Since 1938 Barber & Haskill has been a family owned business serving the Barrie, Midland and Orillia areas. We are dedicated to providing you with the best in products, services and pricing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Manual Defrost vs. Frost Free Freezers

Fall is here and thanks to the farmers and hunters in the Barber and Haskill area, that means freezer season.
I often get asked about Manual Defrost vs. Frost free Freezers.   So hopefully if you give me two minutes I will try to give you a run down as I see it between these two different technologies. 

Frost Free 

Up front and over time, the frost-free models will cost you a little more.  They are approximately 10-20% more expensive to buy.  And use approximately $20 more a year to operate (depending on the size).   What I and many others love about them is there is very little cleaning to do and no planning needed.  

How does it work? 

The frost-free units use a fan to pass the moist air over the cooling coils(evaporator).  The cold coils trap the moisture in the form of Frost and the cooled air moves on to keep your freezer cold and collect some more moisture before circulating thru again.  The freezer then uses a defrost heater inside which comes on and warms the air around the cooling coils enough to melt the layer of frost that has formed on it.  This all happens behind the scenes where we don’t see.   The heater and the fan needed to run this system account for much of the differences in early operating costs.  This fan system that circulates air to remove the moisture from the freezer can also lead to pulling moisture from foods as well.  Leading to food preservation issues;  icy ice cream, shrinking ice cubes or other forms of freezer burn.  

Manual Defrost

With a manual defrost freezer, there is no air flow cooling the coils that are the shelves you place your food on.  The cold just radiates from these shelves maintaining the temperature you have set.  These shelves also end of collecting most of the moisture, again in the form of frost.   Eventually, the frost gets so thick it becomes difficult to use the shelves.   This is where creative planning comes in, what do you do with half a cow when you need to defrost your freezer?  Hopefully, it is winter and the back deck works great, but if not that is a lot of coolers.  Depending how often you defrost and where the freezer is located you also have to consider what to do with potentially a year or more worth of water as it defrosts.  
With this system, there is some improvement in preservation quality but a significant loss in convenience.

I think choosing between the two depends on many factors.  You have to look at how you plan on using the freezer, who is using it, what you are storing and for how long.  Even the location you have it in might be a consideration.  I will do a follow-up post looking at ways to minimize the frost build up in your freezer  until then have a great day.

by Wayne Faris

Barber and Haskill services; Honey Harbour - Coldwater – Orillia –Barrie –Wasaga Beach- Tiny- Midland - Penetang- Wyevale- Elmavale- Wyebridge- Waverly- Victoria Harbour- Waubaushene-Port McNicol- Perkinsfield- Lafontaine-Moonstone- Craighurst

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