How to keep your freezer in tip top shape

Freezers require care and maintenance for both efficiency and safety. Make sure to read all manufacturers instructions to ensure proper installation and use. Here are some important steps to take to help your freezer run at the highest efficiency possible:

First choose a cool dry room, above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, for your unit. This will allow the freezer mechanism to run at its best. Always locate the freezer away from heat sources. For example, do not place your freezer near a heating vent. It should not be placed in a spot that gets sunlight during any part of the day

Once your freezer is in the right place, make sure that it is level. This enables the door to close properly every time. When using an upright freezer, you may tilt the freezer slightly away from the front so that the door closes easily.

Clean the door seals regularly. A tight seal is important to maintain cold temperatures inside your freezer.

Position the freezer with adequate air circulation on all sides. The freezer must disperse heat from the inside and heat generated by the unit itself. If the circulation is limited, the freezer has to work harder to do this.

Keep your freezer well stocked for greater efficiency. Filling your freezer at least ¾ full is more efficient than an almost empty freezer.

Defrost the freezer according to manufacturer directions, but not less than once a year. Defrost more often if the frost builds up to more than ½”.

Avoid leaving the door open for long periods. Keeping a list of what foods are stored inside your freezer can help you decide what you want to remove before you open the door. Keep this list near your freezer with a pen or pencil so that you can update it as you add or take out foods.

Keep the condenser coils dust free. A vacuum cleaner with a crevice attachment is ideal for clearing dust and dirt accumulations. This should be done once a month or according to the manufacturers instructions. This is essential maintenance for your refrigerator as well, so it can be helpful to schedule this chore at the same time for both units.

Use of a freezer alarm for your unit can alert you to problems with freezer function. This is especially true if you do not visit your freezer every day. A freezer alarm is a simple way to make sure your freezer is doing the job of protecting your food and can be worth the small price, many times over, if anything should ever go wrong with your unit.

Plug your freezer into a grounded electrical outlet. Choose an outlet that is on a circuit not used by any other electrical device or appliance. This will help prevent an overload that could shut off your freezer.

When you defrost your freezer, wash the inside of the freezer with a mild soap and warm water solution to remove any spills. If odor is a problem, use a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water to wipe the inside of your freezer.

Do not leave a freezer unplugged for more than two weeks or you may damage the freezer. Internal ice crystals can melt and cause the coils to rust, resulting in a unit that no longer operates.

Use proper freezer storage containers to avoid freezer burn to stored foods. Label your containers with item descriptions and date.

If power to your freezer is lost, the food in a fully packed unit may stay frozen for up to two days. Food in a unit that is only half full may not last for even one day. Use the oldest items first. Keep the door closed. It may be helpful to wrap blankets around your freezer. Remember to leave the air vents uncovered to allow free movement of air, once the power is restored.

When discarding your old freezer, please remember to remove the doors to prevent children from getting trapped inside and suffocating.