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Old 06-04-12, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Freezer in cold basement

The wife and I are thinking about getting a small chest freezer to store seasonal fruits and veggies. It'll go in the basement, the temperature of which is 5-20C lower than the rest of the house (15-18C in the summer and 2-5C in the winter).

First question: Freezer units are rated to work in ambient temperatures above +10C. Will it be safe to use it in the basement in temps close to, but rarely below, freezing? Supposedly the compressor's oil gets too thick to lube things properly. I've read about refrigerators and freezers in unheated barns and garages which work for years, but many were wired to turn off below a cetain temp.

Once in place, I plan to add foam insulation around the freezer, and maybe thermal mass inside, which together with the low ambient temperature and opening it only 1-2 times per week would allow the compressor to turn on only once per day, hopefully reducing the amount of times the thicker oil could be a problem.

Second question: I've also read about people putting a 60 watt lightbulb next to the compressor to keep it warm, so maybe I could have a more efficient IR bulb or heating pad prewarm the compressor before it turns on?

Now the bonus question: New or used? The new units have better insulation and much more efficient compressors, and apparently can hold temperature for up to 36 hours and use only 0.5 kWh per day. The used ones available locally are cheaper, but leave some room for improvement as far as efficiency goes. They need from 0.8 to 1.5 kWh per day.

Ecorenovation - the bottomless piggy bank that tries to tame the energy hog.

Last edited by Piwoslaw; 06-04-12 at 08:46 AM..
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