Having an extra freezer is a wonderful option for many families, especially large families. With the additional space, you can cook more food ahead of time and simply store it. An extra freezer also provides the solution when you find great bargains on frozen food items or for people that enjoy hunting or buying sides of beef to last an entire year. However, with all the benefits of owning a freezer, things can and do go wrong. When this happens, knowing what to do can be the difference in saving or losing all your food.
First, if you know a time when your electricity will be turned off, you can prepare. For instance, if you have remodeling or if something else is being worked on in your home, then the best thing is to turn your freezer to about minus 10 degrees. This way, the food will freeze harder, thus lasting longer. Now keep in mind that you do not want to freeze your food to this level all the time but you can do it for this type of situation.
It is also a good idea to keep your freezer insulated from the outside, which will help to keep the interior colder, especially since many freezers are stored in the garage or basement where it tends to stay much cooler. To do this, all you need is cover the freezer with old quilts, moving or old home blankets, or even stacked newspaper. Just make sure the vent is left uncovered.
While you might expect the electricity to come back on at a set time, this might not happen. If you find yourself in this situation, you can add dry ice to the inside of the freezer. This will help keep the temperature low until the electricity does come back on. If you have a 10-cubic freezer, you should use about 25 pounds and for a 20-cubic freezer, 50 pounds. Just remember that when using dry ice, certain precautions are required. Since this is Carbon Dioxide, when it melts it becomes gas and too much of it can cause suffocation. Therefore, if you have problems with shallow breathing, headaches, or feel disoriented, then get into the fresh air immediately. Additionally, always wear gloves to avoid being burned when handling the dry ice.
Another important thing is to open the door as least often as possible and always make sure the door closes all the way. In fact, if you have not yet purchased your freezer, you might consider buying one with a lock. In this case, you can manually lock the freezer when not in use, which ensures the door is nice and secure.
With proper care and maintenance of your freezer, you will enjoy many advantages. Keep in mind that a fully loaded freezer will stay colder, longer than if you only have a few things in it. Therefore, if you are going to use a freezer, then be sure you stock up on bargains. The food you freeze will also make a difference in how cold the freezer stays. For instance, if the freezer is full of meat, it will stay cold and frozen longer than what you would find with fruits and vegetables. Finally, make sure you buy a well-insulated freezer and that the seals are secure. The last thing you want is to lose all the money you invested in the foods you store.