During defrosting, a manual freezer must be unplugged, freezer foods removed temporarily and ice scraped/removed or allowed to melt, which can take a few hours. This water is then removed from the chest freezer. Some manual defrost freezers do not have a drain, so water must be scooped up manually. The interior is then hand cleaned before restocking. Then the unit can be plugged in and operation restored.
A manual defrosting must be done whenever there is a build-up of ice in the interior of the freezer. Too much ice in a freezer will hinder its efficient operation and can cause interior temperatures to fluctuate out of the preferred range.
Most chest freezers have manual defrost as do some upright freezer models. Refrigerators with a freezer compartment usually have a self-defrost feature, but there are some models that do not. Consumers should confirm the type of defrosting required, especially before buying a freezer or a basic refrigerator with a freezer section.
Though manual defrost is labor intensive, the benefits of this type of freezer are huge. Most models with a manual defrost are chest freezers and prices are much lower than self-defrost models. So you can save a bundle on a freezer if you don't mind the defrosting. Their lifespan is usually longer, they use less energy to operate and foods have less tendency to suffer freezer burn than in a self-defrost freezer.
On the other hand, a self-defrost freezer is much easier when it comes to convenience, time-saving and effort. It cycles off/on automatically to effect a discharge of ice and keeps the interior frost free.
Learn more about self-defrost freezers
The decision to buy a manual versus self-defrost freezer is usually influenced by price, preference for a particular style of freezer - chest or upright, or it might be based solely on finding a freezer that fits in the available space. For optimum convenience and the ability to better organize food storage, choose a self-defrost upright freezer. When price is a constraint, you can save with a manual defrost chest freezer.
Take time to review freezer buying tips and understand the differences between chest and upright styles, as well as what features are available, before shopping. You may also want to review installation tips to ensure your new freezer will fit well in your home.
Learn More About Freezers
Freezers 101 - How to Find the Best Freezer for Your Needs
Deciding on Chest or Upright Freezer Style
A Freezer Light is Essential
More About Buying a Freezer
Freezer Care and Maintenance Tips
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