Looking After Your Freezer

A significant investment should be adequately protected, including a freezer. It’s a convenient way to store food for a long period of time, so ensure you know how to best take care of it.

The temperature

The best way to measure a freezer’s performance is with its temperature, because what good is a freezer that doesn’t keep its contents at a decent temperature?

Food that’s safe to eat should be kept at around -18°C. If it’s a little off that, it shouldn’t cause too much concern, but a freezer that’s either overwarm or overcool is certainly better than a defective one.

Your freezer should come equipped with a built-in thermometer on the exterior, allowing you to read its temperature without needing to open its door. If it doesn’t have one, consider investing in an affordable thermometer and store it inside your freezer.

Where to store it

For maximum functionality, your freezer needs to be rightly positioned. When you first receive your freezer, the two important things to think about are its temperature and how conveniently you’ll be able to access what’s inside.

With regards to the temperature, you’re should try placing it somewhere that isn’t too hot, otherwise it’ll work harder than it needs to in order to maintain its temperature.

And then there’s the element of convenience – should you require regular access to your freezer, then place it somewhere that’s easy to access.

Be mindful of potential threats (like a hob) should you put it in the kitchen. Since heat rises, a freezer that’s placed below counter-height may avoid much of it. We’d also recommend not placing it right next to an oven; if possible try to leave a few feet between them.

Dealing with the cold

Be wary of placing your freezer in a garage, since winter temperatures can actually bring a negative effect. Condensation can form, leading to the creation of small drops of water, which can become a problem should they end up inside the freezer. We’d recommend placing it somewhere that isn’t over 30°C or beneath 10°C.

Initial checks

When you get your new freezer, it’s possible that the oils inside the compressor may have leak into the refrigeration system, causing a blockage if the system gets turned on.

Leaving it alone for a few hours will let those oils settle back into their original position. Your freezer should come with a manual that may offer a specific period of time to wait. If the freezer has been laid down, you should consider waiting longer.

It will depend on your freezer’s specific model, but remember to leave it somewhere, empty for up to a whole day. Also keep an eye on the temperature; check the thermometer regularly until you reach an optimum temperature of around -18°C.

Power outages

In a perfect world, your freezer would avoid any power outage throughout its whole lifetime, but this is an unlikely prospect. Malfunctions and power cuts can lead to problems for the food inside.

Chest freezers boast heavier insulation so will keep their temperature longer than an upright one. Those filled with food also work for longer as frozen food emit cold, which leads to slower thawing.

There’s a standard 48-hour window where you need to have either restored power, moved everything inside of it to another freezer or have eaten it!

How much is too much?

As previously mentioned, the more food there is the more beneficial it’ll be if your freezer is cut off from power. But a packed freezer can have some disadvantages.

Firstly, we’d be hesitant putting in too many room-temperature items all at once, as it’ll end up working harder to freeze them before they get ruined.

Upright freezers often struggle with maintaining temperature when the door is left open, whereas a chest freezer less so, as the coldest air will fall to the bottom of it. Placing as many items as you can in an upright freezer will prevent more room temperature air filtering in.

But the biggest issue with a crammed freezer is regarding the circulation of air, both around the food and the thermostat. If the air is unable to move from the thermostat to the other areas of the freezer, it’ll waste energy by trying to make it colder than it should be. This is where regular defrosting can pay dividends.

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