How Many Watts Does A Deep Freezer Use?

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If you’re thinking about a deep freezer but you’re not sure whether they’re going to guzzle lots of energy and make your bills skyrocket, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve got the full lowdown on these appliance giants, so you can get an idea of the impact they’ll have on your purse strings.  

Big silver deep freezer in the kitchen

What do we mean by ‘deep freezer’ exactly?

A deep freezer (or chest freezer as they’re sometimes called) is a large capacity appliance that keeps food frozen to around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. They can freeze foods for long periods of time and usually come with a counter-weighted lid that opens from the top. 

Upright freezers are pretty much the same idea except they’re designed to sit upright with a door that opens from the side. In terms of function and purpose though, they do the same job as our deep freezer friends. 

A fridge freezer on the other hand is a slightly different beast. They combine two appliances in one, with a fridge for chilling fresh produce and a freezer for keeping foods in tip-top condition for longer periods of time. 

There are several different configurations available, with large side-by-side models, as well as ones with the freezer at the top and the fridge at the bottom and vice versa. Finding the one that’s right for you will depend on the space you have available and whether you buy more fresh versus frozen food. Cool!

frozen foods in the freezer

How Many Watts Does A Deep Freezer Use?

Deep freezers can use anything from 80 watts to 900 watts. The older the appliance, the more power it’ll consume. Newer models tend to use between 80 and 300 watts. The exact amount will depend on the size of your deep freezer, where it lives, and how much it’s used. 

The wattage is usually labeled on a nameplate at the back of the appliance, but it’s worth bearing in mind that this is only half the story. Deep freezers cycle through several different cooling stages (start-up cooling, active cooling, and idle), so they’re not constantly running at full throttle. 

For example, when they’re in active cooling mode, they’ll use close to their maximum listed wattage, as the cooling system works hard to lower the internal temperature. 

At the point where the freezer has reached its ideal temperature, the more power-hungry parts of the appliance will enter an idle mode. This includes the compressor, condenser motor, and evaporator fan motor. When the freezer is idle, the number of watts it needs to operate will significantly drop. 

How Much Electricity Does A Deep Freezer Use?

On average, the latest deep freezer models use between 200 and 300kWh of electricity per year. So, if you were to break this down further and look at the usage by month, that’s between 20kWh and 25kWh. Per day, they use between 0.67kWh and 0.83kWh of electricity. 

empty white deep freezer

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Deep Freezer?

The latest deep freezers are pretty economical these days, costing on average between $33 to $42 to run per year. If you break this down by month, you’re looking at roughly $3 to $3.50. And by day it works out at between $0.09 to $0.11. 

To figure out the cost of your deep freezer, simply multiply the daily or monthly energy usage by $0.14 (the current average residential electricity rate in the US). 

To find out more about energy costs in your state, check out the US Energy Information Administration website for more info. 

Does a freezer in the garage use more electricity?

A deep freezer in a garage can use up to 50% more electricity if it’s exposed to extreme temperatures. Hotter environments will make the freezer’s compressor work harder to maintain its ideal temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, which in turn will cause your energy bills to rise. 

Extremely cold temperatures won’t have the same effect, but they do cause other issues. In fact, when the mercury dips below freezing, it can play havoc with your deep freezer’s thermostat, making it think that it’s already freezing inside when it’s not! 

This is bad news for any big cuts of meat and those all-important bags of frozen Tater Tots, as it can cause them to start thawing out. Yikes! 

In the long run, frost can build up around the deep freezer’s insulation. The constant merry-go-round of freezing and thawing can cause the appliance’s insulation to become damaged, which in the long run will cause the thermostat to work overtime.

Making sure your garage is well insulated or air-conditioned will help combat this while investing in a new deep freezer will also go some way to solving the problem, given they’re much more energy efficient.  

How To Reduce The Electricity Consumption Of Your Deep Freezer

Here are some top tips to keep your electricity consumption in check, your energy bills low, and your stress levels to a minimum.

Tip 1: Keep it well stocked

A full (or at least two-thirds full) deep freezer is a happy one, mainly because lots of frozen items sat together help to keep everything in and around them nice and chilly. 

If your deep freezer has lots of empty space inside, the compressor has to work harder to keep the appliance cold, which, you guessed it, means it’ll have to use more energy! 

If you just don’t have enough food to fill your deep freezer, some ice packs and jugs of water will help bulk things out. Just don’t go crazy with it, as you’ll need to leave some room for air to circulate for ventilation purposes. 

frozen meat inside the deep freezer

Tip 2: In and out job

When you need to get something out of the freezer, be strategic. Do you only need one item or is it worth grabbing something for dessert at the same time? 

The reason is, opening the door of a deep freezer will inevitably lead to cold air escaping. You may be sensing a theme here, but this will only lead to the appliance having to work harder to get the temperature back down again. And this all takes valuable energy. Sigh! 

So, keep it quick. Don’t hang about with the door open whilst you’re trying to decide between mint choc-chip ice cream or rum and raisin. As mentioned above, try and avoid opening the door multiple times in quick succession by getting everything you need in one go. 

Tip 3: Give it space

Wherever you’re storing your deep freezer, make sure it’s not snuggled up next to a heat source like a radiator or vent. 

Try to keep it out of direct sunlight too, so that it’s not trying to battle against rising temperatures throughout the day unnecessarily, and leave a little room around the sides and back for air to flow freely. 

Tip 4: Keep it clean

Always look after the door seals on your deep freezer as they are your first and last defense against warm air getting in and cold air escaping. Give them a good wipe-over regularly to clean them and keep a lookout for any cracks or splits. 

It’s also worth keeping on top of the condenser coils, as they can end up covered in dust. If you don’t maintain them regularly the build-up of dirt and dust will put extra strain on the freezer and cause it to use more energy. You’ll need a vacuum or a brush for this job.

clean and empty deep freezer

Tip 5: Swap old for new

Ultimately, there’s no getting away from the fact that an old deep freezer is going to cost you more. If yours is 5 or even 10 years old it could be costing you twice as much in energy. So, your best bet is to keep up with the times and update your freezer. 

The latest models tend to have clever features like Frost Free tech that will save energy, and defrost it for you.  

Is Having A Deep Freezer Worth It?

Deep freezers are more energy efficient than their upright counterparts and they cost less to buy and maintain too. Capacity wise they also win out. Plus, they’ll stop your food from spoiling for longer in the event of a blackout. Shame they don’t keep a flashlight handy too! 

They do, however, take up more floor space than an upright freezer, so you really need to think about where it’s going to live if you’re going to invest in one. And as mentioned above, wherever you put it, you’ll need to make sure it’s got the right conditions in the surrounding environment to operate at pique performance.  

If that’s not going to be an issue then these are great appliances for large families, people who like to batch cook and bake ahead of time, and anyone who wants to take serious advantage of any bulk buy offers at the supermarket. Plus, if you’re keen on hunting or fishing, they’re a great option for storing the catch of the day… and then some! 

foods stored in deep freezer

What Is The Best Deep Freezer To Buy?

So, after all this talk of deep freezers, which ones are worth their weight in gold if you’re in the market for one? Well, we’ve picked a couple of different models to feast your eyes on. 

Small but mighty

If you’re looking for more freezer storage but you’re not exactly having to feed an army, a compact model is a great idea. This compact deep freezer has the best of everything, including a large capacity for its size, low energy usage, and flexible storage baskets. It’s a great option for smaller homes and apartments. 

Simply massive

If you are feeding an army or simply want lots of freezer space at your disposal, this deep freezer has 10 cubic feet for you to make use of.

Apart from its handy wheels to help you position it wherever you want more easily, there are no bells and whistles with this appliance. What you see is what you get, and it gets a thumbs up from us. 

Deep Freezer Power FAQs

Can you plug a deep freezer into a power strip?

Deep freezers use too much current for a power strip because they are continuously cycling on and off. If you attempt to use a power strip or extension cable with a deep freezer you risk starting a fire, so don’t do it.

Can solar power a deep freezer?

You can use solar power to power a deep freezer but you’ll need to make sure you have enough panels for your freezer’s consumption needs.

What is the smallest size deep freezer?

Compact deep freezers are the smallest deep freezers available, measuring 3 to 5 cubic feet.

What uses more electricity – fridge or freezer?

A fridge uses more electricity than a deep freezer. This is because they’re opened more regularly than freezers.

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