Freezer Buying Guide

Anyone who’s enjoyed ice cream or popsicles on a hot summer day or pulled out a frozen lasagna to heat up for a quick and easy dinner will be grateful for their home’s freezer. But, if you only have a freezer as part of your side-by side, French door, top-freezer, or bottom-freezer refrigerator, you may want to consider adding a stand-alone freezer to your home.

stand-alone freezer will give you vital storage space for everything from cool treats to re-heatable eats, and you’ll find you save money at the grocery store because you can load up on bulk, freezable items to last you for weeks. If you’d like to add a stand-alone freezer to your home, here’s what to look for when buying one.

There are two types of stand-alone freezer

Chest freezers and upright freezers. The type you choose depends on the space you have for the freezer and what type of features you’re looking for.

Chest freezers are the most common type of freezer, and these are the freezers you’ve been seeing in homes for decades. They range from an apartment-sized 3.5 cu.ft. to an extra-large 22 cu.ft.

Inside a chest freezer is a wide-open space with removable baskets. Some chest freezers are designed so you can arrange the baskets inside, and there’s a lot of space from the bottom up to stack frozen food.

Consider the location

When choosing between an upright or chest freezer, decide where you’ll put it first. If you have a large basement you may opt for a large chest freezer, but if you’re concerned about space, an upright freezer can fit neatly in a closet. Upright’s are typically the ideal model for small space living.

How will you transport your freezer?

Because of the tall, narrow design, you may find it simple to pick up and bring an upright freezer into your home. With a chest freezer, you’ll have to plan your route beforehand.

Check and see if the doors to your space are wide enough to manage a chest freezer, and decide how you’ll tackle the stairs if there are any. Keep in mind that a chest freezer can be very heavy, so you’ll have to have help moving it in.

Freezer Features

Stand-alone freezers do a single job: they freeze your food and they do it well, but they also come with a few unique features you can choose from.

Compartment Dividers: A chest freezer has a deep center to hold the most amount of frozen food, but without dividers and baskets you could be diving down into your freezer every time you’d like to take something out. Thankfully, most chest freezers have customizable interiors with plastic dividers you can move around to suit your organizational style.

An upright freezer can be customized too. They have extra door racks and interior shelves so you can organize your frozen food.

Door Locks: Having a door lock on your freezer means you’ll never worry about whether or not children can access it. Some freezer models also have a pop-out key function that will eject the key when you lock it. That way you’ll know you have your key and it’s locked up tight.

Door alarms: Do you often forget to close the door to your refrigerator? It happens, but if you forget to close your freezer door you could lose a lot of food to quick defrosting. That’s why some models have door alarms to alert you if the door is left open too long.

Soft-freeze makes ice cream easy to scoop: If you’ve ever stored ice cream in a stand-alone freezer, you know that it can get rock hard. Some stand-alone upright freezers even have a soft-freeze compartment. It keeps ice cream frozen, but still soft enough to scoop.

Fast freeze to drop the temperature in a hurry: Certain stand-alone freezers have a fast freeze function. Fast freeze drops the temperature by 10 degrees colder than the absolute lowest setting, and that preserves the freshness of food or freezes a large amount of food quickly.

Power-on light: Most chest freezers and some upright freezers have a power-on light on the outside of the freezer. The light lets you know with a glance whether or not the freezer is plugged in and working.

Frost-free freezers: If your experience with stand-alone freezers has always involved manual defrosting because your freezer built up enough ice to make you think you were in the Arctic, you might want to take a look at frost-free freezers. They are designed to allow the freezer to work efficiently without layer after layer of frost building up, and you won’t have to defrost them on a regular basis like you would a freezer without it.

Energy Star Freezers

To keep your food frozen a freezer has to run 24/7, and it can make a dent in your electric bill if you have an older freezer that uses a ton of energy. Now you can find ENERGY STAR models that will use less electricity and are more environmentally friendly than those without this feature.

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