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Old 01-21-2016, 12:03 PM   #1
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Upright freezer as refrigerator

Hi all. There's an interesting article out there where a guy took a chest freezer and converted it into a very efficient refrigerator by plugging it into a separate temperature controller that would just toggle the freezer on and off to maintain fridge temperatures. (Whew... long sentence!)

My more important half is not interested in digging through a chest freezer. Still, freezers generally have better insulation than refrigerators so I'm considering the conversion of an upright.

IGLOO 6.5 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White-FRF690 - The Home Depot

The model above is inexpensive and has a one year warranty. I already have this controller:Ū-Temp...ure+controller

The shelves all have coolant lines running through them so they can't be moved around and it doesn't look like a gallon milk container is gonna fit in there but I like the size and shape. We can work around the shelf depth.

What do you think?


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Old 01-21-2016, 12:14 PM   #2
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I have seen quite a few chest type freezers successfully converted to very efficient fridges using a simple controller, just not an upright. Only disadvantage there is "losing your cool" every time the door is opened. With a chest type the loss is absolutely minimal.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #3
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Yes it spills cold air. No different than a normal fridge. But the wife won't have a chest freezer. That's a negatory. Thank you for your comments!

Is there something better?

More comments please.

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Old 01-21-2016, 07:52 PM   #4
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I hadn't considered whether a freezer might be built with better insulation than a refrigerator is. Without challenging your assertion that "freezers generally have better insulation" -- well, ok, I'm challenging it but in a friendly way -- I wouldn't make the assumption that freezers are better just because they have to be colder inside. So, uncertainty about the basic premise aside..

The shelves could get pretty cold. That might cause frost damage to delicate foods that wouldn't ordinarily be damaged in a forced-air fridge with the same air temperature setpoint. I'm thinking of produce, maybe some dairy, etc. These things might have to be put on an insulator to protect them from the cold shelf.

What about the location of the condenser? The two upright freezers I've owned both had their condenser buried under the skin of the appliance, whereas the refrigerators I've owned had an exposed condenser mounted to the back or under the bottom, sometimes with a fan to help them shed heat. Depending on how you built around the unit one condenser style/location or the other might be preferable (or entirely unworkable).

I have no idea at what point the efficiency improvement of better wall insulation, whether a better-built unit or added by the user, is dwarfed by the number and duration of door-open air changes per day.
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Old 01-22-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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This is exactly the reason I got rid of the wife and bought the chest freezer.
I'm hungry!

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