Suggestions - getting a second freezer.

caflowerluverOctober 23, 2012

How many of you have a second freezer? What size and brand? Chest or upright? I am going to need a second one by this weekend when DH does a major repair on our fairly new one. What should I look for in a freezer? Never had one before because never really needed one. Though I never realized how small the current one is, only 6.6 CF. I just did more frequent shopping and didn't buy a lot of frozen stuff.

Our 2006 Jenn Air built in refrigerator/freezer is having cooling problems with ice build up on the fan. DH took it partially apart last night at 8:30 because it had been making a horrific noise since 4PM. The fan and the wires were all iced up with icicles hanging down. It seems to be working OK for now but don't know for how long. I have done lots of research and DH is a electronic and electrical engineer so is going to take it apart this weekend (using a diagram and repair manual). Don't know if we will have to replace heat exchanger, compressor, muffler, and drier or just clean out the side line and capiliary line. Recently I had an ant invasion INSIDE the freezer and refrigerator so maybe they got in and blocked the drip line. Hundreds of dead frozen ants - yuck!

I am trying to use up as much food in the freezer as possible and not buy any more. Luckily we caught it before anything melted, like ice cream, so think everything is still alright. It never got above 18F, usually set at zero. I hadn't been to the store this week and we don't buy a lot of meat ahead of time, so don't think I will have to throw out much. Any other suggestions on what I should do?

It has been only 6 years and it needs a major repair. I remember when refrigerators lasted for 20-30 years. My parents had one that did. And in our first rental place we had one that went back to late 1950's, and except for having to constantly defrost the freezer, it worked great. Not like this expensive piece of ****!


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We have an upright 18 cu ft freezer. It's a commercial brand, sorry I don't recall what the manufacturer's name is. It's frost free and in 10 years hasn't given any trouble. We keep it almost fully stocked year round.

My suggestion is that you get a upright, frost free brand with either a practical shelf arrangement that suits your needs, or adjustable shelves. We buy our meat in big lots so we need shelves that will accommodate big as well as small packages. Upright and frost free means you'll be able to get to everything in the freezer, and not spend a lot of time on maintenance. Friends of mine with chest freezers just don't see what's way at the bottom, so they end up throwing out a lot of food with freezer burn.

Our freezer has pull-out wire drawers at the bottom which is handy so we don't have to crawl around trying to reach to the back of the lowest shelves. This is handy, though not essential.

We have shallow shelves with rails on the inside of the door, much like most fridges. This is useful for storing smaller containers or packages - quarts of stock, packs of butter. Again, it is handy but not essential.

I hope you don't have too much wastage. I assume you have moved as much as possible into the fridge? Other than that, it sounds like you're doing everything possible. Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:42PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

We have always had a stand alone freezer apart from the refrigerator top but if I had two separate freezers, I would get one that is a chest type for really deep storage and keep the more used stuff in the upright. The one we have now is an upright and a manual defrost. A nuisance to defrost but the food stays fresher much better.
It's an amana and we bought it last year to replace a ten year old upright.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:44PM
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I don't have a freezer. There are too many food stores around me.

If I had to buy one, I would get a chest type.

With a chest type I can go to Home Depot and buy rigid 1" thick foam board to suround it and on top. This will significantly reduce the operating cost.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I have both. I like the upright and DH likes the chest type. The chest type is a real pain, so I just ask him to get what I need from it because I hate to dig in it.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:45PM
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I also have/had both. Right now Elery has an upright and I have a huge chest type freezer. I chose the chest freezer because you can put more pounds of meat in one and it's not an auto-defrost because the freeze/thaw cycle that causes that defrosting can compromise the storage quality and time of the contents. Since I have beef, pork and chicken that I raise for the freezer, I keep meat for a year at least.

The upright is far more convenient in terms of finding things, but as I said, the chest freezer holds more and keeps things longer. I found a package of beef in the bottom of the chest freezer that was two years old and it's still fine, but you do have to be diligent in keeping track of things because they do "migrate" to the bottom if you are not careful.

Elery's freezer is 4 years old and is a Frigidaire. Mine is a Gibson and is at least 15 years old and still going strong. Amanda's is a Kenmore that I gave her about 10 years ago and it's at least 20 years old and still working fine, so I'd be ticked if I bought an expensive model and had it go kaput on me in that amount of time.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Well it died again tonight, DH did get it working for the time being but know it will just die again. So there we are at Home Depot at 9PM looking at what was available. We decided on a small one because we really don't need and don't have the room for a large one. DH wanted a chest one and I like the upright but the upright cost $100 more for the same size. So we got the chest which also looked like it would hold more. It is a GE 7 CU chest freezer. It should hold every thing in the freezer. It will be ready to load at 2AM so I guess I should set my alarm. LOL

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Forgot to say - thanks for all the suggestions. I hope the one we got does better than the Jenn Air.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:10AM
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Are there baskets you can buy for a chest freezer so can organize things and lift things out easier? Otherwise DH or son will have to get the stuff on the bottom. With my bum hip I will fall in! It did come with 2 shallow baskets that sit on a top rail on the side.

Any other tips?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:15AM
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What a shame.... And a huge pain somewhere lower than the neck.

When we moved into our new home a few years ago, we gave our energy "hog" upright 3/4-size freezer to hubby's sister and bought a much larger, more energy efficient, side-by-side refrigerator, but decided not to get another freezer. The freezer space on the new refrigerator was nearly the same as the old 3/4-size free-standing freezer. So that might be another option for you to consider, especially if your refrigerator has some age on it and you have the space to get a larger model.

I also tested our new refrigerator with a Kill-A-Watt Meter and it uses approx. 7-cents per day (over a 507-hour test period). So by our calculations, that was our best bargain.

The way I see it, an extra freezer is a wonderful convenience - a place to stash all kinds of food bargains and make-ahead meals. But the extra money spent on electricity was probably off-setting the bargains. Freezers also tend to contain our most expensive food dollars - meat. So when you have an appliance failure or a long power outage, you also have a larger financial loss.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:05AM
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Grainlady - The refrigerator is only 6 years old so (hopefully) we can repair it. Also, it is a built-in that cost as much as a used car so don't want to replace it with another expensive piece of carp. We would have to go with another built in because that is the way the kitchen is designed. DH is the one that wanted it when we did our remodel 6 years ago. I wanted a standard type refrigerator that is easily and more cheaply replaced. The reasons you stated, electricity costs and we don't buy a lot of meat or frozen foods, are why in 35 years we have never had another freezer. We also do get power outages in the winter and that is a problem.

My advice to other shoppers out there is don't get a Jenn Air anything. We got rid of the Jenn Air stove in under 3 months because it was junk.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen remodel

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:59AM
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I got a small chest freezer when my garage fridge died. It's small, but since it's been mostly just me, it was more than adequate.

With my DD, SIL and grandkids living with me, it's a bit tight, but it's still adequate.

You'll find that your need to freeze things expands with the freezer space available. And then when you have a hurricane and no power for 8 days, it's all off to the dump, so don't over do it.

I do have a generator now, and we plug the freezer and fridge in, so we saved the food after the storm in late June.

Here is a link that might be useful: I think this is the one I have?!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:58AM
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momj47 - We don't have hurricanes but do have winter storms with mud slides that knock out power and of course earthquakes. Yours looks just like the one I got except mine is 7 cf. It was only $20 more so got the bigger one. Everything from the old freezer fit nicely in the new one. We have talked about getting a generator for 26 years. Lots of our neighbors have them. They are so expensive for one to run the whole house. Not so bad for the small ones for only a few appliances.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE 7 CF freezer.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:20PM
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The generator is worth every dollar, about $800. We lost power in June and it was HOT, over 100 for the entire time we were without power. I've always kind of sneered at them, but I'm glad I relented. We ran it during the day - fridge, freezer, FIOS cable and internet, TV, fans, lights, etc.

I have to get the water pump wired so I can hook it up to the generator too. Not having water is the worst.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:26PM
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