What is the difference between Upright and Chest freezers?
Starting on the outside, an Upright freezer has a single door which opens just like a fridge and a Chest freezer has a lid which will have you bending down to lift open. Upright freezers, as the name suggests, are vertical, so they can take up less space.
Inside an Upright you’ll mostly find shelves with clear compartments or shelves with pull-out drawers like the Westinghouse freezers. Chest freezers are one big storage unit with the inclusion of one, two or three baskets and have the largest freezer volumes available like some of the latest Haier Chest freezers. Chest freezers require manual defrosting via a drainage outlet while Upright freezers do not as they are frost free.
Upright and Chest freezers serve different storage purposes: Chest freezers can be viewed as a longer-term storage solution with their ability to deep freeze fresh or frozen packaged goods for maximum food preservation while Upright freezers are helpful in organising and retrieving frozen goods you may reach for regularly.
What should I look for in an Upright freezer?
If freezer organisation is important to you, look for Upright models that help you separate your pre-cooked freezer meals from your meats, frozen veg or desserts, like the ChiQ freezers with top-to-bottom clear compartment storage.
Upright freezers vary in volume from around 86 litres in Westinghouse small bar freezers to around the 380-litre usable capacity mark to meet larger storage demands for households that rely on frozen goods for everyday cooking or defrosting. Keep in mind that not all Upright freezers have a twist ice dispenser, so for models with one, look out for some from Hisense.
Some Upright freezers can even be pigeon paired with a Single Door fridge which can be perfect for separate fridge freezer storage while still achieving a seamless look like this Hisense Upright freezer and matching Hisense Single Door fridge. Unlike Chest freezers which have manual temperature control via a dial, with Upright, temperature control is electronic, some of which can be controlled via the front door.
Is a Chest freezer any different to a deep freezer?
Chest freezers and “deep freezers” are the exact same thing. In a Chest freezer you’re deep freezing foods that you may not reach for regularly – like bargain-buy meats, tubs of ice cream, or evenly freshly caught fish, keeping them in an optimal environment for longevity. They range in volume from around 140-litres and upwards for some serious freezer space.
An adjustable dial gives you exact temperature control and depending on the model, this can be a temperature range of between 1 to 5 (the higher the number the colder the temperature), or “Max” or “Min” settings in others. Some Chest freezers have settings to accelerate freezing so that fresh seafood or homemade meals are snap-frozen to their core very quickly.
Their ability to freeze really well just means you need to make sure everything is appropriately sealed and packaged prior to storing in a Chest freezer to prevent freezer burn or foods drying out as that can alter the original look or taste of your favourite foods.
Which is more efficient – Chest or Upright?
Chest freezers are generally more energy efficient than Upright freezers, especially when you consider Chest freezers can often have larger usable litre capacities with a higher Energy Rating. Just remember to always choose the freezer type with the usable volume that suits your storage requirements best to not consume more electricity than required.
Ensuring cooked meals are fully cooled before freezing as well as limiting the amount of time an accelerated freezer setting is used or a freezer door is left open can all help to reduce energy consumption.
To understand whether the freezer you’re keen on will fare well on the energy consumption front, keep an eye out for the Energy Rating when comparing models of the same type and similar usable capacity - the higher the Energy Rating, the less electricity it’ll consume to run 24/7. It’s also a good idea to gauge the average annual running cost by referring to the Australian Government’s Energy Rating site for an estimate.