Chest freezers are large rectangular or square models that open from the top. The available sizes range from 4 cu ft to over 25 cu ft although the larger models are harder to find. The issues you should consider before going chest freezer shopping relate to capacity, brand, features, available floor space, energy consumption and price.
Freezers are generally available in 4 sizes namely; compact, small, medium and large. Which size you settle for will depend on the size of your family, how frequently you shop for perishables and how often you cook. If you leave alone, chances are that you will require a small or compact fridge.
Shopping for perishables less frequently, on the other hand, would obviously imply that you require a larger freezer. If you value home-cooked food but only cook occasionally for example, you will tend to “eat out of the freezer.” This means that you will require a larger freezer than you would if you cooked more often.
In addition, if store bulky foods such as animal carcasses, you probably need a large freezer to cater for this while leaving some space for usual home-freezing needs.
The popular residential chest freezer brands in the US are: GE, Amana, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Haier, Kenmore and Avanti. Each brand is available in an array of models with different prices, features and energy saving capabilities. Features Self defrost
Most of the chest freezers have to be manually defrosted every so often. If this exercise is not carried out often, ice build up appreciably reduces the storage space and reduces the freezing efficiency of the unit.
However, manual defrosting isn’t just cumbersome and time-consuming, it requires you to consume all the items in your freezer before doing so. Alarm
Some chest freezers have inbuilt temperature alarm which will alert you if the freezer temperature rises above a safe level. Adjustable temperature control
This feature enables you to adjust the temperature as needed and enables you to both prevent freezer burn and to save energy and lower your utility bill by setting the temperature to a level that will just keep your food frozen. Power indicator light
The power indicator light confirms the power status of the freezer at a glance. This feature reduces the incidence of food spoilage as a result of loss of power to the freezer unit. Interior light
Chest freezer models with interior light automatically illuminate the interior of the freezer when the door is opened, enabling you to locate and retrieve food in unlit or poorly lit conditions. Defrost drain
A defrost drain channels water from the thawing frost away from the unit, making manually defrosting your freezer easier as you don?t have to overturn the unit. Key eject lock
Chest freezers with the key-eject lock feature eject the key if this is not pushed while being turned. This both acts as a useful child-safety feature and ensures that you don?t forget the key in the lock, enabling you to control who accesses the freezer. Foam insulated lid
Foam insulation makes a lid more sturdy and less prone to damage and lock the chill into the freezer unit longer, leading to energy efficiency. Baskets
Baskets make organization of the freezer easier. Most chest freezer models are sold with 1 to 4 baskets although more can be purchased as an accessory.
Owing to their horizontal design, chest freezers occupy a lot of floor area and may not fit in many standard kitchens. You would therefore be well advised to measure the dimensions (length, breadth and height) of the place you intend to position them before finalizing a purchase.
The door(s) to the proposed storage area should be wide enough for the freezer to pass through. In addition, the height of the storage area should, as a bare minimum be two and a half times the freezer?s ? so that the unit can open comfortably.
It is however recommended that you store the chest freezer in an area with sufficient headroom to enable you comfortably maneuver your way around the unit without the risk of hitting your head when you raise your head.
Both because chest freezers have thick wall insulations and they open from the top (enabling retention of cold air when the units are opened), they are energy efficient than the uprights. You can therefore count on paying lower utility bills with this type of freezer.
Consumers who are keen on reducing their carbon footprint in a bid to reduce global warmer should review chest freezers with an EnergyStar label. These have been certified by the program jointly run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy to be energy-efficient.
Foot for foot, chest freezers are cheaper than their upright counterparts by upwards of $100. Chest freezers are even cheaper when you factor in the fact that they provide more storage space owing to the absence of baskets, drawers and shelves. The best time to get hold of a cheap freezer model is during discount sales.