are any faults — ask the appropriate questions before making your purchase.
Many freezers have thermostats that allow you to adjust the freezer’s temperature to suit your needs. Some newer models have external dials and digital controls, while some side-by-side models include drawers that can be controlled separately.
Find out how much noise you can expect from internal fans, motors, and automatic timers before you make your purchase.
• Special features
Many special features are available including auto fast-freeze, adaptive defrosting or daily usage monitoring technology, interior freezer lights, power indicators, reversible doors, adjustable thermostats and child-safety locks.