Freezer in low ambient temperatures

Freezer in low ambient temperatures

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mjb1

Original Poster:

2,369 posts

119 months

Friday 23rd October
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I'm looking for a new freezer, want an upright one (rather than a chest style) for space efficiency. It'll probably go in my kitchen to start with, but long term intention is to relocate it to the utility room when I've finished fitting that room out.

But the utility room is basically separate to the rest of the house, and unheated. It does have my GCH boiler in there, washer, dryer, and a fridge, and I do live in the SW, so we don't get the coldest winter weather. When I'm at home it's unlikely to get below +10 degrees in there, but if I'm away it could drop to low single figure temps. Doubt it'd get below zero though (not sure if my boiler has frost protection built into it). I've noticed once or twice that the fridge out there has cut out due to low ambient temps, which I can fully understand a fridge not working below 5 degrees ambient. But would a freezer be quite so sensitive?

Most freezers quote a climate class, and the most common one for the UK seems to be SN (Sub Normal, I think that stands for), which is +10 to +32 degrees ambient. Beko freezers are specced to work down to -15 degrees, but I've seen another one that I fancy (cheaper, 'cleverer', more useful size, more energy efficient, longer guanrantee). It's a 'Hisense' brand, no idea how good they are, but at the end of the day it's only a freezer!

So what are the chances of a SN rated freezer keeping working down to nearly zero? There doesn't appear to be a 'climate class' rating that's colder than SN, so maybe if there was one, most freezers would get a lower rating? Is it worth taking a chance? I would just buy the Beko, but the location I ideally want it to go doesn't quite have enough vertical space (due to the electrical consumer unit being on the wall above it).

Andeh1

6,118 posts

166 months

Friday 23rd October
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Also very interested to know!

dontlookdown

225 posts

53 months

Friday 23rd October
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I have just bought low temp rated Beko for the garage for exactly this reason. Chest freezer and no space constraints, was only 30 quid more than the regular temp one so why take the chance?

But my Mum had a regular rated freezer in her garage for 20 yrs and it was fine. It didn't get down to zero in there though.

basherX

986 posts

121 months

Friday 23rd October
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I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly but just sharing my experience.

After we'd had a new kitchen put in I moved the old (SN rated) fridge freezer into one of our sheds. We were planning on using it as overflow storage or if we wanted to stock up prior to a family gathering etc. This was fine over the first summer but as the next winter set in I noticed that the food was (at least partially) defrosting. Out of interest I stuck a min/max thermometer in the shed and, sure enough, as soon as the ambient temperature dropped below 10 degrees the freezer cut off. There's enough thermal efficiency for that not to be a problem on many days but if the daily temperature isn't above 10 degrees it will completely defrost. There have been times when, according to Mrs B, we've needed it and I've been in the ludicrous position of heating the shed to keep the freezer going.

A proper garage freezer will be on its way when I find time to remove the old one.

mjb1

Original Poster:

2,369 posts

119 months

Friday 23rd October
quotequote all
dontlookdown said:
I have just bought low temp rated Beko for the garage for exactly this reason. Chest freezer and no space constraints, was only 30 quid more than the regular temp one so why take the chance?

But my Mum had a regular rated freezer in her garage for 20 yrs and it was fine. It didn't get down to zero in there though.
As I mentioned the Beko is slightly too tall to fit where I'd ideally like it to. It also consumes significantly more power (according to the specs) and doesn't keep food frozen for as long in a power outage, both of which imply it's not as well insulated. It also doesn't have a temperature display or open door alarm, neither of which are essential, but mildly useful to have. And only a 1 year warranty compare to 2. It's also £70 more expensive (all else being equal, I wouldn't mind paying that for the low temp performance). But the other one I'm looking at is better for me in every other aspect.

basherX said:
I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly but just sharing my experience.

After we'd had a new kitchen put in I moved the old (SN rated) fridge freezer into one of our sheds. We were planning on using it as overflow storage or if we wanted to stock up prior to a family gathering etc. This was fine over the first summer but as the next winter set in I noticed that the food was (at least partially) defrosting. Out of interest I stuck a min/max thermometer in the shed and, sure enough, as soon as the ambient temperature dropped below 10 degrees the freezer cut off. There's enough thermal efficiency for that not to be a problem on many days but if the daily temperature isn't above 10 degrees it will completely defrost. There have been times when, according to Mrs B, we've needed it and I've been in the ludicrous position of heating the shed to keep the freezer going.

A proper garage freezer will be on its way when I find time to remove the old one.
That's interesting, and what concerns me - if the thing monitors/detects ambient temperature, and shuts down as soon as it goes below 10 degrees, that'll be a big issue. If it actually carries on working comfortably down to about 5 degrees then it should be ok.

Bottom line is that I know the Beko will be safe at those ambient temps, but most other makes it's below their guaranteed performance rating.


Evoluzione

4,598 posts

203 months

Friday 23rd October
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I have a normal one in an unheated porch, I would have thought it gets down to 10 there sometimes, no problems ever.
My mother has had normal freezers in her garage for donkeys, it'll get down to nearly zero in there and it's never been an issue.
There must be thousands around the country as no-one gives it a second thought.

Matt p

610 posts

168 months

Friday 23rd October
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Down to heat transfer occurring in the condenser. Some are external coils, some internal and built around the machine in the panels. Reason why they quote min/max temps is mainly to do with the TEV/capillary tube efficiency. Also a safety to mitigate against liquid flood back and nuking the compressor.

Edited by Matt p on Friday 23 October 14:58

xyz123

708 posts

89 months

Friday 23rd October
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We have a bosch fridge/freezer in a heated conservatory. About 8 years old. I remember selecting higher temperature model 16 to 38 deg C I think as I was worried about heat. I am sure our conservatory goes lower than 16 as it's never heated but no problems whatsoever... Night be more inefficient but don't think any household appliance will shut down depending on temperature..

C n C

2,126 posts

181 months

Friday 23rd October
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We've had a Beco in the garage for 15 years with no issues.

What height are you looking at as Beko appear to do 1800mm, 1720mm, 1450mm, and 850nn high - all will work down to -15 degrees?



dhutch

7,885 posts

157 months

Monday 26th October
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Most fridge freezers struggle a lot with running in low temps, because they have a single compressor and thermostat in the fridge, and the freezer just sort of works, based on normal ambient losses. But once the ambient approaches fridge temp, the compressor doesn't kick in, and the freezer melts!

A standalone freezer, or fridge, shouldn't have that issue so i would expect it to be much more flexible, regardless of its technical rating.


Daniel

Andeh1

6,118 posts

166 months

Monday 26th October
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We've had a standard fridge/freezer in our garage for last few yeats. Drops to 6 degrees during the winter & never had any issues with it. It is is the well tucked into a sheltered corner.

YMMV though.

Simpo Two

73,325 posts

225 months

Monday 26th October
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I suppose you could lag it nuts

Rick101

6,133 posts

110 months

Monday 26th October
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Spoke to a local specialist about just this issue today.

Thought I'd get some actual info as mate is insistent putting a normal unit in my attached floor lined garage will cause the world to end.
His advice was to spend several hundred on a new and garage specific unit.

Firstly, it's prob only a beer fridge for most of the year.
Secondly, refer to point one.


p.s Specialists advice was yes, there is compressor cut out. important not to power cycle restart it whilst temperatures are still low. He does 'have' to give the advice but in reality, it's most likely not a problem for most.

dhutch

7,885 posts

157 months

Monday 26th October
quotequote all
Sounds reasonable.

My parents have a boggo fridge freezer in the unheated garage, no doors fitted, and that is fine. During cold winter snaps they occasionally leave the fridge door open for a bit to make sure the freezer stays frozen.

But then it was £40 of ebay, and they keep any critical in the inside freezer.

paultownsend

873 posts

143 months

Tuesday 27th October
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We have a double Bosch Classic fridge freezer, and a single Hoover 3 drawer freezer in our internal but unheated garage. It gets cold in there sometimes as the up and over door isn’t properly sealed. I have never really thought about it, but both appliances are fine in there. Th