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Toby Welch8/13/14 12:00 AM3 min read

Buyers’ Guide for freezers — How to find the best energy-efficient freezer

Where do you put all your ice cream during the summer months? Having a separate freezer in addition to the one that comes with the fridge allows you to store a lot more frozen products, a great way of saving money through buying certain things on bulk. Freezers used to be huge energy-eaters, but today there’s a wide variety of very energy-efficient ones. We have put together a guide for you to help you find a good one for your home.

Size and Capacity

The first question to think about is size: How much space do you have available in your home and how much room do you need to store frozen products?

Freezers come in four sizes (with a little bit of variation): compact freezers have a capacity of about 5 cubic feet, small ones fit 6–9 cubic feet, medium sized freezers are 12–18 cubic feet, and large ones are 18 or more cubic feet.

As a rule of thumb, you can multiply the number of people living in your home by 2.5 cubic feet to figure out how big your freezer should be, but it really depends on your lifestyle. If your family is addicted to ice cream or frozen burritos, you should go for a bigger model. If you really only need a bit of extra space, choose a smaller one.

When picking a spot in your house for a freezer, don’t only look at the space available, but also make sure that it’s not right next to a sunny window or other warm spots — that would drive up the energy consumption! Make sure the temperature of the room you’re planning to put the freezer in is in the recommended temperature range between 32°F and 110°F.


The two common types of freezers are upright freezers and chest freezers.

Upright freezers are similar to fridges — the products are easily accessible, easy to organize, there is extra storage room in the door, and you moved shelves around so they fit your needs.

Chest freezers are very spacious and they don’t freezer burn your food as easily.


Modern freezers come with a variety of features and, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, those can make life with a freezer much more convenient:

Self-defrosting: Self-defrosting freezers make manual defrosting unnecessary and saves you energy since frost can’t build up which would lead to higher energy consumption. Additionally, the food packaging doesn’t get covered in a thin layer of ice, making it difficult to read labels. Frozen food won’t stick together, and the general temperature management is better.

Freezer locks: Some freezers come with locks, a feature that you should consider when small children live in your home and have access to the freezer. An open freezer door can drive up your energy bill significantly!

Soft-freeze: A soft-freeze section in the freezer makes it easier to get ice cream to a good serving temperature.

Noise level: Especially if your freezer is inside your home (and not in a separate storage area or the garage) you should look for a quieter model.


Freezers don’t have to be energy eaters, and differences between models can big significant! Generally, chest freezers tend to be more energy-efficient than upright freezers because the air doesn’t get out as easily when opening the door. Chest freezers are often insulated better and therefore hold the temperature well — even when the power goes out, chest freezers take days to get warm enough for frozen products to defrost inside.