Sometimes a conventional refrigerator just isn’t enough. If you have a large family or like to stock up on food, that little freezer won’t always cut it. If you’re frequently treating your freezer like a puzzle, trying to find the best way to fit all those pieces inside, it might be time to think about investing in an extra freezer.
There are different types of stand-alone freezers, and the one you choose will depend on your personal needs. What do you need to know to make the right choice? Here are some tips on buying an extra freezer.
Freezers aren’t small appliances, so where are you going to put it? Chances are you don’t have room in your kitchen. Common places to store freezers are in basements or garages, although you can place one just about anywhere. If you’re lucky enough to fit it in your kitchen, that’s probably the most convenient place for it. Freezers do best when they’re stored in temperatures between 32 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder is usually okay, but hotter isn’t a good idea, so think about temperature regulation when choosing a place to put your freezer.
There are different sizes of freezers, too. The one you pick will depend on how much space you have for it, as well as what your additional-freezing needs are. Compact freezers offer about five cubic feet of space; small freezers have six to nine cubic feet; medium freezers have 12 to 18 cubic feet; and large freezers offer more than 18 cubic feet of storage.
There are two main types of freezers: chest freezers and upright freezers. Here’s a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Chest Freezers are the more energy efficient type, and they’re better at keeping a consistent temperature. In a power outage, chest freezers stay cooler longer. Food is also less prone to freezer burn. Chest freezers are better for more long-term storage. They also offer the most usable space because they lack shelves, but it harder to organize food or access food on the bottom. Because they’re horizontal, they also take up more floor space.
Upright Freezers are just as effective for storing food as chest freezers, but they’re much more convenient to access and organize. Because they’re vertical, they also take up much less floor space. Because of shelving, there is less usable space inside an upright freezer. They are also more expensive than chest freezers.
Freezers are not very complicated or feature-laden appliances, but there are a few features available. Power-on lights let you know that the freezer is running without having to open the door. Interior lights are great, and door locks can be convenient, too. Quick-freeze features help cool a lot of food faster, and soft-freeze sections give you space to store things you don’t want to freeze completely, like ice cream. Self-defrosting freezers are very convenient, but manual-defrosting freezers are more energy efficient. Some freezers come with alarms to notify you if interior temperatures rise too high.
Stacey Kiddo is a kitchen expert and organization guru who works with Drury Designs in Chicago. She often blogs about kitchen design and organization for those who don’t know what they’re doing!