Freezers are one of those household conveniences that have been around for so long, we forget about how lucky we are to have them. In the old days, people relied on deliveries of blocks of ice to keep food and beverages cold. While the first vapor-compression refrigeration system arrived in 1834, it would take another 81 years before consumers could purchase refrigerators for use in their homes. Small freezer compartments were included with these units, but separate freezer units finally hit the market in 1940.
Early freezer units on refrigerators were often so small, there was room for little more than a couple of ice cube racks. They gradually became big enough to also hold a selection of frozen food and leftovers that families wanted to preserve for longer than they could in the refrigerator section.
However, what about those who wished to store large quantities of frozen items they had bought on sale or hunters who desired larger compartments to store cuts of meats derived from game, such as deer? Consumers looking for models to accommodate those needs gravitated towards standalone models and they became common sites in basements.
Most of us understand the concept of low temperatures causing something to freeze, and thus preserving it from decay. Bacteria is one of the primary forces in food decay and cannot survive at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, which is the freezing point. However, there is more to the way in which your unit freezes and maintains the food items placed inside.
The freezer generates its low temperature using a set of internal coils. A compressor compresses refrigerant in gas form into condenser coils. The gas then condenses into a hot liquid, which travels through the condenser coils. While this occurs, the temperature of the liquid reduces.
Once the refrigerant pumps through the coils and a capillary tube, it moves on to the evaporator coils, where it expands into a gas. This reaction causes the coils to become cold. This gas then moves through the coils to the compressor’s suction line. At this stage, the gas converts back into a liquid and the cycle repeats itself.
In addition to lower than room temperature, you can also tell your freezer is working by looking at the evaporator coils. They should have a consistent layer of frost covering them; if not, your freezer is not operating at peak capacity and needs repairs. Such a problem is most often due to a leak, but these usually only develop in older units that have had many years of use.
Compared to the modern refrigerator, which does everything from purify air to reduce the ethylene gas given off by food, freezers can seem rather basic. However, there are many different things to think about when buying one, including capacity, size, energy efficiency, noise generation, and chest or upright design.
They are also much better designed than their predecessors. Today’s models are far more energy efficient and effective at maintaining consistent temperatures. Bottom mount versions are especially good in this regard because placing the compressor at the bottom means the vapor has less distance to travel.
Think about how much food you regularly store and what features you would like from your unit. Whether you are a bachelor living in an apartment or have a large family, there is a Danby freezer out there to suit your needs.