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Freezer Selection Basics


You may wonder which freezer is best for your lifestyle. Here is an overview of compact, chest, and upright freezers.

Choosing the right type of freezer for your home is much like shopping for any other type of appliance or piece of furniture. You want the model that will fit your needs, your budget, and your space. Should you buy a compact, chest, or upright freezer? It all depends.

Each freezer type has advantages and some perceived drawbacks. You may not find a perfect match in any of them, but at least you can narrow down the selection process to a freezer that will be best suited for your home.

Chest freezers take up a little more space than upright models, but they are typically less expensive. They are also manual defrosting, while newer upright models offer a frost-free feature.

Chest freezers are more energy efficient. Cold air drops so when the door is opened the frigid air remains inside. Open the door to an upright and the colder air will spill out toward the bottom.

Without a doubt, upright freezers win on convenience. They are designed to store lots of smaller items that can be accessed with ease. Organization is easer and some people think less food is wasted. Food that drifts toward the bottom of a chest freezer often remains undiscovered until it is too late. And, best of all, no leaning over and stretching to reach those long-lost items in the bottom.

Upright freezers, if manual defrost, have secured shelves, while auto-defrost models have racks that can be adjusted as needed. All chest and compact freezers are manual defrost.

Proponents of manual defrost state that when electricity fails, the freezer will stay colder longer. They also state that auto-defrost models may dry food out more quickly due to the constantly circulating air. However, a manual defrost model should be cleared of ice at least once or twice a year, which is time-consuming and requires space to store the frozen items during the process.

Chest freezers can hold larger food items by nature of their shape. An upright is limited by the vertical width and shelving. Chest freezers are more economical if you have food that does remain frozen for longer periods of time.

Some newer chest models offer a second freezer drawer for items that you want to keep easily accessible.

Compact freezers are available in both chest and upright versions. They are a smart addition where space is limited. These units are equipped with less insulating materials and should be set up away from heat sources for best efficiency. They can still pack in a lot of food; more than a refrigerator freezer can hold - so you can go ahead and purchase extra meat when it's on sale or stash away a few extras for rainy day meals.

Last of all, shop around for the best pricing. In today's market, most brands receive equally high ratings in consumer reviews. You'll find proponents of both chest-type and upright freezers - and either style is designed to last a long time - so whichever you choose, rest assured you are making a good investment.

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