Is A Deep Freezer Worth It?

tomatoMy wife and I purchased a deep freezer over the weekend; we researched a bunch of models, figured in purchase and delivery costs, and wound up selecting a 21 cubic foot Frigidaire model. It cost us about $450 after our gift cards (we collected a pile of Home Depot, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards as housewarming gifts), had free delivery, and will consume about 750 kilowatt hours of energy per year, meaning $75 worth of electricity (assuming a dime per kilowatt hour, roughly the national average).

According to our research, the life span of a new deep freezer averages eight years. So, factoring in our cost per year, the cost of owning and maintaining the deep freeze is about $130 per year, or about $11 a month.

This means that for the deep freeze to be worthwhile, we have to get $11 or more in savings per month out of it. What are our possibilities?

Storage of garden produce Let’s say, hypothetically, that I can store and use twelve meals worth of home-grown vegetables a month in this freezer. If a meal’s worth of vegetables at the farmer’s market is a dollar, then this alone pays for the freezer. However, it does require that I store several months’ worth of tomatoes during growing season, for example.

“Once a month” cooking I discussed this concept earlier. It saves money because you can buy several pounds of whatever’s on sale at the store and then use it in several meals at once while it’s still fresh, pop them in the freezer, and eat them later. It’s hard to quantify this savings, though, until we utilize it.

Purchased foods My wife and I often buy bags of frozen vegetables (we’re almost vegetarians, it seems) to shore up what we don’t have on hand that’s fresh. Quite often, we’ll see that the large bag of frozen broccoli is less expensive per ounce than the smaller bag and if we had freezer room, the larger bag would be the one we’d get, but the extra freezer room wasn’t true until now.

For us, these three items alone make the deep freezer worth the cost. It might also be worth the cost if you eat primarily prepackaged meals (I have a friend who literally lives on Healthy Choice frozen meals) because you can really, really maximize on sales.

However, if you don’t cook at home much, a deep freezer is likely not worth the cost. A few years ago, I would have appreciated the novelty of a deep freezer (and likely bought one), but it didn’t mesh with my life at the time. I would have thrown a few things into it and simply eaten the cost of the item on a month-over-month basis.

To put it simply, if the cost of an appliance doesn’t save you money month over month, then don’t buy it. A washing machine is well worth it for almost everyone, for example, but a deep freezer merits some evaluation of your own lifestyle. Spend the time figuring the true monthly cost of the unit – and whether or not it will save you money (or your health – or a lot of time) over the course of a year. This analysis will reveal pretty quickly whether the unit is worthwhile or not.

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  1. Congrats to you both, on the deep freezer. I’m not in a position to have one (apartment), but when I’m in a larger place, I definitely plan on one.

  2. I was looking into this about a year ago. At that point, research told me that life span was 10-15 years, which matches the fact that my parents’ 2 deep freezers lasted about 15-20 years each. Additionally, the life span is dramatically affected by how often you open it. My parents had it for storing larger chuncks of meat. As such, it wasn’t opened every week. I imagine the wear and tear on the motor is much greater when openining it a lot as it takes at least 5-10 mintues to cool back down.

    As such, I determined that it wasn’t worth it if I’d be storing things on a short term basis.

  3. rxforfinance says:

    I believe the life span to be a bit longer also. We have a 21cf stand up deep freezer that sits in our garage. To say I do not take care of it or do any preventitve maintenance would be an understatement (I am lazy). We purchased it about ten years ago and placed it in the garage and there it has set.
    I have 4 kids, so it gets opened quite a bit, for ice cream, popcicles, etc. The garage ranges in temperature from 8 to 120 degrees F, depending on the season of the year.
    I am expecting it to die at anytime, but so far have been pleased with its performance and storage. We tend to buy bread, chicken and beef in bulk (Costco/bread store) and it is great to have the freezer available.

  4. Kate says:

    What do you mean by “deep” freezer? Is this different from an ordinary chest freezer?

    BTW, just a tiny frugal tip: I put a layer of bubble wrap on top of my chest freezer, but nothing around the sides. The sides are often warm to the touch, so I figure that’s how the machine sheds excess heat. But the top is often cool to the touch, so I give it a little extra help in keeping the cool inside. Ours is out in the detached garage, so I figure it costs next to nothing to run it in the depths of winter.

    Also, it might be worth mentioning that buying a freezer is a good time to look into those appliances with EnergyStar labels.

  5. Jenn says:

    I think it’s important to note that these freezers can be had for much cheaper, too… 21cf is pretty big!! There are only two people in my house so we can get away with a 7cf model that uses 274kWh/year and cost $130 IIRC. Plenty of room for roasts, ice cream cakes, and the box of super pretzels the S.O. HAD to have. :)

    Also, I hate to tell you this but bubble wrap really does not have any thermal insulation properties. In fact you’re not supposed to put anything on top of your freezer because it interferes with its efficiency. Appliances are designed by engineers to work under certain parameters, so it’s usually best not to mess with that.

    One more thing: my mom’s freezer has been going strong since I can remember, at least 20 years and through two moves. Not saying everyone can expect the same, just sharing that FWIW :)

  6. Jenn says:

    Oops, I didn’t mean to make it sound like there are no ways to increase the efficiency of a freezer (like keeping it full, or trying not to open it too often or too long)… Just that trying to alter the design of the freezer itself is probably not a good idea.

  7. A deep freezer is a must. We recently bought one a month ago. My wife will be delivering soon and it is now full of good meal we just have to shove in the over and enjoy :-)
    On top of that, you can buy all sort of ice cream (my favorites are the chocolate bars series) :D
    FB.

  8. You’re also forgetting to factor in the added convenience of not having to shop as often.

  9. Trina says:

    We have a 21cf freezer for our family of six and it’s been a good investment (12 years and still in great shape). We stock up on sale items, like blueberries in summer (36-42 qts last all year), and food from our co-op. We also keep bread from the thrift store and enough orange juice and veggies so we don’t have to grocery shop at every store every week.

    We pre-cook dried beans and store them in the freezer, making them as convenient as canned beans, without the salt and less expensive. And there’s always garden surplus – zucchini can be pureed and used in place of half the oil or butter in many recipes, which is less expensive and healthier.

    When the freezer isn’t full of food, just keep water in milk jugs to take up the space.

    Enjoy your new freezer and make it work to save you time and money!

  10. Jared says:

    A few things to point out to commenters – unless your chest freezer is designed to be in a garage (unless you’ve got an insulated garage), keeping it out there is actually killing it’s efficiency. Even in the depths of winter, when your garage is, say, 10 degrees, your freezer is attempting to regulate the temperature inside.

    When we bought ours just after buying our house, we decided to keep it inside, as the garage gets both very hot and cold. The manufacturer stated that the freezer wasn’t designed for an uninsulated garage, and that it is most efficient between 50 and 80 degrees. Keeping it in the temperature range means the freezer uses less energy.

  11. Daria says:

    Trina, I like the cooked beans idea. But, how do you prep the fruits and veggies for freezing? For some reason, we don’t do well with using our freezer for cooking whole meals ahead (we forget about it or think the food is soggy), so I’m looking for ideas of storing ingredients for easy food prep later.

  12. Bill says:

    Heavy-duty plastic (Food Saver) is what we use to package foods for storage in our 15 cuft Kenmore chest freezer (it is at least 25 years old)

    We get tons of free food from gardeners (no garden ourselves)

    Just looked at a 15 cuft chest freezer today in a big box store – cost $375, but energy star rated ($30/year operating cost @ 9 cents/kWh)

    Ours is in the basement laundry room, so no temperature extremes.

  13. mjh says:

    You live in a rural area… why not buy a whole cow and put it in there?
    JD can tell you more:
    http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/12/13/how-to-buy-a-side-of-beef/

  14. Tubaman-Z says:

    While a deep freeze works well for those extra garden veggies (I’m partial to freezing in-season corn cut off the cob), it’s also handy for those of us who lean to our carnivore side. I remember as a kid my folks buying 1/2 a cow for 4 of us – it lasted quite a while. I recently bought 1/4 of a cow for 3 of us. The price per pound was substantially less than we would have paid for the same meat at the grocery.

  15. Margaret says:

    I live in Alberta. The steers at the 4H auction go for $1 pound plus, but that is premium price, because it is supporting the 4H kids and the 4H beef is really good. It would be less at a regular auction. One full steer is, say, 1200 pounds. Our neighbour just had a steer butchered and gave us half (DH helps him out lots), and the cost of butchering our half was under $250. We got about 6 boxes of meat out of it — we have the really big kind of freezer (whatever the largest size is you can get at sears), and it takes up just about half the space.

    I would be very disappointed in a freezer that did not last at least 10 years.

    A little tip I read somewhere is to keep a container of ice cubes in your freezer (in an ice cream bucket or something). If you are gone for some time (e.g. holidays) and there is an extended power outage, you check your ice cubes to see if you have to toss the food in your freezer. If it warmed up enough for the ice cubes to melt, they will have refrozen as a solid block of ice in the bottom of the container. If so, you should consider throwing out the meat, because it could have thawed out and spoiled. I don’t actually do this — the power is never out for more than a few hours, so I wouldn’t chuck anything. But if something happened and power was out for more than a day, well, I would have to consider it.

  16. MVP says:

    I love, love, LOVE our freezer. I’m able to buy more meat, bread and other items and store them when they go on sale. That takes a lot of the hassle out of grocery shopping for me. When I see a recipe that calls for chicken, for example, I don’t have to wait until I go to the store to be able to cook it, I just head out to the freezer! Plus, I can make big batches of my favorite recipes, especially soups and spaghetti sauces, and freeze half of them for when we don’t feel like cooking. Also, I get a kick out of freezing great-tasting fresh produce, like corn, rather than buying it already frozen. It tastes so much better. Plus, our dads and my husband are sport fishermen, so we often have lower-cost seafood at the ready. Yay freezers!

  17. Amy Haden says:

    Freezers are indeed great! I’ve had my chest freezer for almost 20 years. Just be sure that if you put hundreds of dollars of food into a freezer, think about investing in a small generator should the electricity fail. We’ve been lucky that losing power is relatively infrequent (or not longer than 24 hours) & usually during the winter — during one 3-day power outtage in February we just piled the freezer & fridge contents on the front porch.

  18. kim says:

    Now that milk prices are insanely high, I use my chest freezer to stock up on milk. There is a gas station in town that has it for over a dollar less than walmart. I buy about 8 gallons at once and freeze them. Make sure to get the plastic gallons with those weird indents in the sides. Those things are there to prevent the container from bursting when frozen. The milk will separate a bit when thawed so just shake.

  19. BCSpaMom says:

    I’m just a tad confused. How were you able to purchase the freezer with gift cards from other stores? Or did I mis-understand? Did you use money that would have gone for things you bought with the gift cards? ~You’ll have to excuse me, I haven’t had my caffeine this morning and it just isn’t clicking for me~ =P

    I have to agree that having a bigger freezer is a great idea. Since we have 3 kids, two of them teenagers, I keep all of our meats, veggies, etc in the larger freezer so that the kids snack items are in the kitchen freezer. My husband’s family are also deer hunters so we are fortunate enough to have plenty of healthy, lean deer meat to get us through the year – and it’s free! :)

  20. Trent Trent says:

    We used the Home Depot cards on the freezer – the other ones have been used for lots of other new things for the house.

  21. Kate says:

    Jenn,

    If bubble wrap “does not have any thermal insulation properties” perhaps you should inform this company:

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/bubblewrap.htm

    Since bubble wrap is nothing but trapped air and trapped air has excellent R value, it’s hard to imagine how you can claim it has no insulating properties. In fact, most purchased insulation is designed to trap air. You’re hardly obligated to use the method yourself, but frankly it doesn’t sound like you have any idea what you’re talking about with regard to insulation.

  22. Richard says:

    What happened to the offer of a free freezer from your networking post? http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/05/21/the-value-of-networking-and-friendship/

  23. Mike says:

    I bought a very small freezer from Best Buy. Can’t remember the exact price but it was very cheap. I mostly fill it with 2 liter bottles of drinking water. It came in very handy during hurricane Rita: my neighbors across the street lost power for a couple of days (mine was out only 4 hours) and I was able to save their valuable frozens.

    During power outages, these big ice blocks can extend the life of your fridge contents. And when the ice melts, you have bottles of drinking water.

    Keeping your freezers full makes them more efficient: when you open the door of an empty freezer, the warmer air moves in and the compressor kicks in to cool the warm air. A full freezer means less air to replace. And when you need more space, just remove some of the 2 liter bottles.

  24. Trina says:

    Daria – In response to your question, most veggies are supposed to be blanched (steamed or boiled for about 2 minutes, then plunged into cold water) before freezing to prevent the enzymes from degrading the food. The food would still be safe to eat, but not as high quality.

    I’ve found that tomatoes, zucchini, corn, onions and peppers don’t require blanching. There is a lot of info on proper food prep online or in books.

    We hardly ever freeze whole meals (6 people just eat too much for that to be practical), but we do freeze leftovers for future soups.

  25. Trent Trent says:

    The models offered to us were very low-end. I’m not comfortable entrusting a large amount of food to such a device.

  26. Karen says:

    We bought a small working freezer at a garage sale for $15.00. I purchase hamburger, chicken, tilipia, salmon and anything else that looks good in what for us is bulk [more than one or two meals since there's only the two of us] or for stocking up on something we eat a lot of, like chicken pot pies on sale in the winter]. I don’t freeze vegetables, but I do freeze coffee in packages small enough to fit in the container I use to hold it in the fridge, and I freeze flour [along with a couple of bay leaves, it kills any cereal pests lurking therein] before putting it in the pantry in 5 lb. increments.

    I figure that the cost of the thing was so low that any little amount of electricity it uses is going to take a long time to become a problem.

    Freezers are pretty simple and don’t have a lot of moving parts, so cheap ones are IMHO fine; my mom gave us one that was about 20 years old when we got it and it just kept running…

  27. Rob in Madrid says:

    We had a freezer when we were first married and even filled it with a part cow but never used it so we gave it away along with all the meat we never ate. For my Wife and I the freezer below the fridge is more than enough. Never quite understood how only two people would need a 20 cbft freezer (both parents had/have one). Even today my fridge is only half full, I only buy what I’ll use that week. That alone cut my shopping budget in half. Understandable if you have a large family, but if it’s only two of you a small fridge freezer should be more than enough.

  28. Jenn says:

    Kate,

    Fine, go ahead and staple bubble wrap to all your appliances, I really don’t care. My point is that you should use caution with DIY engineering. If the freezer worked better with a layer of bubble wrap attached to it, it probably would have come with a layer of bubble wrap attached to it, that’s all. Sometimes messing with machinery can be non-intuitive… like people who take the cases off their computers because they think it will help them run cooler.

    I shouldn’t have said NO thermal insulation properties, because pretty much everything except space has some kind of thermal insulation properties. Although I don’t think I’ll be wearing bubble wrap skiing this winter.

  29. Brad says:

    Rob, not all of us live quite so short term. :)

    I would rather have plenty of space, even if it is filled with what some here would call “junk”. I also like variety and I never know what I am going to feel like eating. Freezer space allows more flexibility there.

    Finally, you can’t easily do the “once a month cooking” think mentioned in Trent’s Super Suppers entry without some freezer space. :)

    Brad

  30. Andrea says:

    Freezers are an ideal tool for being a smart shopper. Case in point: In our community (a big city on the West Coast), the price for boneless chicken breasts is $1.99/lb. on sale and as much as $4.99/lb. when not, for the same thing. The same applies to various cuts of meat, whole chickens, turkey at Thanksgiving (we always buy an extra on sale for parties in the spring and summer). There is no good reason to pay a premium price for what you need that day when with a bit of organization, forethought and freezer, you can economize on better quality foods and stock up when they’re priced favorably.

  31. Brad says:

    What are the best models in the upright, frost-free area? Is the GE 20.3 one listed at Home Depot (and elsewhere) a good deal? Sams Club has it for about $570 plus a $25 delivery charge. (Plus a chunk of sales tax, unfortunately.)

    Brad

  32. alice says:

    I’m wondering if you factored in the extra electricity cost. We received a chest freezer free but figured the kilowattt hours would come to an extra $10-15/month in electric bills. So I’ve been reluctant to plug it in until we make a really big commitment, like buying a 1/4 cow.

  33. Alex says:

    If you really want efficiency, get a chest freezer and replace the thermostat in it with one that’ll let you run it in the refrigerator temperature range. I know a few people who run on solar / wind / hydro power and they’ve all done this with very nice results.

  34. Garvey says:

    There is no way a freezer costs $10-15/month in electricity to run. It’s more like $3-4.

    I am surprised no one mentioned gasoline costs. Saved trips = saved gas costs.

  35. Trent Trent says:

    Garvey, a freezer does indeed cost that much. You’re only looking at the electricity cost, which is only a piece of the pie. You also need to prorate out the cost of the freezer. If you spent $450 on a freezer and expect it to run 8 years, that’s another $4.69 a month.

  36. N'Awlins Kat says:

    I love my deep freeze (not sure of the c/f, but we refer to it as the “Jeffery Dahmer special.” I really like cooking in bulk, and I’m allergic to shopping, so I go as infrequently as possible. I’ll buy 15 or 20 pounds of ground chuck when it goes on sale, then stand and fry it all, drain it well, and package it into ziplock bags or rubbermaid containers. Some of it I freeze plain to be dumped into things like spaghetti sauce (made 5 quarts at a time in my slow cooker), and some I season with a homemade Mexican spice mix (mixed up in a quart canning jar). We also love fruit smoothies in the morning, made with bananas, cherries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries (or some combo thereof), so I freeze the fruit in bite-size chunks that my blender can handle and use those instead of ice. Freezing them is easy; banana chunks I dip in lemon juice, other fruits are just washed, sliced (strawberries) and laid out on plastic-wrap covered cookie sheets and frozen. After freezing, they can be dumped into freezer bags or rubbermaid containers, and I can pull out a handful, as many berries as I need w/o them being in a solid lump. Recently, chicken breasts went on sale for .79 a pound; I bought 20 pounds, skinned and boned them, and froze them the same way. I have two bags of breast tenders, and about 7 more bags of 3 breasts each, frozen individually, and I pull out what I need, defrost in the microwave and go from there. At any given time, there’s usually a couple of hams, a couple of turkeys, a whole ribeye when it goes on sale, and maybe a standing rib roast that I get when it goes on sale for 1/3 the usual cost, so always something in there for a celebratory dinner, and of course, the leftovers are frozen to be made into something else.

    Couldn’t do that w/o the deep freeze. It’s also big enough to freeze pasta, rice, and other grains for a few days after coming home from the store to kill any little crawlers that may have come home, before they can multiply in my pantry. (Ewwwww). It’s nice being able to throw together a meal in a few minutes, and much cheaper than buying convenience foods.

    That said, my freezer is over 10 years old, and stored in the garage, and we live in SE Louisiana…it gets HOT. I do store ice in my freezer to keep it cold during power outages (of which we have many these days), and I also have a gasoline generator just in case (thanks, Katrina!). After the hurricane, our power was out for 3 weeks, and even though one of our neighbors tried to keep the freezer running with his generator and extension cords (we left town), at $40 a day in gasoline to power the generator, and a limited supply of gasoline, he finally gave up and cleaned out our freezer a week after the storm. By that time, tho, he and his family had done some FINE eating with the gas grills (we left our keys and instructions to help themselves since they were staying). I lost about $700 worth of food in the freezer….pretty heartbreaking, though the state issued just about everyone affected food stamps for a couple of months to replace lost things. That was a huge help, if embarassing to have to use.

    Even with the added cost of the freezer (paid about $300 10 years ago) and the higher electricity costs, though, I figure it’s paid for itself annually in the lowered shopping bills, saved gasoline, and in not buying prepared foods, etc. Also, everyone running short knows to come to our house first; there’s always extra food available! Wouldn’t be without my freezer for anything, but I do admit to coveting an upright freezer; less efficient, but way easier to get to things.

  37. James says:

    I think that a deep freeze is worth it for anyone. Smart shopping is the best way to go & you’ll more than pay for the freezer. We shop @ meijers, CVS, & other retailers to only get sales. Buying chicken & others @ half price or more is more than worth it. It also helps out for emergencies that come up. We don’t have to worry about feeding ourselves if something comes up… we have more than a months worth of food for the 4 of us. We’re actually looking into purchasing a stand up deep freezer so we can make cakes for our bakery ahead of time & make it more convenient & eaiser for us to take emergency orders.

  38. Kathy says:

    Congradulations on your freezer. I am in agreement with those who stated you should be able to get more than 8 years of use from your new freezer. My husband purchased a 21 cf freezer at a farm auction 16 years ago the compressor had a little tick when it was running. My sister ow has it. It is still ticking. We bought my brother-in-laws freezer. which he purchased new 18 years ago. I still think of it as NEW. And my mother & father-i-law has one that I know is 30 years old they had 10 kids I’m sure it was opened and closed alot. It’s still going. We personal have 4 kids. But we have always had a freezer. We live in a rural area. Even when gas was .68 per gallon it was just plain frivolous to drive to town for some think you could have stocked in the freezer to begin with. I really enjoy your newsletter. It is inspiring.

  39. cam says:

    First visit to this site, good question. I’m wondering about this too. I have 3 adult roomates, so there’s 4 of us. We already have 2 fridges, the freezer part in each is usually stuffed full.

    I was wondering about buying my mother’s freezer as she doesn’t use it anymore. But it’s old. Probably from 1980. It seems those old ones lasted longer. I expect she’d sell it for 70 bucks or so.

    I’ve heard that keeping a freezer full is good for it – opposite of a fridge which operates more efficiently with less in it. Any opinions?

    Is there some type of glass/plastic cover that you can put over top (but UNDER the actual Lid) so you can see your food without all of the air comming out?

    thx for the advice.

  40. Jenna says:

    I thought I would add to this list that the best reason to buy a deep freezer is SALES! Often times you can find all kind of great grocery markdowns on MEAT. I purchased a 10 pound roast recently for 6 bucks, it may have lost its shelf time in their fridge but will last a very long time in the deep freeze. I have also found that at certain times of year you can find frozen goods marked down dramatically due to packaging changes. Sales and markdowns are a great way to keep your freezer full and appreciate the maximum savings of a deep freeze.

    What my husband and I do is shop and rotate. When we add to our frezzer we pull older things out and stock in the freezer of our fridge for cooking. We shop our deep freeze once every few weeks to fill up the fridge freezer in the house and replace what we took with new items. Very cost affective method.

  41. Pearl says:

    I am going to buy a deep freezer this week and I really need your advice. I still don’t know where should I keep the freeezer in the house. Some of my friends said I can keep it in the garage. I am living in Florida, and almost all the year round the garage’s temperature is constantly hot (around 70F in winter or over 100F in summer). I don’t think it is a good idea to keep freezer in the garage. I had a store room under the stairway, should I keep in this room? How’s about all of you?

    Another question is how long we can keep the food in the freezer? fruit? meat?. What is your recommendation for a good and energy saving freezer(we have four people in the family).
    Thanks!!!

  42. Sal says:

    Thanks for the help. My wife and I were tettering on wether to buy a deep freezer on the first of November. Your post has just helped us figure that out. Well put.

  43. Maria Fatima says:

    i really liked your discussion on deep freezers. i am really in need of one as i have started to buy a lot of produce from my friend who raises her animals on a farm but i am running out of space in my fridge. the problem is that i have no space to keep the deep freezer. seems like keeping it in a garage in the cold winters of maine may not be a great idea?

  44. Colette says:

    I have a family of five (three kids). I have a stand up 21 Cubic ft model. I couldn’t live without it. For example,when you consider kids lunches for school each day. I go through three loaves of bread a week. Plus lots of home baking ie cookies, muffins, banada breads etc.(better than store bought) for their lunces. I also buy my meat in bulk packs and break it down to freeze it. It’s much cheaper that way.

  45. Tamara says:

    8 years? I’ve had my deepfreeze for 30 years, and counting….

  46. john says:

    I have noticed that many of you say to keep jugs of ice in your freezer. As far as I know, ice never gets colder than 32 degrees fahrenheit.
    If you freezer is set for 20 degrees, it is always trying to cool the ice past 32 degrees and if you have alot of ice in it, it will work overtime to cool the ice. If you had something in your freezer that say, was 50 degrees all the time, it would eventually melt everthing in the freezer. A small amount of ice cubes is fine as we all need ice now and then.

  47. DanT says:

    John (@#47)

    I hate to break it to you, but ice can most definitely get below 32 F. If your freezer is set to 20 F, then the ice will eventually get to 20F.

  48. Brooks says:

    Helpful site! Looks like this question has been asked by several with no definitive response, where is the best place to keep a freezer, garage or inside the house?

    Also, one other question I don’t see addressed, what are the pros and cons between a frost-free and manual defrost freezer. I know frost-free use more energy and I’ve heard depending on where you keep a manual defrost freezer (supposedly better in the garage) it will rarely need to be defrosted.

  49. Don Oulton says:

    We have owned a deep freeze for 45 years it is a De Lavalve 21 cu ft. it is still working and always full,burns a bit of electricity though,as in those days enery star rating was un heard of.We also have a Woods 18 cu ft one for 27 years
    and its full also.We have our own garden,and shop for all the specials. Can not imagine living with
    out one!!!Not sure if it saves us money,but living out in the Country its a way of life.

  50. Steve adams says:

    As for the best place to store it the answer would be that it depends. If you have an attached garage and place the unit against the wall next to the house you’ll probably keep the refrigeration equipment from getting to cold and not working. During the winter in the garage there will be little heat transfer so the unit won’t run as much thus saving you electricity. However, in the summer it may have to run more as many garages tend to get pretty warm.

    A basement is another common location. This tends to be cooler then other places in the house. You don’t have to worry about extreme heat and cold that can cause problems too. Plus, in the winter your house will capture the waste heat from the compressor. (the down side is that in the summer if you use the ac a lot you’ll have to move out the waste heat from the freezer.)

    Also – where will it get the most use – if it’s in the basement and so gets used more and you skip a restraunt trip a month put it there.

    As an engineer in the temp management field I have had ours in the basement for 10 years – the garage 3 years before that haven’t measured the kwhr energy use but am comfortable that this is the best spot for us.

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