Choosing a Freezer

The right freezer for your family

When you're thinking about what type and brand of freezer to get for you and your family, there are many things you should take into consideration:

  • Do you need a freezer?

If you don't buy large amounts of food at one time, you may not need anything larger than the freezer compartment in your refrigerator freezer.

If your household is larger, and you find yourself running out of room in your refrigerator freezer, you will most likely benefit from buying a stand-alone freezer.

  • Your family has outgrown its refrigerator freezer, and you need a stand-alone freezer. What size do you need?

It depends on the number of people in your household and what you want to freeze. If you typically purchase a lot of frozen food at once, you'd benefit from a larger unit. If you will be buying only enough frozen (or soon-to-be frozen) food to get your family through the week, you should be able to purchase a smaller size.

Freezer sizes are typically expressed in cubic feet (or the volume of the inside of the freezer). Sizes range from 4.7 to 25.1 cubic feet. One cubic foot holds approximately 35 pounds of food. If you estimate 1.5 cubic feet per person in your household, you should be able to determine the approximate size you will need to buy.

However, if you grow vegetables that you'd like to freeze, or you buy large amounts of meat at once (for example, sides of beef or large game), you probably should choose a larger freezer.

  • Do you have room for your freezer?

Measure the space where you'd like to store your freezer carefully, but keep in mind that you'll need to keep some space around your freezer for proper ventilation. If you are short on space, an upright freezer may be a space-saving option. If you have lots of room, a chest freezer may be more economical.

  • What features would you like?

Generally speaking, chest freezers offer fewer features than uprights. Both types of freezers offer automatic defrost, interior lights, locks, outside temperature control, power lights and baskets. Upright freezers are easier to keep organized, but are less energy-efficient and slightly more expensive than chest freezers. Color choice for any type of freezer is limited, as well. White will be the most commonly available color, but there are some black and occasional stainless steel models available. Make sure you also check the warranty and service options before purchasing your freezer.

Also important to take into consideration: your height. If you're a shorter build, you may find chest freezers unwieldy and difficult to use.

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