Difference between frost free & regular freezer

Written by laura phillips
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Difference between frost free & regular freezer
Choosing the right freezer saves time on maintenance. (TV and freezer image by Mediagfx from Fotolia.com)

Frost-free freezers contain a mechanism to remove the frost that otherwise would build up on the interior. Most new household refrigerator-freezers are now frost-free types. Upright and chest freezers may be frost-free or manual defrost.

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Frost-free freezers contain automatic heating elements to warm the refrigeration coils and prevent frost accumulation. A timer triggers the defrost cycle at regular intervals. A thermostat prevents the heat coils from overheating during the defrost cycle.

Energy Use

Frost-free freezers use up to twice the energy of manual defrost freezers.


Frost build-up reduces energy efficiency. Manual models require periodic defrosting, which can take up to 24 hours. Self-defrost models cost £65 to £97 more than manual defrost models. They also operate with less noise.


The drain tube on frost-free models should be checked occasionally for clogs that might interfere with operation. Manual defrost freezers should be defrosted when frost build-up reaches 1/4 inch.

The First Home Chest Freezer

In 1955, the first home chest freezer capable of freezing fresh food was sold in the United States. It was not, of course, a frost-free model.

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