Freezers are a great way to store food. Properly blanched, we have kept vegetables for two years without noticeable deterioration. However, you do need to keep an eye on the running costs. These are our conclusions after testing our own freezers and general researching.
This is part 3 of a 3 part article on Freezer Running Costs. See also :
Buying a fairly new second hand freezer makes good sense, our dumps are full of perfectly working fridges and freezers so getting an extra 5 or even 10 years life from an unwanted appliance is good. Even if the second hand freezers are not quite as efficient as a new freezer it makes ecological and economic sense to go for second hand.
If you can obtain a Savaplug or equivalent, they’re well worth buying. Sadly they just don’t seem to be on the market now, but you may be lucky with one second-hand. The return on your investment is far higher than any bank. Not all freezers, particularly expensive ones with electronic displays, can be run with a Savaplug.
Buying a New Freezer?
When buying a new fridge or freezer, check the projected running costs / power usage. Often it’s just not worth spending an extra £100 or even a lot more to save a minimal amount of energy cost.
Check how long it can hold temperature in the event of a power cut. 12 hours is a minimum to go for some will hold for 48 hours.
When buying a fridge freezer, look for one where you can control the temperature in the freezer and fridge separately.
Avoid fancy frost-free freezers. They generally work by blowing air through the cabinet that removes moisture-laden air reducing the amount of frost build up. The advantage of not having to spend a couple of hours defrosting every six months or so is far outweighed by the additional running costs and risk of more mechanical parts failing.
Chest freezers, even if nominally lower rated for energy saving, seem more intrinsically efficient. Because when you open the lid the cold remains in the cabinet, they seem to use less energy in re-cooling. You can also get more into them for a given size.
Be careful if putting in an outbuilding or shed. Many modern freezers do not work properly if the surrounds are at 10°C or less. Old machines used different refrigerant gasses and will work happily in low temperatures.
More Information on Freezing Produce
- Freezers and Freezing Food
- Freezers – Chest or Upright Freezer?
- How to Freeze Food – General Information, Blanching etc.
- Freezing Vegetables – Preparation & Blanching Times Part 1
- Freezing Vegetables – Preparation & Blanching Times Part 2
- Freezing Herbs – How to Freeze Herbs
- Freezing Fruit – How to Freeze Fruits
- Freezer Running Costs – How Much do Freezers Cost to Run
- Freezer Running Costs – Test Results How Much our Freezers Cost
- Running Costs for Freezers Conclusions