For most people a freezer is an essential home appliance. A handy way to store food, a freezer means fewer shopping trips, less food waste and time saved by preparing food in advance. There are several types of freezer available to buy.
Upright freezers come in a range of heights and widths, making it easy to find one that fits your kitchen and provides all the storage you need. With plenty of drawers or shelves, they allow frozen food to be organised and located easily.
Under-counter freezers are compact models designed to fit under your kitchen worktop. They’re a good choice if you’ve limited kitchen space or require an additional freezer. Integrated freezers sit inside a kitchen unit with a door attached that matches the rest of your kitchen cupboards. There are fewer integrated models available and they cost more to buy and run than standard upright freezers.
Chest freezers are large waist-height freezers with a top-opening lid instead of a door. Consisting of one big space, they’re perfect for freezing food in bulk or storing odd-shaped items such as large joints of meat. But the lack of drawers can make it difficult to sort through your frozen food and items may be left languishing at the bottom of a chest freezer.
Chest freezers typically have large footprints, so many people prefer to keep them in a garage or utility room. As many freezers struggle to work properly when the surrounding air temperatures goes below 10°C, look for a model designed to work in unheated rooms. Despite their size, chest freezers are cheaper and more energy efficient than upright models. However, don’t expect features such as frost-free as standard – most chest freezers need defrosting when ice builds up.
Freezer size and style
When buying a freezer, first carefully measure the space where it will be positioned. You may need to allow extra space around the unit for air to circulate – check the manufacturer’s instructions before buying. Freezers come in a range of colours. Stainless steel, chrome or glossy models are popular but you’ll pay a price premium for these finishes. Opt for a white freezer if you’re on a limited budget as these are usually cheaper than identical models with more exotic finishes.
Choose the best freezer features
- Transparent plastic drawers are a better choice than wire shelves with flap-up fronts. Not only can you see what’s being stored, they help reduce running costs as they retain the cold when the freezer door is open. Deep drawers are useful for storing irregularly shaped food.
- A fast freeze option lets you quickly freeze fresh food, helping to lock in flavour and nutrients.
- A frost-free function stops ice from forming, so you can avoid the messy chore of defrosting your freezer.
- A temperature alarm alerts you immediately if the freezer temperature starts to rise, long before your stored food begins to thaw. An open-door alarm alerts you if the freezer door is left open.
As freezers are always switched on, look for a model that’s energy efficient. Every freezer must have an energy rating of A+, A++ or A+++. A+++ is the most efficient and will save on energy costs in the long run.
Recycling an old freezer
Freezers must be disposed of correctly. They contain hazardous liquid coolants that must be safely removed by a certified technician before the appliance can be taken to a landfill site. When buying a new freezer, ask if the seller will remove and recycle the old appliance – you’ll typically have to pay a charge for this. Alternatively, take your old freezer to a local recycling centre, where it can to be recycled free of charge. Visit www.recycle-more.co.uk to find your nearest site.