Understanding the Operational Mechanics of Freezers

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Different Kinds of Freezers

Most households have a refrigerator/freezer combo, regardless of whether it’s a side-by-side, top, or bottom freezer. All these types of freezers use the same vapor compression machinery, with the only difference being energy efficiency. Bottom-mount freezers are the most energy-efficient because the compressor is located at the bottom and doesn’t have to push vapor far. In contrast, side-by-side or top-freezer models require the compressor to push refrigerant through a tube to reach the freezer compartment [source: Hakim and Turiel].

Another type of freezer is the standalone, also known as a “deep freeze” or “sub-zero” (which is a branded name). They all work based on the principles of vapor-compression.

Commercial freezers, like the ones found in restaurants, are walk-in freezers that also operate through the vapor-compression process. Their reinforced aluminum floors can hold up to 600 pounds (about 270 kilograms) of weight per square foot, which is ideal for high-volume restaurant use but unnecessary for a family of four.

It’s crucial to keep the temperature low and consistent in any freezer to prevent frost buildup. On the next page, we’ll discuss how frost forms and what steps you can take to prevent it.

The Difference Between a Fridge and a Freezer

The only variance between a fridge and a freezer is temperature. The refrigerant moves faster through the freezer to maintain a core temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). In contrast, a fridge needs to be set at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), so the vapor moves at a slower pace.


1. What is a freezer and how does it work?

A freezer is a device used for preserving food items for a longer period of time. It works by removing heat from the food items and lowering their temperature below the freezing point, which slows down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that cause food spoilage.

2. What are the different types of freezers available in the market?

There are mainly two types of freezers available in the market – chest freezers and upright freezers. Chest freezers are larger and more energy-efficient, whereas upright freezers are smaller and take up less floor space.

3. What is the ideal temperature for a freezer?

The ideal temperature for a freezer is between -18°C to -23°C. At this temperature, food items can be stored for a longer period of time without any risk of spoilage.

4. What are the factors that affect the efficiency of a freezer?

The factors that affect the efficiency of a freezer include the ambient temperature, how often the freezer is opened and closed, the amount of food stored in it, and the age of the freezer.

5. How can I increase the efficiency of my freezer?

You can increase the efficiency of your freezer by keeping it at the ideal temperature, defrosting it regularly, keeping the door closed as much as possible, and not overloading it with food items.

6. How often should I defrost my freezer?

You should defrost your freezer at least once a year, or more frequently if you notice a build-up of ice on the walls or if the freezer is not functioning properly.

7. What precautions should I take while cleaning my freezer?

You should unplug the freezer before cleaning it and wait for it to thaw completely. Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the interior and exterior of the freezer, and avoid using abrasive cleaning agents or sharp objects that can damage the freezer’s surface.

8. What should I do if my freezer stops working?

If your freezer stops working, check if it is properly plugged in and if the circuit breaker has tripped. If these are not the reasons, call a technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

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