will having freezer make my energy bill much higher?

natalija_gardenerJanuary 28, 2010


I am thinking about having freezer besides the frige we have, because now I have a vegetable garden and want to freeze some of it (I do not like canned food). Is it going to add much to energy bill?

Do older freezers take more energy or the same amount as new ones?

Thanks for any input.

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Older freezers will indeed use a lot more energy than new ones. And if your freezer is in an un-heated/cooled area like a garage and you are in a climate with extreme temps, it will take more to run it, too. But a new freezer in a temperature controlled location will not use a lot of energy, certainly you can make up for the expense by savings on your food expenses by buying sales, etc.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:53PM
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I second what sushipup says.

I'd suggest buying a new freezer and buying an upright one, not a chest freezer. New freezers have energy guides on them now, so you can compare and choose for energy efficiency. Actually a freezer is better at keeping it's temperature than a fridge because it is not beimg opened all the time. Once the contents are frozen it doesn't take too much to keep it that way.

An upright one is better. Things tend to get lost in a chest freezer and they are very hard to organize. What you save in having a freezer may be lost on wasted food. I wouldn't be without mine. Not only for garden produce but for saving money when meat goes on sale.

Hints for a freezer. Repackage meat from the store into zipper bags and mark the date and contents on it. Store wrapping lets meat get freezer burn. When you are doing veggies from the garden. Blanch and then spread on cookie sheets and freeze. The next day you can scrape them off the sheets with a flipper( if they don't just roll off) and put in a big zipper bag then you can take out just what you need at a time

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 10:39PM
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I agree that a freezer although raising your bill can be a money saver but before you invest a large amount of time freezing your own vegetables I would suggest purchasing a small amount, blanching and freezing, then testing them on your family to see what they will eat before growing.

I love most frozen vegetables but frozen green beans to me are just something that tastes like straw and is full of fiber. If you like frozen peas it is better to look for them on sale rather than growing your own as it takes an amazing amount of pods to make a pound. Keep fresh ones as a seasonal treat and use the frozen the rest of the year.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 12:54AM
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You can keep your store bought produce for testing because it is not a good test. Supermarket vegetables can't hold a candle to garden ones even when frozen. Shelling peas is something the whole family can do and I wouldn't be without them. For the first time in a long time we ran out this year and bought some frozen ones. 3/4 of the package sits in my freezer and will probably end up in the garbage--nobody likes them.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 1:16AM
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Energy efficient new freezers add very little to your energy bill. We bought an upright freezer about a year ago, and I have kept track of the energy cost vs. savings on food. The freezer is well on the way to paying for itself.
We have two large vegetable gardens, and I freeze most of our vegetables. I buy meat on sale, and that is where most of the savings come. Also, buying freezing supplies like re-usable containers on sale helps. I'm so frugal (tight) that I don't use freezer bags since I can't reuse them easily.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:16AM
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I consider a free-standing freezer a convenience, and you should get it for just that, not a money saver. If it's an older energy hog sitting half the year in a hot garage (which is NOT a recommended use of a refrigerator or a freezer - they are designed to be used at room temperature, not 115°F), you'll end up paying more for the additional energy than the total sum of the food bargains we tend to stuff in them.

We gave our 3/4-size, up-right, free-standing freezer to hubby's sister and upgraded our older refrigerator to a larger, energy efficient refrigerator/freezer without any "bells and whistles" - NO ice maker or water dispenser which tend to use more energy. We couldn't believe the amount of energy we saved.

Because our freezer was a 3/4-size model, the amount of freezer space on the new refrigerator is nearly the same. So that may be an option for you if you have an older refrigerator.

When we checked the energy use with a Kill-A-Watt meter, our new refrigerator/freezer used even less energy than most refrigerators. We are also very conservative with door opening, which is also another reason for less energy use.

You can dehydrate a lot of your garden produce, as an inexpensive method for preservation. With limited freezer space, that's what I do. You can put an amazing amount of tomatoes in a quart jar if you dehydrate them. I also freeze homegrown tomatoes in FoodSaver bags (takes up less space), as well as mixtures of onions and peppers out of the garden to use for stir-fry and other things. I even dehydrate commercial frozen food when I find it on sale.


Here is a link that might be useful: Appliance Energy Useage

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:35AM
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If you get a new energy star freezer, it will say on the label how much energy it uses and give an estimated cost to operate it. Most I've seen will be less than $10 per month.

Also, I'm sure there are some people who use extra freezers to save money, but I think the majority of people lose money on the total deal. They buy more food than they can reasonably use (it's so cheap!) and then some of it gets wasted.

In your case, it sounds like you are more interested in just having garden veggies available and don't want to spend too much to do it. It sounds like a reasonable expense to keep your family eating healthy foods year round.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:35AM
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No one has mentioned this, but if your utility has regular seasonal storm outages like ours, then you could loose your frozen and refrigerated foods. Of course, there are backup systems for electricity and good old ice will help for short outages. Frozen food losses are usually not as bad as refrigerated losses for most short periods like 1-3 hours in the summer. We have had outages of up to 8 hours for bad warm season storms and several days for ice storms. Winter is easier, just throw the food in coolers and put is on the outside deck.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:32AM
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I've been through three different ice storms. During the first two, the ice stuck around. During the last one, we got the initial ice and then the temps started warming up the next day. Several people lost the food in both their freezers and fridges.

We've also lost the food in the freezer because the kids would get in there to get ice cream out and not close the door. We've changed our habits and no longer store ice cream in the freezer. We're still working on the kids.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:58AM
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When you think of how long food sits out at most family gatherings power outages of less than 5 hours should have little effect on the safety of the food in a refrig. In a freezer for future reference keep a clean stack of newspaper on hand. Take a wet sheet, wring it dry, put on top of frozen food trying to push in holes arround food. Then place several, at least 5 layers of newspaper on top of the wet sheet. Leave door closed. This should keep every thing solidly frozen until the next day.

A suggest for longer periods is that you and your neighbors have a get together and cook the food on grills and over open fires. You can all have a friendly feed and what is left over you can then get rid of. Better in my mind than just having to throw everything out.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:21PM
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Older freezers always take more energy
than (not the same amount as) new ones. (How old is old? 15 years?)

Chest freezers always take less energy
than upright. The biggest reason for this is that cold air stays in the freezer when the door is opened (in a chest).

Frozen food remains frozen for a long time when power is out;
there are several reasons for this.
The more frozen mass is in the freezer when the power goes out,
the longer it holds its temperature, because of mass inertia.
The lower the temperature in the freezer when the power goes out,
the longer it holds its temperature, also because of mass inertia.

Power outages lasting long enough to let contents warm up and unfreeze
are not comparable to the other situation mentioned above
(time length that room temperature food stays out at family gatherings).

The amount of energy a freezer consumes in an average year under average use is calculated in advance and is posted.
Don't worry if you will open the door less or more than an average user.
Read the energy consumption label, and multiply by the cost of electricity you have.

Old freezers energy consumption can be measured with simple devices that one buys in a hardware store, so this information is easy to get. All 20 year old freezers are more wasteful in energy consumption than freezers made today. The technology has advanced that much!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:02AM
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My mother had a chest freezer in the garage. She used it a lot, mostly for storing meat. But her electric bill was horrible, over $300 a month. The freezer broke down, and because it was over 20 years old, not worth fixing or replacing. So she emptied it and threw it out. Her elec bill went down to around $100 a month.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:16AM
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Barbara Kelly

I would get a new chest freezer. They use less energy than an upright, and avoid the "kids left the door open" problem. Yes, you might have food "get lost" in the bottom, but thats offset by the uprights habit of dumping all the cold air out when you open the door, and you have to recool that. A chest will hold a ton more food, just think about whats in the closet, neatly hung? or piled up? Yes, theres more stuff when its piled up lol I just shuffle it around until I find what I'm looking for.
Go with a chest freezer... enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:10PM
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To keep things from getting lost in a large chest freezer, I put like items in a paper sack. Sacks are easy to move to get to other things. Some stores use paper sacks with handles and they work great in the freezer.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Ah, krissie, we think alike! Paper sacks are great for organizing a chest freezer, and they are free! A chest freezer is much more efficient for the reasons listed above, and it seems you can get a whole lot more in a chest than an upright, though I've never had an upright so cannot make a valid comparison. Chests also come with a basket or two that help a great deal.

What I'll never understand is why they keep making freezer-on-the-top models and side-by-side refrigerators that let all the cold air fall out or both sides, when the most convenient to use and most economical to run are the ones with the freezer on the bottom! Is having water and ice in the door that much more important than all the other benefits of having the freezer on the bottom? I had one for many years and will buy another when the fridge that came with the house conks out. Think about it - we're in the fridge much more often than the freezer, yet they put the freezer at eye level!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:39AM
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Something over 25 years ago we had an ice storm in early spring that covered hundreds of square miles and people were worried about losing food in freezers.

A local radio station put on a message of my offer to carry borrowed generators to the area, and at one location their power had been out for over two days, with a freezer in a back porch, cool temperatures (early spring) and they'd covered the freezer with some coats.

When we hooked up the generator, we opened the freezer. Everything was frozen hard. There were some blueberries in a plate on the top ... and there were ice crystals still on those blueberries.

As long as there is a remnant of frozen goods in a package, the product is still safe to use.

Divide your freezer into sections: one area for meats, another for veggies, fruits, etc. Make a chart to sit on top of what goods are stored in which area, one box for each item, with the date in the box that the food went in, and one crosses off the box when it's used.

Cardboard boxes add insulation and tend to slow down the cooling and impede what air flow may be possible, but they make keeping the goods more easily accessible. String bags with several packages in each are helpful in keeping one type of food together, e.g. veggies.

As the freezer sections in frigs tend to keep items just a few degrees below freezing, but separate freezers tend to keep them down near zero degrees, a number of people prefer to keep their ice cream in the freezer with the lower temperature, as it tends to keep its original characteristics longer.

I agree that upright freezers are much less efficient, as they tend to spill all of their cold air every time that the door opens ... and there's space between the various items, so more cold air to drain out.

We get milk in heavy plastic bags, three of them being just over a gallon being sold in another bag. The outside bag is of medium weight, but the inner ones, each holding well over a quart, are really thick, so I wash them out and use them to store various kinds of food, mainly from the garden. They do not develop the holes from being banged around, resulting in freezer burn, that the lighter bags do.

Not a good idea to store frozen food for long periods - flavour tends to deteriorate.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:29PM
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We live in a small town and have to drive more then 25 miles to buy food for our family of 6. We stock up on meat when it is on sale, often buying the large pieces of meat in the bag and cutting and wrapping it ourselves when we get home. We also have a large organic vegetable garden and orchard. I freeze, can or dehydrate as much as possible. Our freezer is usually full, mostly meats,fruits and vegetables. We rarely buy or freeze any convenience foods. I make my own baked goods from scratch so that I know what is in the foods I feed my kids. We average about $100/ week to feed 4 adults and two growing teenagers who are always hungry, as well as all their friends.

If company stops by, I can always put together a nice dinner without having anyone run to the little expensive store nearby.

The longest time we were without power was for 4 days. We were able to keep the freezer and fridge cold by using a generator.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 2:36PM
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yes, i would say so.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:53PM
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