We used to own a Whirlpool 7 cu ft chest freezer that sat out in our garage. It came in handy quite often for storing extra meat, poultry and other foods n' snacks. The freezer section of our primary (kitchen) refrigerator just wasn't enough real estate. When we entertain, it's nice to know some things can be stored out of the way and at the right temperature.
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In choosing whether we wanted a chest freezer or a stand up model, my decision was made for me. It can only be in one location in the garage and there's a storage shelf right above it - so the chest version was perfect for our application. I have to say that getting into a stand up model is much easier than digging through a chest. While this chest does come with a sliding storage basket, it's not fun digging through frozen things - especially bare-handed.
When it was only my wife and I living in our home, the smaller chest freezer was sufficient. But now that her two kids live here periodically, we need the extra room. I got lucky and found a "scratch & dented" display unit for about $300. It's barely scratched and since it sits out in the garage, I really don't care what it looks like as long as it does its job.
I trust the Whirlpool brand since our last one lasted so long, so I looked at this 15.8cu ft (retails for about $549), their 17.5cu ft (about $749) and their 21.7cu ft model (about $900). It should be noted that the top two models do include the power indicator light and the temperature alarm.
Right away, the $900 was out because we didn't need that much space or the extra cost. We decided on the smallest of the three models because we aren't prepping for the end of the world or supporting more than four people. Plus, I didn't think the extra two cubic feet of storage, the light and alarm were worth the addition $200. It is, however, Energy Star compliant, so it'll save you money in the long run.
When I was researching this model, some websites mention that it comes with a temperature warning alarm, a power indicator light and a lock. For some reason, my freezer only came with the lock. The power indicator light is helpful because sometimes a power cord gets unplugged and the freezer will lose its ability to freeze. Since the freezer is so quiet, odds are the stuff inside will thaw before you'd notice. That's where the alarm feature comes in handy. When it reaches a certain temperature, an alarm sounds so you'll know that the freezer needs attention.
Just in case, I keep a small puck-shaped LED flashlight (with a magnetic base) attached to the outside of the freezer and if the electricity goes out I can use the flashlight to see our food and our way in the garage.
The website states that the solid core lid can withstand 350 pounds of weight, but I don't really want to test that out.
The chest freezer comes with a 2-year warranty and most retail stores sell an extended warranty policy if you feel so inclined to cover it for years after the factory warranty. I didn't purchase the extended for the first freezer (never had any issues) and chose not to this time around.
This model freezer is a "manual defrost" unit. Meaning, every once in a while ice will build up on the interior walls. Unplugging the unit will allow the ice to melt and there's a drain plug (just like the ones found in higher-end ice chests) that, when removed, will allow the water to drain. There's even an included hose adapter so you can attach a garden hose to the drain to direct the water even better. Know this when deciding where to place the unit. By a door and away from electricity would be best. It should be noted that the interior is designed with rounded corners so it makes cleaning much easier.
Whirlpool is headquartered in Ohio and can be found at www.whirlpool.com or (800) 253-1301 in the US and (800) 807-6777 in Canada.
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Amount Paid (US$): 299.99