Buying A Freezer
Posted 15 February 2009 - 02:44 PM
So DH and I are in the market for a freezer again after ours died late this summer.
In doing some research, here's a few tips and tricks to check a 'used' model, trouble-shoot and choose one that's right for you...
1. Whenever you buy, get the warranty! They're quite affordable and if you break a shelf peg, have a seal go bad, etc. they're usually covered. I've used the life out of my fridge, stove & dishwasher warranties.
2. Open up the freezer and look at the racks. Are they even? Are they sliding to one corner? Can you place a plastic bottle of water at various intervals on the racks and have the water level even? If not, the freezer is not level - Level it. Also, perhaps the racks are placed wrong. Try to fix them, if they aren't level, they should be. If a peg is broken, the appliance store should replace it before they sell it.
2. Slide out the shelves and inspect the seals going down the corners and into the bottom of the freezer. Run your hand along it. Everything should be smooth and tight. If you feel ANY bumps, see any (even the slightest) of ridges, bubbles, or gap between the seal tape and the side of the freezer, the seals weren't put in correctly and will fail later. You might only get a year use from that appliance.
3. If you see any of the seals along the corners or bottom that are not tight, this will allow air into the cooling system that will cause an accumulation of ice buildup and cause your freezer to run constantly, thereby shortening its life.
4. Make sure your freezer is level. It does take some doing at first, but is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to the cooling system.
5. Test door seals with a piece of paper. If it falls out or flutters, you have a bad seal. If you have a gap near the top, bottom, or sides of the door or notice ice accumulation, you have a seal problem. You can replace them yourself, but it's wise to call someone who knows what they're looking at to give the machine a 'once over'. (If I had done that, I would have added some life to my freezer.) They can also replace the seal quicker than you can and in my opinion, it's easy to botch up. Call the professionals.
6. Do buy 2 thermometers for your freezer, one for the racks and one for the door. It needs to hold around 0 (zero) degrees. A few degrees above is fine. In the 20's is NOT okay. This means you either need to adjust your freezer to a cooler temp or your cooling system is failing.
7. When you get a freezer, think ahead to power outages and emergencies. How will you save your freezer and the contents? Do look at a generator, keep blankets handy to wrap around the freezer & newspaper handy to crumple under the blankets for insulation.
8. Remember to keep stock of what's in your freezer and have an action plan for saving the food should a crisis happen.
9. Get yourself a digital read thermometer. They are tremendously useful. When your freezer contents begin to thaw, if you can still feel ice within an inch of the edge, the meats are fine.
10. Do choose a freezer with a manual or automatic defrost. It's quite a pain otherwise.
11. Do clean around, behind and vacuum the coils (and clean out the contents) at least once a year. This will extend the life of your freezer.
12. Do not place warm food items in the freezer. It will make the freezer work harder and possibly thaw food that it is next to.
13. Finally, contact the repair shops. Ask the people there what brands are serviced, which brands are maintenance free etc. AVOID the ones that are serviced often. Choose your freezer according to your needs. If you get a steer butchered every year, you're getting 1,200 + pounds of meat a year. This FILLS a large upright COMPLETELY or 2 chest freezers. You might need 2...one for meat, one for breads, casseroles, other stuff.
Listing of Freezer Distributors by Brand Name
Brand Name - Distributor
Admiral - W.C. Wood Company Ltd.
Amana - Maytag Co
Bosch - BSH Home Appliances
Crosley - Crosley Appliances, Ltd.
Danby - Danby Products, Ltd.
Danby Designer - Danby Products, Ltd.
Danby Premier - Danby Products, Ltd.
Diplomat - Danby Products, Ltd.
Euroquip - Electrolux Home Appliances
Frigidaire - Electrolux Home Appliances
Gaggenau - BSH Home appliances
General Electric (GE) -Camco Inc. / GE Appliances
Gibson - Electrolux Home Products
Gladiator - Lowe's
Haier - Haier America Trading Corp.
Holiday - W.C. Wood Co.Ltd.
Imperial - Whirlpool, Corp.
Kenmore - Sears Canada, Inc.
Kirkland - Camco Inc. / GE Appliances
Magic Chef - Maytag Co.
Maytag - Maytag Co.
Sears - W.C. Wood Company Ltd.
Sanyo - Sanyo E & E Corp.
Simplicity - Danby Products, Ltd.
Sub-Zero - Sub Zero Freezer Co, Ltd.
Thermador - BSH Home Appliances
Whirlpool - Whirlpool Corp.
White-Westinghouse - Electrolux Home Products
Wood's - W.C. Wood Co. Ltd.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Hope this helps. I certainly learned a lot!
I'll keep you posted on what brand we choose when we buy one here soon. Meanwhile, I'm still learning!
Posted 15 February 2009 - 05:34 PM
One thing, I would not get a self defrosting freezer. It only needs to be defrosted once a year if you get a manual defrost. The self defrosting freezers dry your food out when it cycles on and off to defrost. It also slightly defrosts the food each time. Bread dries out much faster in a self defrosting freezer.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 12:05 PM
Oh...that explains a lot, really. I couldn't figure out why bread from the 'big' freezer actually tasted different than the kitchen fridge/freezer. You're so smart.
I just figured that there were probably others out there who needed to pick a freezer or could comment and we could all learn something together. Goodness knows, I've learned a lot just in buying this supposedly 'excellent quality' used one.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:56 PM
We get Consumer Reports and I've been looking at their ratings on chest freezers, as well as following the sales at Sears since the middle of December. The best deal I have seen there was 26% off about a week before Christmas. They do have rebates, like free delivery and haul away that I have to factor into the saved price since I think we will be having them do that if we get one that costs more than $400.
The one I originally wanted to get was the 15 cf Kenmore 1655, but since money is so tight and I'm canning many things, I think we'll go with the 9 cg 1692 model. It's $320 vs $500. A used one would be fantastic, but I'm a little leery of getting one I don't know the history on and doesn't have a warranty.
So I got that goin' for me, which is nice . . .
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