Freezers buying guide

We explain how to buy the perfect freezer, whether you are after a chest model or an upright freezer

Image Credit: pixel perfect stock on morgueFile (http://mrg.bz/PUS1wt)

Image Credit: pixel perfect stock on morgueFile (http://mrg.bz/PUS1wt)

Shopping Checklist: Freezers

• Chest/upright

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

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.

• Delivery

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.

• Temperature

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.

• Noise

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.

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