Electricity Use and Old Freezers

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jennifer L., Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have two old freezers, both of them between 25 and 30 years old, but they both work well, keeping things frozen without problems. But I figure they are using quite a bit of electricity. Both are 3/4 full all of the time.

    Are new units that much better for amount of electricity used? I've read you should upgrade your appliances every 7 years and you'll recoup the cost in the savings on electricity.

    I hate to get rid of working equipment, but was thinking about buying one new freezer and retiring at least one of the old ones. If I were going to buy a new one, would it make sense to get a very large freezer and only use one from now on (and throw out both old ones)?

    Jennifer
     
  2. Faithful One

    Faithful One Well-Known Member

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    They say that the new refrigerators/freezers are much more energy efficient, especially if your product is over 15 years old.

    I replaced my Refrigerator/freezer combo with a compact GE spacesaver. Even tho the spacesavers are the most energy inefficient compared to similar models, it is still more efficient than the older unit.

    Plus the older unit had leaking seal, and moister was forming, and running all the time, clearly past it's intended use.

    In my opinion, you got them, they work no problems, save some space in the landfill.:)
     

  3. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Are they chest or upright freezers?

    Even old chest freezers are pretty efficient if you keep them FULL.

    Whether chest or upright, fill in the empty spaces with jugs of frozen water and they won't use as much energy.
     
  4. ChristyACB

    ChristyACB Well-Known Member

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    It takes a lot of materials and energy to make one of the chest freezers so I'm usually in favor of keeping stuff like that until it has other problems. You can very reasonably buy a "save a watt" or one of those like units that will tell you what you are using in that freezer and then compare that usage with new ones.

    And if you do replace, there are loads of things you can do with the old ones that make it useful even unplugged. Or...pass it on inexpensively via craigs list and give it a whole new life!
     
  5. Ozarka

    Ozarka Well-Known Member

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    How on earth does a full vs. half full freezer affect energy consumption? Factors such as placing the unit in a cool basement vs. a sun lit porch might, as will making sure the plastic seals are tight will go a long way to efficient operation, but how full the units are will only affect how cold the product stays. If you allow a bit of air space to circulate around the contents your stuff will stay colder, same rules apply in refrigerators. In the world of big commercial walk-ins they have to keep from stacking product against the outside walls because if too much product is stacked there such that air cannot keep the stuff frozen, the stock up against the wall will warm up and thaw and create expensive messes.
    My point being that if the excess space is taken up with jugs of frozen water, how does that translate into efficiency of operation by causing less kWH input?
     
  6. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Full freezers operate more efficiently. If your freezer isn't full, fill plastic containers with water and freeze them.
    http://www.nspower.ca/energy_efficiency/appliance_office/refrigerators.shtml

    A full freezer is more economical in energy use; otherwise you are cooling empty space.
    http://extension.missouri.edu/xplor/hesguide/houseeq/gh4950.htm

    Keep it stocked. A full freezer is a well-performing freezer, and keeps foods frozen longer during a power outage.
    http://www.greenmountainpower.com/energy/efficiency/savers/fridge.html
     
  7. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    My freezer only operates about 8 months a year. The other 4 are free. I keep it outside in an uninsulated shed.
     
  8. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks. I have been considering just consolidating things as much as I can and shutting one off, but I'm leary of unplugging a condenser for extended periods of time and then having it work when I plug it back in.


    Ladycat, these are both upright freezers. I know they are supposed to be less efficient than the chest types, but when we had chest freezers years ago, food was always getting lost in them, as we just didn't keep things rotated and "in view". So the uprights work a lot better for someone like me.

    Jennifer
     
  9. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I use baskets in my chest freezers and it's easy to find what I'm looking for.

    I also date things so I can use the oldest first.
     
  10. sgl42

    sgl42 Well-Known Member

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    My brother just replaced his fridge that was about 8 yrs old. First, they had a repairman out, who said it would cost more to fix it that to buy a new one.

    The repairman also said that most fridges today don't last very long compared to the old ones. The way they make the newer ones more energy efficient is to make the compressors smaller, and run them harder for longer duty cycles. That uses less energy, but makes them wear out much sooner. So according to him, the money you save on energy, you'll be paying out by buying a new fridge every 5-8 yrs. Apparently even the top-end really fancy fridges have this same problem.

    can't vouch for the accuracy of this, but the guy seemed to know what he was talking about.

    --sgl
     
  11. Faithful One

    Faithful One Well-Known Member

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    So that is what happened! I originally bought a "Kenmore" "most energy efficient" compact fridge, and it ran five minutes and stopped working!.... did a trade in for the GE 6 cu. ft spacesaver, $200 more bucks and the worst rating, no problems and has a light on the inside.

    Interesting.
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I had an old chest freezer out in the garage which is on a separate meter. Freezer worked fine, just old and things would have birthdays at the bottom. We bought a new upright freezer and the electric bill became 1/2 of what it was. Sold the old freezer while it still worked and the new one has paid for itself between electricity and things not getting forgotten.
     
  13. neolady

    neolady Well-Known Member

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    I added an old freezer to the house in early spring and don't notice any difference on my hydro bill. It runs far less than either of the newer 3 smaller units.
     
  14. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Well-Known Member

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    I had a up-right freezer from the 80's, worked great---Seal was Good---Bought a Kill-a-Watt meter and found out it was costing me $23 a month to operate. I went and bought a new chest freezer and it cost me less than $4 per month to operate.
     
  15. Seeria

    Seeria Well-Known Member

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    Good timing. We're looking for a new freezer ourself being totally without one.

    Someone posted about things being lost in chest freezers. What we do is get berry flats from grocery stores. They're sturdy, usually have handles. And they stack! Place your foods in them, slip them in as stacks. Easy to get out and put back in. On one side we put items that can't fit into the flats (containers usually).
     
  16. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been checking energy use of our refrigerator and 2 freezers over the last couple of years with Kill-A-Watt meters, and we replaced our refrigerator with a new one, a bit bigger than the old (new is 17 cu ft), and it uses half the energy of the old one. Our freezers use over twice what a new one would use--we could replace our 2 small freezers with one that is larger than the combined capacity of the 2 old ones, and the new one would use less than either of the old ones. We are trying to figure out how to get the new one in the basement now, that is the only problem. One of our "old" freezers is less than 15 years old, we bought it new and still have the original energy use tags from it, and it does use just about exactly what the old tags say it would use. But a new one like it would use a lot less than half the power that it uses.
     
  17. OntarioMan

    OntarioMan Rockin In The Free World

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    My small freezer is about 15 years old. Although I cannot remember exactly how much energy the freezer uses via my Kill-A-Watt, its not all that much - and I think it worked out to under $3 per month. Perhaps a new freezer would use half the energy, but that would only equate to $1.50 per month in savings. With that in mind, I'll just keep things as is.

    The Kill-A-Watt meters are a great tool - and they really help folks get an idea of how much energy each device is using - and whether replacing appliances is a worthwhile investment.
     
  18. OntarioMan

    OntarioMan Rockin In The Free World

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    I find that very hard to believe - unless you're paying an absolute fortune for electricity and your appliance (whatever it may be) is extremely innefficient. Where I'm at, and when all the dust settles, I pay about $0.12 per kw/h + $10 or so fixed charges.

    IMO, some/much of the "energy saving" advertising is mis-leading. Sure, some devices may save energy, but that does not always equate to saving any substantial amount of money. Paying $2000 for a fancy new appliance is fairly useless if it saves you a whopping $2 per month in energy costs.

     
  19. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It was a long time ago that I read that. Jeez, could even have been 20 years ago. At that time maybe the improvements would have been worth it.

    Thanks for all of the replys! I need to get a kilowatt meter and see what's what with these freezers, and then do the numbers on them.

    Jennifer
     
  20. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I'm in the process of reducing deep freeze use. We were running three just out of habit, and a lot of the stuff in there needs to be turned into dog food or compost.

    I got a new Sears upright, and I'll be moving the good stuff into it and eliminating all three old freezers.