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Old September 4th 06, 09:52 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

We got a new freezer - it's a John Lewis Frost-Free job. We keep it in
the utility. When my wife told the salesman this, he asked about the
ambient temperature of the room (which is very cool, not to say cold.)

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to make
sense to me.

I wasn't there, and I figure it is more useful to get a consensus here
than go back and ask a random salesman in a shop (even if it is John
Lewis).

The instructions for the freezer aren't a lot of help (produced in the
same country the freezer was made: very terse as well as poor English).
However it does state preferred ambient temperature ranges ... all I
have to do is find the serial number plate to find out which grade ours
is -- I am suspecting the plate is underneath the damn thing, having
failed to find it on the back.


ANYWAY: what's the story? I would have thought that the colder the
room, the better. The thing is: this freezer seems to be running its
condenser quite as much as our ancient thing, that we swopped it for.

Cheers
John

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Old September 4th 06, 11:35 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

John wrote:
We got a new freezer - it's a John Lewis Frost-Free job. We keep it in
the utility. When my wife told the salesman this, he asked about the
ambient temperature of the room (which is very cool, not to say cold.)

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to make
sense to me.


The salesman is wrong. The colder the air is around the radiator, the
less work the motor has to do to keep the food at the same cold
temperature.

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Old September 4th 06, 11:55 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

John wrote:
We got a new freezer - it's a John Lewis Frost-Free job. We keep it in
the utility. When my wife told the salesman this, he asked about the
ambient temperature of the room (which is very cool, not to say cold.)

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to make
sense to me.

I wasn't there, and I figure it is more useful to get a consensus here
than go back and ask a random salesman in a shop (even if it is John
Lewis).

The instructions for the freezer aren't a lot of help (produced in the
same country the freezer was made: very terse as well as poor English).
However it does state preferred ambient temperature ranges ... all I
have to do is find the serial number plate to find out which grade ours
is -- I am suspecting the plate is underneath the damn thing, having
failed to find it on the back.


ANYWAY: what's the story? I would have thought that the colder the
room, the better. The thing is: this freezer seems to be running its
condenser quite as much as our ancient thing, that we swopped it for.

Cheers
John


It's b....locks. The physics is easy. A freezer is a heat pump, it
pumps heat from the inside to the outside. The cooler the outside is
the less energy is required to attain the correct temperature inside.

Other considerations: The running temperature of the pump - better in a
lower temperature as long as any grease used in the bearings doesn't
freeze (no liquid nitrogen in your utility is there?).

The working fluid (Ammonia usually) doesn't freeze, or fail to
evaporate. (Only a problem in the Outer Planets, and certainly not your
utility room)

R.
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Old September 4th 06, 01:05 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?


Keep it in a cool place. Not only will the condenser be able to dump
heat easier in a lower ambient temperature, but the heat energy passing
into the freezer from the surrounding air in the first place will be
reduced as well.

Frost-free freezers are less efficient than ones that have to be
manually defrosted. Ours has a heater element (about 300 watts) that
runs round the evaporator (the bit that cools the air inside the
freezer). Every eight hours or so the compressor switches off and the
heater is turned on for a few minutes. This melts the ice build-up on
the evaporator which then drains away through a pipe into a tray on top
of the compressor from where it naturally evaporates. Because the
heater is part of the evaporator assembly and is inside the freezer
compartment, inevitably that extra energy (300 watts for a few minutes
three times a day) than has to be removed when the compressor switches
back on again at the end of the defrost cycle.

Mike

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Old September 4th 06, 01:14 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

Some freezers will not work if kept in a very cold (less than around
4C??). There have been cases of people replacing old freezers in
outhouses, where it gets very cold in winter, with newer freezers which
have a minimum temp requirement, and the freezers not working. Check
the instructions of phone the manufacturer.


MikeH wrote:
Keep it in a cool place. Not only will the condenser be able to dump
heat easier in a lower ambient temperature, but the heat energy passing
into the freezer from the surrounding air in the first place will be
reduced as well.

Frost-free freezers are less efficient than ones that have to be
manually defrosted. Ours has a heater element (about 300 watts) that
runs round the evaporator (the bit that cools the air inside the
freezer). Every eight hours or so the compressor switches off and the
heater is turned on for a few minutes. This melts the ice build-up on
the evaporator which then drains away through a pipe into a tray on top
of the compressor from where it naturally evaporates. Because the
heater is part of the evaporator assembly and is inside the freezer
compartment, inevitably that extra energy (300 watts for a few minutes
three times a day) than has to be removed when the compressor switches
back on again at the end of the defrost cycle.

Mike




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Old September 4th 06, 01:16 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

The message
from John contains these words:

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to make
sense to me.


Nor should it. The device is trying to shove heat out the back - the
cooler the surroundings the easier this is. The warmer the surroundings
the harder it has to try - and use more power in the process.

The only gotcha is that some fridge-freezers only have one thermostat
and that's in the fridge bit. If the ambient is below the set-point for
the thermostat in the fridge it'll never switch on so the freezer bit
will never get cooled as it operates as a side-show to the fridge. But
that doesn't appear to be the case in your situation.

Whichever course you take, ensure there's good airflow over the back of
the unit - don't pile the top up with stuff that goes back to the wall,
and don't block round the sides/bottom.

--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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Old September 4th 06, 01:19 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

MikeH wrote:
Keep it in a cool place. Not only will the condenser be able to dump
heat easier in a lower ambient temperature, but the heat energy passing
into the freezer from the surrounding air in the first place will be
reduced as well.


I'd follow the manufacturers recommendations over bar-room science.
Fridges and freezers *do* have specific operating temperatures, and
it's fairly well known that fridges in particular can struggle in a
very cold environment. Freezers should have more leeway as they are
cooling to a much lower temperatures.

Frost-free freezers are less efficient than ones that have to be
manually defrosted. Ours has a heater element (about 300 watts) that
runs round the evaporator (the bit that cools the air inside the
freezer). Every eight hours or so the compressor switches off and the
heater is turned on for a few minutes. This melts the ice build-up on
the evaporator which then drains away through a pipe into a tray on top
of the compressor from where it naturally evaporates. Because the
heater is part of the evaporator assembly and is inside the freezer
compartment, inevitably that extra energy (300 watts for a few minutes
three times a day) than has to be removed when the compressor switches
back on again at the end of the defrost cycle.


How inefficient is a badly frosted-up unit, though? Generally, they
start to cut in more and more often to less and less effect as the
plates freeze up.

--
"Spice is the variety of life."

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Old September 4th 06, 01:56 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

John wrote:

We got a new freezer - it's a John Lewis Frost-Free job. We keep it
in
the utility. When my wife told the salesman this, he asked about the
ambient temperature of the room (which is very cool, not to say cold.)

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to
make sense to me.

I wasn't there, and I figure it is more useful to get a consensus here
than go back and ask a random salesman in a shop (even if it is John
Lewis).

The instructions for the freezer aren't a lot of help (produced in the
same country the freezer was made: very terse as well as poor
English). However it does state preferred ambient temperature ranges
... all I have to do is find the serial number plate to find out which
grade ours is -- I am suspecting the plate is underneath the damn
thing, having failed to find it on the back.


ANYWAY: what's the story? I would have thought that the colder the
room, the better. The thing is: this freezer seems to be running its
condenser quite as much as our ancient thing, that we swopped it for.

Cheers
John


I asked a similar question here over a year ago just after I bought a
new freezer. In the manual my new Frigidaire said it needs a minimum
ambient temperature of 16degC. I was very cross - and still am - with
Currys for not telling me this before I bought it and then for refusing
to take it back without a large surcharge.

I think there are two reasons:

First some fridge/freezers use only one mechanism to work both parts. If
the machine doesn't run enough one part remains cold while the other
part gradually defrosts and the food rots. Or something like that.

Secondly cold ambient encourages condensation inside the freezer case
but outside the main storage compartment. This either rusts the machine
or builds up into a large block of ice underneath which never seems to
get melted.

With some encouragement here I mended the old freezer and now use both
freezers on the approach to Christmas then switch off the Frigidaire
until the spring when I swap over. (I'm fortunate to have the space to
keep two freezers.) This allows both freezers to get a really thorough
defrost each year.

In my old Hotpoint the block of ice in its innards took a very long time
to completely defrost and dry out. Not days but weeks in summer.

Edgar


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Old September 4th 06, 02:30 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 09:52:09 +0100, John wrote:

However it does state preferred ambient temperature ranges ... all I
have to do is find the serial number plate to find out which grade ours
is -- I am suspecting the plate is underneath the damn thing, having
failed to find it on the back.


Looked inside it? That is where it is for our fridge and fridge/freezers.

ANYWAY: what's the story? I would have thought that the colder the
room, the better. The thing is: this freezer seems to be running its
condenser quite as much as our ancient thing, that we swopped it for.


Is it cooling to the same, measured, temperature or lower?

There is information on the web about why fridges and freezers have a
designed ambient temperature range. Have a dig for the facts rather than
the unsupported guff already posted. For single compressor
fridge/freezers it is a very real issue as the freezer is part only
cooled when the fridge wants cooling. With a low ambient temp the heat
gain in the fridge will be longer than designed and thus the freezer will
also warm up, possibly above "safe" levels.

--
Cheers
Dave. pam is missing e-mail



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Old September 4th 06, 02:34 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Freezers: keep warm or keep cold?

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 09:52:09 +0100, John wrote:

We got a new freezer - it's a John Lewis Frost-Free job. We keep it in
the utility. When my wife told the salesman this, he asked about the
ambient temperature of the room (which is very cool, not to say cold.)

He seemed to imply it would be better if the room that the freezer is
kept in should be warmer rather than colder. This doesn't seem to make
sense to me.

I wasn't there, and I figure it is more useful to get a consensus here
than go back and ask a random salesman in a shop (even if it is John
Lewis).

The instructions for the freezer aren't a lot of help (produced in the
same country the freezer was made: very terse as well as poor English).
However it does state preferred ambient temperature ranges ... all I
have to do is find the serial number plate to find out which grade ours
is -- I am suspecting the plate is underneath the damn thing, having
failed to find it on the back.


ANYWAY: what's the story? I would have thought that the colder the
room, the better. The thing is: this freezer seems to be running its
condenser quite as much as our ancient thing, that we swopped it for.

Cheers
John


A week or so ago Will Dean gave a respose to thread "freezer operation
at low ambiant temp"

"I suspect that one reason for the caution about extreme temperatures
is that
domestic fridges/freezers use a capiliary tube as an expansion device,
rather than the more sophisticated thermostatic devices used in
commercial
plant. Because the capiliary is just a fixed flow restriction rather
than a
proper temperature/pressure regulator, it's specified on the basis of
fairly
narrowly constrained pressure/temperature conditions throughout the
plant.

A very cold condenser will give low high-side pressures which might be
outside those for which the capiliary was designed - it can also cause
an
excessive proportion of the charge to hang around within the
condenser.

All they're really saying in the instructions is that they designed
the
freezer to perform to specification with a certain external
temperature
range, and that outside that range it may not meet the spec."


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