1. Measure your space
The first step to choosing the perfect freezer is working out the dimensions of your available space. Not only will you need enough room to accommodate the physical size of the freezer, you'll also have to take clearance space into account. This allows for proper ventilation, ensuring that your freezer can regulate its temperature and continue functioning to its potential. The amount of space required will vary depending on the model you choose. In some cases, if you fail to leave enough space, you may even invalidate your warranty. We know you want to maximise the space in your kitchen, but don't forget to take the freezer doors into account! They will need some wriggle room in order to swing open and closed, so don't slot the machine in too snugly against the surrounding walls.
2. Size of the freezer
It might seem like buying the largest freezer possible is your best choice, but there's little point in buying a cavernous machine if you're not going to be using all of its storage potential. Be realistic about your household's needs and think carefully about the space you're going to require.
- Family of four - 200-300 litres
- Family of five - 300+ litres
These behemoths often come equipped with an array of gadgets and gizmos to assist you in the kitchen. They also typically feature a veritable Rubik's Cube of shelves, drawers and compartments that allow you to arrange all your frozen goods in the configuration of your choosing. On the other hand, if you're living on your own, with your partner, or are part of the 11 per cent of Australians living in apartments, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, you'll probably be leaning towards fridge-freezers with a smaller capacity that will still fulfil your storage requirements.
- Living alone - 50-100 litres
- A couple - 100-200 litres
What these smaller machines lack in size they make up for in convenience and efficiency. By keeping the space limited, you're also less likely to unearth mysterious bags of unidentifiable food from the depths of the freezer where you stored them years ago.
3. Layout of freezer placement
There are a few different types of freezers on the market that may or may not be right for you, depending on your household's needs and your home's available space. Chest Freezers - Capable of storing large amounts of frozen goods, they are an excellent option for those with a particularly hungry household. They are typically less expensive than their standing cousins, and their large capacity makes them excellent for storing large slabs of meat. Due to their flat design, chest freezers may also be more effective at keeping their contents frozen.
Cold air travels downwards, so when you open the lid-like door there's less chance of warm air disturbing the frozen environment. However, a chest freezer is not without its disadvantages. A deep storage space combined with a typical lack of shelving makes it challenging to manage the contents of the freezer. This might make it more difficult to locate frozen goods and keep your food in rotation.
Chest freezers also take up a lot of floor space, making them impractical for many households and those living in apartments. Depending on your home's layout, you may need to keep it outside of the kitchen entirely, which can be inconvenient. Upright Freezers - Upright models are another great choice for anyone looking for a dedicated freezer.
They benefit from having different shelving options, allowing you to easily sort and separate your frozen goods to your heart's content. Not only does it provide you with quick access to all your items, the vertical design also requires less floor space. This makes it more suited to modern homes, and there's a good chance that there's a cavity in your kitchen where an upright freezer could squeeze in. Despite these great benefits, it's not all roses for upright freezers. They are usually more expensive than chest freezers, and their shelving configuration usually prevents you from storing large items. The vertical swinging door also allows air to enter more easily, which may reduce the freezer's efficiency.
4. Check the efficiency rating
As consumers the world over become increasingly environmentally conscious, the demand for energy-efficient products continues to grow. This trend is also true here in Australia. The average energy consumption of fridge-freezers in Australia has dropped from 857 kilowatt hours per year in 1996 to 532 kWh in 2007, according to research from the Energy Efficient End-use Equipment International Energy Agency.
That's a 38 per cent decrease! Today, when shopping around for a new freezer, pay close attention to the energy star rating awarded to each product. These ratings were first introduced in NSW in 1986, and by 1992 were mandatory across the country. It is by far the easiest and most reliable way of finding energy-efficient appliances.
The upfront cost of an energy-efficient appliance may, in some cases, be more expensive than those with lower ratings, but keep in mind that you're paying for a complex system of technology that helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Not only will you be doing your part for the planet, you'll also be saving money on your power bills. The lower ongoing costs of these efficient products may end up outweighing the initial difference in price, as the government's Department of Industry and Science asserted.
5. Confirm warranty and installation terms
The last thing to consider before opening up your wallet is the freezer's guarantee. In conjunction with your standard consumer guarantees, each brand comes with its own different manufacturer's warranty terms and conditions that may give you extra cover you in certain situations. Some will take care of repairs for you, while others will provide you with a whole new product. It's important that you read the fine print to fully understand your rights responsibilities and entitlements under this warranty.
Although many freezers will require little effort to set up, in some scenarios you may need the assistance of a professional plumber, electrician or other tradesperson. This can add some unexpected costs to the total price of the product and push some freezers out of your price range. Before buying, check to see if this sort of specialised installation will be necessary.
If you lead a busy life think about adding Concierge to your freezer purchase for complete peace of mind. You'll be covered for wear and tear repairs and replacements, earn holiday rewards, get the 30 day PriceShield, be covered by a $200 food spoilage malfunction allowance, and personalised service will always be just a phone call away. Phew, the hard part's out of the way. Now get to The Good Guys and find the freezer of your dreams!