A freezer is a vital appliance in any home, ensuring the preservation of favourite foods and offering unmatched convenience. However, improper storage and maintenance can lead to unwanted odours, damage, and even potential health hazards, even when the appliance is not in use.
When you are not using a freezer, you must store it properly at all times to ensure that it does not fall prey to odours and that it remains accessible when it is required.
If you plan to put a freezer or chest freezer in storage for a long period of time, taking the necessary precautions can significantly impact its longevity and ensure it remains fully operational when you’re ready to use it again. Here are some useful tips that will help you store your freezer correctly, regardless of its type.
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1. Defrost the freezer
A clean start is essential for maintaining your freezer’s condition during storage. Begin by removing all food items from the freezer. Dispose of the expired or spoiled food, and transfer the rest to another freezer or consume them.
If your freezer is not a frost-free model, you should defrost it. Allow it to thaw completely, catching the melting ice with towels or containers to prevent water leakages.
2. Clean the interior and exterior of the freezer
Give your freezer a thorough cleaning both inside and out. For the interior, use a mild detergent in combination with warm water to wipe all shelves, drawers, and the remaining surfaces. Pay special attention to corners and crevices where residue might accumulate.
As for the exterior, gently clean the appliance with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Once clean, consider covering the surface with a cloth or plastic sheet to shield it from potential dust and dirt accumulation during storage.
3. Secure the door
Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent musty odours and mould growth inside the freezer. Once your freezer is defrosted and dry, open the door slightly using a door stopper, a small box, or a folded towel. This allows air to circulate and prevents the formation of dampness that can lead to odours and mildew build-ups.
4. Select a fitting storage location
Picking an appropriate storage spot can significantly impact your freezer’s condition. One of the most critical factors in freezer storage is climate control. A climate-controlled storage unit is highly preferable, as it maintains a stable environment, shielding your freezer from extreme temperature fluctuations that could compromise its components. Before committing to a storage unit, ensure that it offers climate control to provide your freezer with the ideal storage conditions away from home.
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5. Prepare the freezer for storage
Wrap the appliance securely with moving blankets or furniture pads. This protective layer will shield your freezer from potential bumps, scratches, or dust accumulation during transportation and its time in storage, ensuring its exterior remains as pristine as the interior.
With your freezer nicely wrapped, it’s ready to begin its journey to the storage unit. Employ the aid of a dolly or hand truck to transport the appliance safely. This not only protects your back from strain but also prevents the freezer from being jostled or bumped during the moving process.
6. Position and secure the appliance
Upon reaching the storage unit, thoughtful consideration must be given to its placement. Choose a suitable location within the container, ideally away from high-traffic areas, to minimise the risk of accidental collisions.
Additionally, store the appliance in an upright position and consider elevating the freezer slightly off the ground. Placing it on wooden pallets or blocks serves a dual purpose: it prevents potential water damage from ground moisture and allows for better airflow around the appliance, reducing the likelihood of humidity-related issues.
7. Inspect periodically
While your freezer is in storage, periodic checks are essential to catch and address any potential issues before they become bigger problems.
Similar to storing a fridge, you need to regularly inspect the freezer’s interior and exterior for signs of damage, odours, or mould. If you catch any bad smells, odour-fighting allies can play a vital role in your quest for a fresh-smelling freezer.
Employ natural odour absorbers like activated charcoal or baking soda within the appliance. These two can easily absorb and neutralise any lurking odours, leaving none of their own behind, just a fresh-smelling freezer’s interior.
That’s not exactly the case with fragrant cleaning supplies and chemicals, which could leave both a chemical residue and transfer their odours to your appliance, compromising its pristine environment.
If you notice any other problems, address them promptly to prevent long-term damage. Additionally, ensure that the door remains propped open and that the storage area is always clean and dry.
If moving the freezer into a storage unit is something you can’t do on your own, you can turn to the professionals for assistance. A storage collection and delivery service covers everything. Not only will the removalist come and transport the freezer for you, but they will also store it in the best way possible.
Can you store unused freezers in a garage?
While your garage may look like a suitable storage space for your freezer, it’s essential to remain mindful of temperature changes and humidity levels in there. Extreme temperature shifts can strain the freezer’s compressor and potentially affect its energy efficiency.
However, in case you are set on storing the appliance there, it’s essential to keep a watchful eye on the temperature levels and also consider where exactly you’re going to position the freezer.
It’s best to keep it beside an interior wall, away from direct sunlight and moisture sources. Placing your freezer near a window or in a damp corner could expose it to unnecessary temperature variations and humidity, potentially affecting its performance and longevity.
Keeping your freezer safe and functional also requires good air circulation, just like with garden cushions. Ensure that there is sufficient free space around the appliance to allow proper airflow. Garages tend to get stuffed with all kinds of things, so try to also avoid placing objects directly in front of or on top of the freezer that could obstruct ventilation.
How long can you leave a freezer unplugged?
A freezer that remains unused for more than a year may develop some issues. To counteract this, consider running the freezer periodically, even if it’s empty. This practice helps maintain an optimal internal temperature and prevents the compressor from becoming stagnant.
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- Proper storage measures can ensure the freezer remains functional and ready to be used again;
- Temperature changes can affect the work efficiency of your freezer;
- Maintaining a clean, dry, and odour-free environment is vital when storing freezers.