Your refrigerator’s freezer may not be enough to hold a large volume of frozen items. If you normally stock frozen food items because you want to minimize your trips to the grocery or just because there is a great deal on your favorites, a separate freezer is ideal, where chest freezers come into play.
There are several types in the market, with the upright one and chest freezer being the common ones. An upright one typically looks like a refrigerator. The door is on the long side of the unit. The downside with this type of freezer is the utilization of available space. You will not be able to fill it with food because you will have to consider the food items from falling. A chest freezer would be a better choice. It is a rectangle-shaped or square-shaped ones that opens from the top. You can fill it with items without having to worry about safety.
No matter which type you choose, they come in all sorts of sizes and dimensions. Some are compact, while others are large. Some of them are cheap, while others come at a premium price tag. Regardless, there is surely one that is going to fit your needs. A wide selection of brands offers these types of products. Some of the brands that offer the best 3.5, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15 and 22 cubic ft chest freezers are Arctic King, GE, Frigidaire, Haier, Igloo, Idylis, Whirlpool, and Kenmore.
Factors to Consider
Picking which make and model to buy is a confusing task. With the number of choices available in the market, it could easily turn into a nightmare. Lucky for you, we have a list of factors to consider when purchasing your freezer. You can use these factors as a guide when searching the market for the one that works best for you. Knowing these factors gives you more idea of the options available for you.
The cost of a one is most likely a huge determining factor of which make and model you will be buying. Cost is directly associated with your budget, so it is only logical to consider ones that are well within your project. If you think a certain model is way out of your budget, don’t consider it anymore. Also, keep in mind how the long-term costs would be. Buying a cheap one now may only cost you more in electricity bills in the long run when compared to buying an expensive one now and paying less in your electricity bill.
If an energy-efficient model costs more upfront than other less efficient models, you may want to consider paying more upfront as you will most likely save more money in the long run. Other features will likely cost you more, such as automatic defrost, no frost, and similar types of features. When you think about it, the convenience of automatic defrost is worth the premium price because you will no longer be dealing with manual defrosting, which takes a lot of time.
Should you decide to purchase yours online, you should also consider the shipping cost. They are heavy and large, so shipping costs will likely be expensive. Consider looking for a vendor that offers free shipping or offers the lowest total price.
Households who already have a refrigerator and are thinking of buying a separate freezer should consider the amount of space it takes. Before you even start looking, measure how much space you have left at home. When you get this information, that is the time for you to browse for options. In this way, you won’t be wasting your time looking into options that won’t fit at home.
|Most popular sizes, in cubic feet|
You can find the dimensions in the specifications section on the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes, vendors have this information too. Chest freezers will likely need more space than an upright model, so make sure you have enough space at home before buying one. When picking a size, add a bit of allowance on each size so that it will have some space to breathe.
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Not all models and brands are energy-efficient. Since they need to run continuously 24/7, it is advisable to look for one that is efficient in using energy. When looking at it long-term, you will see that energy-efficient ones will save you more in running costs and footprint.
Energy Star rate ones, so when it is Energy Star qualified, you can easily identify if it is energy-efficient or not.
Amount of Use
How often will you be using it? There are several factors to consider when looking into the amount of use. How many food items will you be storing in it? How many people will be using it? How often will you be opening and closing it? These are only some of the questions you need to ask the users. Look into the habits of your household and then decide from there. Remember, each household is unique, so you can’t base the answer on someone else’s household.
Chest freezers usually come with one or two hanging baskets. You even have the option to purchase more hanging baskets if needed. Stacking food is most likely the approach with these models. One good way to organize your food items is to place them inside plastic containers. For example, if you want to defrost some chicken, you can pull the chicken container out and choose which pack of chicken you want to defrost. Another thing to consider is users will have to bend more often, especially when trying to reach the bottom. It becomes a much bigger problem if the unit is tall.
Climate and Temperature Considerations
The FDA says you should keep your freezer at -18°C. All models in the market can and will reach this temperature. However, the climate it is in will have a huge effect on it. If it is inside your home, this is probably one of the least concerns. But if you plan to place it outside or in your garage where the temperature fluctuates according to the weather, you will have to check the optimal temperature it should be. Some models will have no issues when it’s in the garage, while others may show issues.
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Theey will have different noise levels. Some are quiet, while others are noisy. It has something to do with the internal parts. There is not much you can do about it but to live with it. Should you be staying for a long time in an area where your freezer is nearby, consider getting a quiet model. Otherwise, don’t bother at all. Typically, automatic defrost models are noisier than manual defrost ones.
The blackout performance refers to how long it can retain cold during a power interruption. To consumers, this is an issue that will not happen often, but if it does, having the right model makes a huge difference. The ones with great blackout performance can instantly save you from spoiled food. Luckily, chest freezers have a solid reputation for blackout performance.
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What is a good size?
Freezers, much like refrigerators, come in several sizes. Picking the size depends on how much space you will be needing. It boils down to how many food items you will be storing at a single time and how many people are there in the household.
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A 3.5-cu ft. option falls under the compact size category and typically measures 21–28″ Width x 32–34″ Height x 19–22″ Depth.
A great example of these is the Magic Chef HMCF35W2. It is a chest-type model and has a capacity of 3.5-cu ft. It weighs about 65 lbs. and has dimensions of 22.2″ x 32.6″ x 22.0″. Some of the key features of this product are as follow:
- The stylish all-white exterior design allows it to match well with all types of decorations at home
- Manual defrost keeps the inside clean and at top shape
- A storage basket that comes out of the box allows for easy access to small frozen delights
- The temperature knob allows you to control the temperature, helping you set it at an optimal level
- When defrosting, a water drain provides an easy way for water to leave the inside of the unit
- For a more streamlined and modern look, the door handles in this model are recessed
Other notable brands that sell these models are Igloo and Insignia. Should you wish to look into these brands, we suggest you visit their website.
A 5-cu ft. freezer can fall under the compact or small categories. They typically measure 21–38″ Width x 32–34″ Height x 19–27″ Depth.
We have two great examples for the 5-cu ft. options. The first one is the Insignia NS-CZ50WH6 model. It weighs about 70.5 lbs. and has dimensions of 33.5″ x 28.67″ x 20.6″. It features the following:
- The 5-cu ft. storage capacity gives enough storage space for a family of up to 3
- Door hinges are counter-balanced hinge, which allows you to open and stay at different angles ranging between 45 degrees to 75 degrees
- The removable storage basket lets you arrange food items easily. Sliding it out gives you extra room
- A water drain provides a path for water to exit when defrosting
- The legs in this unit are adjustable, ensuring the unit is always level. It also helps in insulation
- Power indicator light indicates the unit is running normally
The Insignia NS-CZ50WH6 has an estimated annual electricity consumption of 218-kilowatt hours. Its defrosting type is manual and does not come with a defrost indicator. Overall, this beast does not have any special features to it. If you are looking for a basic unit that can do the job just right, this one is for you.
The second option is the Kenmore 17552. It weighs about 68 lbs. and measures 28.13″ Width x 33.25″ Height x 21.81″ Depth in dimensions. It is a perfect size that can accommodate the food your family loves. Some of its key features are as follow:
- The 5-cu ft. storage capacity is ideal for storing food items in bulk
- Mechanical temperature control lets you adjust the temperature manually
- Power indicator light easily tells you if the unit is running
- The wire basket is removable, allowing for great customization
- Simple and easy maintenance is made possible by its cleanable gasket
- Manual defrost
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A 7-cu ft. freezer falls under the small category. These models typically measure 29-38″ Width x 32-34″ Height x 22-27″ Depth.
The GE FCM7SKWW is a 7-cu ft. manual defrost model. It weighs about 75 lbs. and measures 37.25″ Width x 33.5″ Height x 21.25″ Depth in dimension. These are some of its features:
- Works flawlessly in your garage for temperatures ranging from 0°F to 110°F
- The power indicator light lets users see that the unit is running without having to open the door
- Two storage baskets allow storage of your favorite foods
- Manual temperature control for adjusting the temperature whenever needed
- Recessed door handles offers a streamlined design
- Water drain serves as a path for water to flow out of the unit when defrosting
This GE chest freezer comes with a limited one-year part and labor warranty.
Weight of a 7-cu ft freezer
There is no general run on how heavy or light a 7-cu ft. options are. When it comes to weight, several factors come into consideration. Things like the design, material, features, and overall dimensions contribute to the unit’s weight. For example, the GE FCM7SKWW weighs about 75 lbs. On the other hand, the Haier HF71CM33NW weighs about 83 lbs.
A 10-cu ft. freezer falls under the medium category. The ones in this category measure 23–30″ Width x 60–73″ Height x 27–30″ Depth.
The GE FCM11PHWW is a 10.6-cu ft. manual defrost model perfect for a medium to large household size. It measures 50.75″ Width x 33.5″ Height x 27.5″ Depth in dimension and weighs about 114 lbs. Some of its notable features are as follow:
- Works without any issues in the garage with temperatures ranging from 0°F to 110°F
- The power light indicator lets users easily see that the unit is working
- Three removable storage baskets provide flexibility in storing and organizing food items
- Lock with key feature lets you safeguard your food items from unwanted entry
- Interior lighting makes it easy for you to see what is inside the unit
- Temperature control is adjustable, making it easy to control the temperature
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15-cu ft. chest freezers still fall under the medium category. Similar to the 10-cu ft. options, these units measure 23–30″ Width x 60–73″ Height x 27–30″ Depth. For these models, we have two models we want to share with you.
The first is the Frigidaire FFFC15M4TW 14.8 Cu. Ft. option. It measures 55.75″ Width x 32.5″ Height x 29.56″ Depth in dimension and weighs about 144.5 lbs. Some of its key selling points are the following:
- Optional casters let you conveniently move the unit
- The power indicator light lets you know if the unit is working
- Adjustable temperature control
- The lock key automatically pops out after locking the door, so you will not leave it
- The removable and adjustable baskets let you organize items the way you like
The Frigidaire FFFC15M4TW comes with one-year labor and part warranty. Check with the nearest service center to know more about warranty claims.
The second unit we recommend is the Amana AZC31T15DW unit with two baskets. This specific model weighs about 150 lbs. and measures 47.38″ Width x 33.38″ Height x 30.25″ Depth in dimension. Below are some of its main features:
- DeepFreeze Technology goes down to -8 degrees to help preserve your food items for the next month
- Removable baskets let you store items such as chocolate pie, fries, ice cream, and so much more
- Large storage capacity allows you to store food in the bulk
If you need something larger, the 22 cu ft chest options are a great option to look into!
How much does it cost to run a 3.5, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15, 22 cu ft chest freezer?
Generally speaking, chest freezers are more energy-efficient than upright ones. However, the cost of running one depends on several factors. To know the estimate, get the annual wattage figure of your unit and divide it by 12, which gives you the kilowatt-hours per month.
Next, check your utility bill and find the baseline kilowatt-hour rate. When you have these two values, multiply the kilowatt-hours per month with the kilowatt-hour rate to get the estimated cost of running the unit per month.