A Guide To Finding The Perfect Freezer
While there is no doubt that fridge freezer combinations are popular, there are still many people who want to keep both their fridge and freezer separate. Whatever the reason may be behind this decision, it’s clear that there are benefits to having a standalone freezer. However, there are other things you should know about freezer units before finalising your purchase. That’s why we’ve constructed this handy guide to help inform you on how to find the best freezer for your property.
Deciding on a Type of Freezer
Not all freezers are built alike, or look alike, so it can be a good idea to understand the key differences between different types of freezers.
Let’s start with the primary two categories of freezers: freestanding or integrated. Freestanding models are cheaper and more popular as you can put them anywhere in your kitchen (or, for that matter, your house) – as long as there’s a plug socket nearby to connect it to power. A freestanding freezer is, as the name suggests, a freezer unit that is able to sit on its own. When it comes to move home, a freestanding unit is pretty easy to take with you.
On the other hand, integrated freezers are built into a faux kitchen cupboard space so that they can be easily hidden behind a door and under your kitchen worktop. This is often for aesthetic purposes as freezers, as well as other appliances, can be eyesores that take away from the style of a room.
With that being said, do consider buying a fridge freezer too. Despite being quite big, they are cheaper and less demanding of horizontal space.
Tall freezer units
However, a big benefit of buying a standalone freezer is that you can buy an upright, tall unit. Standing anywhere between 4ft and over 6ft, they offer a massive amount of storage space that the freezer compartments of fridge freezers stand no chance of competing with in this department.
They are often around 60 to 65cm deep and 50 to 60cm wide. You can get decently priced basic models from the likes of top brands such as Beko and Indesit, but the top-of-the-line models from Siemens and Miele can cost well over £1,000. Height can often dictate price as it, of course, equals more storage space. Most reasonably priced, quality models will sit around the 5ft to 6ft mark and you’ll find these ranging from £300 to £600. Top brands offering models at this level include Hotpoint, Indesit, Beko, Bosch, Zanussi and Samsung.
One disadvantage of these units is that they are quite bulky and take up a lot of space, which isn’t ideal for a property where kitchen space is a premium. But they can also be stored in other cool places, such as in garages.
Far more ideal for those with space limitations, and those who want style over surplus storage, these smaller units stand at around 3ft and are built to slot in under kitchen counter. Outside of being shorter, they tend to measure up at about 50 to 60cm deep and 60cm wide – so not too far off tall, upright models. It’s also possible to find slimline models that are about 50cm deep and 55cm wide.
In terms of brands and pricing, you can typically pick up a cheap model from known brand names such as Indesit, Hotpoint, Beko and Zanussi for under £150; but if you want a frost-free model, then these start at the £200-250 mark.
Whereas other freestanding models come with a side door to access the varying shelves, chest freezers are – as the name suggests – large chest that are accessed via opening a lid at the top. There are no drawers or shelves, so it’s great if you’re not too bothered about everything looking neat or getting a bit cluttered. On the plus side, you’re getting more capacity than integrated or free-standing units (even if they are listed as the same capacity) due to there not being drawers or shelves getting in the way. Certainly one for those who can stand chaos over order, but benefit from being inexpensive and having a large storage capacity.
Whatever type of freezer you decide upon, always consult the measurements. Even if you’re getting a unit at a great sale price, it won’t be worth it if it isn’t the right size for your property.
Climate Class and Plastic Backs
Not often consulted when buying freezers, due to most being okay for our climate, it’s nevertheless important to be aware of ‘climate class‘, as every freezer has a classification.
This rating (either SN, N, ST or T) tells you what climate range the unit was designed to handle. SN, which is the most prominent type in the UK, works between 10 and 32°C; N between 16 and 32°C; ST between 16 and 38°C; and T between 16 and 43°C. As we have our fair share of cold spells in the UK, you’ll likely want an SN model.
It is still possible to find other classes of freezers outside of SN within the UK – generally for commercial properties that are constantly heated – so make sure that you’re getting the freezer with the right climate class for your property.
Another consideration is the backing used to protect the insulation, in case of a fire, at the wall-facing end of your freezer. Consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ found that while metal and aluminium laminate backings did their job, plastic backing was highly flammable. They have recommended buyers not to purchase any plastic-backed fridge or freezer units.
Features to look out for in a Freezer
When compared to other household appliances, freezers don’t have as many bells and whistles as their flashier cousins. Nevertheless, we’ve compiled a list of the four most popular freezer features:
1. Open door alarm system
If you leave the freezer door slightly ajar, it’ll beep until you shut it. The initial annoyance of having to go back in and shut it properly is far simpler to deal with than discovering that your dinner thawed hours ago.
2. Fast freeze
The faster that frozen food is kept frozen, the fresher it will be when it comes time to use it. Fast freeze ensures that your recently bought frozen goodies will be kept as fresh as possible thanks to additional cooling power.
No more defrosting required due to this technology preventing the formation of ice.
4. High temperature warning system
If the temperature of your unit begins to rise, it’ll notify you of the issue. If it’s not apparent what is causing the problem, and you’re in London, make sure to contact Repair Aid so we can send out a freezer technician to diagnose and fix the fault.
So there you have it – a complete guide to standalone freezers. Now that you’ve read this, and you’ve (hopefully) taken it all in, you should feel more confident in your ability to purchase the right freezer for your property. And remember: don’t be afraid to ask questions of buyers!