Are you planning to buy a freezer for your new home? Or do you want to replace your old one?
Regardless if you’re buying a pre-loved or brand new unit, there is one thing you must settle. Will you go for a manual-defrost freezer or a self-defrosting freezer?
These two options have respective pros and cons you need to consider. They also cater to certain needs and requirements. Thus, you must research before buying a freezer.
But what exactly are the factors you need to weigh? Continue reading below as we compare and contrast the manual and self-defrosting freezer.
How Do Freezers Work?
The concept of using evaporated water and its cooling effects dates back to the 11th century. But a crucial step that strengthened the idea of refrigeration came in the 18th century.
It was when inventors used the method of compressing air, ammonia, and other gases to create refrigeration systems. After the compression, the inventors reduced the pressure to allow the gases to expand. In turn, this forced the gases, air, and ammonia to absorb heat, resulting in the cooling effect.
In 1876, refrigeration reached another milestone. Carl von Linde, a German engineer created a special condensing system. This system worked by liquefying the gases, making refrigeration available on a much larger scale.
Half a century later, General Electric (GE) introduced the first refrigeration system. It featured Freon as its refrigerant.
Today, the main principle that makes freezers work is vapor compression. At the center of it is the vaporized refrigerant. It moves like a fast-paced stream that goes through a cycle.
You can compare this cycle to that of a river. The river goes through the mountains and into the ocean. Once it reaches and empties, it will evaporate and turn into clouds.
It then becomes rain, pours down, and repeats the cycle.
Similarly, the refrigerant vaporizes and turns into gas then repeats the cycle. This technology continues to work for families, businesses, and industries alike.
A report even noted that 23% of American homes have at least an extra fridge. Most of these refrigerators come with freezers.
The Manual-Defrost Freezer
As we mentioned earlier, both the self-defrosting freezer and its manual-defrost counterpart have their strengths and weaknesses. Even if you buy from reputable sources like American Biotech Supply, you want to choose the type of freezer that best matches your needs.
Let us first break down the manual-defrost freezer. Let us see how it differs in terms of operation. Let us also examine the pros and cons below:
How Does It Work?
As the name implies, this type of freezer requires you to manually defrost the unit. Manual-defrosting is simple, though you may find it time-consuming at times.
The idea is to remove all the food from the freezer then turn the unit off. Thereafter, you will have to wait for the built-up ice to melt.
To maximize the performance of your manual-defrost freezer, you need to schedule regular defrosting sessions. This is crucial since the amount of frost will increase on the freezer’s walls. When this happens, it compromises the unit’s cooling powers.
Generally, you must perform manual defrosting once the ice build-up on the walls becomes ¼-inch thick.
With your freezer having to work double-time, your energy consumption increases. And so will your monthly bills.
Additionally, defrosting the freezer makes more room for more food.
When it comes to the advantages of manual-defrost freezers, there are a few. But the biggest one involves saving more money. First, since this type of freezers does not have an automatic defrost system, they cost cheaper compared to their self-defrosting counterparts.
During defrosting, you don’t need to worry about consuming any energy. You will simply unplug the freezer and let all the ice melt naturally.
Furthermore, the freezer offers better consistency in maintaining the right temperature. They offer minimal cold air loss, which helps keep energy consumption more efficient.
As for the disadvantages, defrosting the unit involves a lot of hands-on work. You may even have to scrape off huge chunks of ice on the walls. It is also time-consuming and will require more cleaning on your part.
Furthermore, you need to clean the defrosted water using the sponge.
The Self-Defrosting Freezer
On the flip side, a self-defrosting unit uses a periodic cycle for melting the ice.
Let’s look deeper into the process and the parts that work behind.
How Does It Work?
It features a compressor with a fan that works with an electric timer. It is the timer that controls the fan if the latter should blow cold air into the freezer.
It is also the part that controls the heating elements that melt the ice build-up. During defrosting, the unit discharges the melting ice by allowing it to pass through a hose at the back. The melting ice will then end up on a drip tray at the unit’s base.
The biggest advantage of self-defrosting freezers is the ease of use. Unlike their manual counterparts, you don’t need to scrape ice or move food items. You don’t need to spend several hours to perform the defrosting.
Simply let the timer do its magic.
You will not encounter any ice buildup on the walls. This means more room to store more food.
For its downside, the self-defrosting freezer is more expensive. It also consumes more energy.
Furthermore, the defrosting cycles tend to affect the consistency of the temperature. You will notice the temperature fluctuates. This requires more energy as the unit attempts to restore a consistent temperature.
With the pros and cons of both freezer types in front of you, your choice will depend on what matters more to you. Do you want a freezer that requires little maintenance? Then a self-defrosting type is your best bet.
But if you’re looking to a more energy-efficient option and manual cleaning doesn’t bother you, then a manual-defrost freezer fits the bill.
Maximize Your Home Appliances
Choosing between a self-defrosting freezer and a manual-defrosting one requires careful analysis of the key factors. At the end of the day, what matters is investing in a freezer that meets most, if not all of your requirements.
As for your other appliances, you need to maximize their performance as well.
Check out our different blog posts on home appliance usage. We provide tips that make your home a more energy-efficient one!