Why Do I Want a Frost Free Freezer?

Updated February 21, 2017

Frost free freezers have advantages and disadvantages. On the downside, frost free freezers tend to dry out the food stored in the freezer; their purchase cost is a little higher than manual defrost freezers; and frost free freezers cost more to run, according to the Demesne website. However, the Energyrating website indicates that the higher energy usage profile does not apply to all models. The advantages to a frost free freezer vs. a manual defrost model involve reduced maintenance needs, enhanced storage space, energy savings with some models and increased life expectancy: benefits that many householders find far outweigh the disadvantages.


A frost free freezer offers a significant savings on labour in comparison to freezer models that require manual thawing. Manual defrosting requires removing everything from the freezer, discontinuing power for a defrosting interval, storing all the frozen food products from the freezer in a cooler of some sort until after the completion of the thawing process and then replacing all the contents back into the freezer.


While both types of freezer start out with all the freezer space available for food products or related items like ice packs and ice cubes, with a manual defrost freezer as time progresses toward the due date for the next manual defrost cycle, frost or ice begin to form inside the freezer and to increase in volume until the freezer is manually defrosted. The presence of frost and ice inside the freezer reduces the amount of space available for food products and related contents. Frost free freezers eliminate this drawback.


A common problem with non-frost free refrigerators is the potential for frost and ice to damage freezer components. In particular, manual defrost freezers come with the risk of the freezer coils freezing over, which in turn reduces the life expectancy of the component. Frostfree freezers reduce or eliminate the potential damage to freezer components.


Frost free freezers come in many styles, including compact models. Such compact freezers or refrigerator-freezer combinations can work well in dormitory rooms, studio apartments, loft living, garden-style condominium units, mother-in-law apartments and other residential settings where kitchen space is limited. Such models can also work well as an additional freezer space in a more traditional home in places such as garage, basement, or even in a bedroom for more convenient access to frozen snacks.


Although the Demesne website indicates that frostfree models cost more to run, the Energyrating website indicates that the better designed models of frost free refrigerators have a lower energy use than manual same-sized defrost models.

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About the Author

A writer/editor since 1984, Christine Lebednik has spent much of her career in business and technical writing, and editing. Her consumer print and online articles include product descriptions for TDMonthly Online, book reviews for Catholic News Service, consumer reports for Consumer Search and works for various other publications. Lebednik received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College.