Chest Freezers; What they tell us about designing for X

Opublikowany 7 kwi 2020
This video is super cool. We're talking about refrigeration, and how the design of a refrigerator affects its energy consumption. Freezers are the perfect place to see this in action, so let's take a look!
I also made a follow-up video on the second channel with some other info I didn't talk about here! Go watch, if you like;
These links have been kept deep frozen and are ready for reheating and consumption
Technology Connextras (the second channel that stuff goes on sometimes):
Technology Connections on Twitter:
The TC Subreddit
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  • OK, comment-pinning time! I want to address the whole full-vs-empty fridge aside because I appear to have understood this differently than many people and it illustrates a problem in the video. Lots of people are saying things along the lines of "I thought the point of a full fridge was to minimize the amount of air inside so opening it causes less heat loss." Similar to the whole thermal mass reasoning (which is where I was coming from), this doesn't really matter in the long run. Which of course runs counter to the idea that chest freezers are helped by the fact they have a lid and not a door. So let's talk about that. The thermal mass of air is tiny compared to any solid or liquid substance. So even if you exchange the entire volume of air in the fridge or freezer when you open it, once it's shut the new air will rapidly cool thanks to the cold walls, shelves, and of course food. That's why the freezer door gets sucked in. This does introduce some quantity of heat, yes, and in theory if you had more stuff in the fridge less heat would be introduced. But honestly I think this quantity of heat is mostly negligible, and I regret not making that clear in the script. I think that the heat introduced from opening the doors a few times is minimal compared to an entire day's worth of natural heat intrusion. Chest freezers do get some help from the fact that they're sort of "never opened" but I think that more important than even that is simply their massive amounts of insulation compared to a refrigerator. I actually talked more in depth about this in a follow-up video, which you can find here; (edited to add;) Having thought through it some more, I imagine the greatest benefit of having the lid on the top is that the cold air isn't being held back by a thin door seal as it is in an upright freezer. I really should get a thermal camera!

    • There is another point to this - due to increased thermal capacity fuller fridge / freezer will require longer runs and longer idle, but fewer start / stops on the compressor. Compressors do not like to be start / stopped too often (inrush current and no initial oil pressure to lubricate them properly) and have to build up initial pressure in the system each time they do. There is then an argument that having fuller fridge / freezer may prolong the life of the compressor and potentially save some energy this way as well.

    • So that last part would mean that since cold air is heavier than warm, if you took a thermal camera it would show the top of a refrigerator emitting more heat and the bottom cold. That would make sense for a chest freezer as the cold would just sit in the bottom and the heat would be at the top. Once question however, why would a refrigerator have a heated seal around the door. I have a really crappy Jenn-Air fridge that has a heated seal which feels counter productive. Curiosity and maybe an episode idea?

    • Ăwjiur

    • @Zechariah Kelvin Whoa! Took roughly 10 mins but it actually worked!!

    • What about the moisture introduced? That has to go through a phase change or two, right?

  • Thanks alot u really help me in my project..4rm Lagos..

  • I absolutely love these videos on heat pumps, I've learned so much watching this channel

  • I've always preferred the classic top-freezer design, WITHOUT ice dispenser; now I know I can be smug about it! Thanks, Technology Connections!

  • Best channel on youtube.I've got a degree in Physics 60 years ago,and learning more from this young man each time I watch him.Better than TV.Thank you.

  • You are the only person i can listen a half hour to talking about something boring like freezers and find it interesting.

  • So, why the Freezer-On-Bottom model is less efficient? Because the freezer is running right next to the compressor. The compressor is almost always on the bottom of the fridge, pretty much on the floor. Now your freezer is RIGHT next to it as it runs. Additionally, freezer-on-bottom models are typically drawers. Those drawers are almost NEVER as well insulated on any of the five sides, and the top is often insulated... not at all, relying instead on the seal the drawer creates with the FRONT bezel as it shuts. So it's freezing a bunch of air that it could never, ever use, and that 100% gets pushed out every time it opens. So the compressor has to work harder to bring the Freezer temp down nice and low to its absolute cold point, which means that by the time it's at a point where it can start dumping cold into the Fridge portion, it's already working harder than a combined fridge/freezer would have, and has to work even harder to move all that cold air out.

    • As for french doors, the answer is really incredibly simple. The doors don't seal very well. Simple as that. Additionally, there is a heating element around the door ring itself that is built to reduce condensation. As for manual defrost fridges... my previous apartment had one. Then the evaporator itself started condensing and expanded the wall of the freezer until it almost burst.

  • Thank you for breaking down the energy guide. I never understood why it’s there or why to care. And yes I’m commenting to boost engagement

  • So if my chest freezer is not full and worried about power outages, then putting a 5 gallon buckets or two of water that become ice to take up space and be more like and ice box when the power is off for a few days? What do you think?

  • If you could find a chest freezer with some kind mechanism that pops up whenever you open the freezer then that would solve the problem of burying things. But then you'd probably negate some of the advantage of a chest freezer because you'd have all your frozen food hanging around the warm air while you decide what you want.

    • Also if you keep fans in your freezer what do you do with your enemies?

  • Your viewers might enjoy the channel of Tim Hunkin who has a video about the history of refrigeration, originally made for broadcast TV in the UK.

    • His refrigeration video shows the last ever blocks to be “lifted” in an old ice factory in the eighties.

  • Accessibility is a key factor for me. With pull out freezer drawers on the bottom and the fridge on top, it means that bending down is minimised. All those vegies in the vegie drawers are easily accessible - so less are accidentally forgotten and left to rot, thereby saving money there. For me bending is painful . . . and kneeling is OUT! v Would not go back to a fridge with Freezer on top.

  • I moved into a nicer apartment and I miss my old fridge. This one is giant, has little interior space, a door ice machine that can't keep the ice solid, and a pull out bottom that accumulates frost rapidly. The old cheap fridge in my old cheap apartment was a freezer-on-top model with no ice maker, was way smaller, and yet could fit more food inside. Oh, and it was substantially more efficient.

  • That style of fridge is practically all they make anymore.

  • Now I want Simpsons christmas pajama...

  • what if people made achest freezer with an internal shelf system that pops up when you open de lid, this might solve the inconvenience

  • Can't we watch a technology video without being lectured to about 'climate change' or 'global warming'?

  • La Croix and Bubly. A fellow man of taste I see.

  • Manual defrost freezers keep food longer. Freezer burn is nearly eliminated.

  • Interesting, I always assumed the freezer-on-bottom fridges used less energy exactly because I knew chest freezers did, I never bothered to look it up because they're more expensive so it's unlikely that we'd get one anyway.

  • This makes me realize how terrible bottom pull out freezers are.

  • One thing you didn’t mention once that (to me) has a much greater environmental impact is the fact that modern refrigerators last like 3-7 years now and hardly anyone gets them repaired they just buy a new one. Why didnt we as a society create a semi-permanent cold box with an easy way to swap out the refrigeration unit when it dies

  • chest fridges do exist. I had one.

  • Ergo if we lay the fridge flat on its back it will use less electric but becomes a bigger trip hazard

  • I find it funny that I seem to care about energy efficiency, however I have a crypto mining rig which uses about 1,300 watts non-stop. I also have a dual GPU setup in my computer & am also mining 24/7 with that, crypto is a nice hobby but it burns through electricity. I advise everyone with a good graphics card (GTX 1060 & up) to mine with nicehash. Its like free money, yo8 make about 3 times the amount you spend in electricity so why not be burning through 300 watts 24/7 with your gaming computer if it pays you.

  • French door, bottom-freezer is excellent for accessibility. Until energy prices rise to punishing levels, most people will care more about that.

  • I want to know where I can find that shirt.

  • bottom freezer easy on knees.

  • I love how american these ice makers in fridges are. We peasent europeans are mostly just have icecubs in the freezer and take them out if we want em

  • Chest Freezer Tip: Use milk crates to organize items in your freezer. Makes it a lot easier to find what you are looking for, plus it's simple to get to items at the bottom of the freezer.

  • There is infact a entire ice maker inside the door and it sucks, at least on mine, because the ice inside always melts and jams the icemaker when it freezes again.

  • QUESTION: At 15:36, are those REALLY 'fridge shopping' boots? *Raised Eyebrow Emoji*

  • "Then upshot is that things stay colder more longerer" I love this guy

  • "It's the thing that makes the buzzy noise and makes the cold happen" that made me smile lol and I was always told it was good to keep a freezer full on stuff to help keep everything frozen longer should the power go out

  • *puts Esky on table* "I'm sure you've used one of these before" Me: Yeah, it's an Esky. They're pretty cool. "It's a cooler." I feel personally attacked.

  • I'm sorry, but my deep freezers aren't piled up with food like that... If you organized it, you wouldn't have to dog around so much like that for food

  • We have two deep freezers in our house

  • Actually I use reusable grocery bags to store my food in the freezer. It's a lot easier to pick those out especially if they are labeled.

  • basically what im getting from this is that a walk-in freezer with a horizontal door, like a cellar, would be the most efficient AND convenient design because you could still store things in a vertical configuration while retaining the door-on-top efficiency boon

  • I'm going to buy a refrigerator tomorrow, thanks for the informative video!

  • I got rid of my fridge 4 years ago, and bought a chest freezer and a chest cooler. I keep my frozen foods in cloth grocery bags, by category, with index cards for inventory, which is a pain to maintain, but is useful for doing only one bag at a time. The hardest thing is ice, but I end up buying it. I keep the cooler cool with half-gallong jugs of water, infinitely refreezable. My electric bill is around $12/month, when the heater isn't on. Not bad. I use an electric pressure cooker, and hot water maker every day.

  • Good channel, but let's get real. EVs are not a panacea and don't "save energy" and are not "green". Until energy storage tech catches up with the requirements of the average car, the price paid for getting more power to the electric grid for charging, the burning of coal and gas for that power (and transmission), and the mining of lithium for batteries makes this a dubious trade space. The perfect energy storage tech for transportation is still gasoline and diesel. Don't like CO2 emissions? Stop breathing. And calm down...the plants love that stuff and are not getting enough.

  • FYI: to answer your question around 20:12 about the whole extra ice maker in the door......why Yes, there is one! In the picture you use there is a small gray handle just inside the top of the left hand side door. This releases the whole shelf segment which swings right to reveal a small ice maker and storage tray which also has a duct connecting it to the freezer for cold air. I used one of these for years. Hope this helps clarify that for you. P.S. I love your channels!!!!

  • My physics professor always said that heat is transmitted, not cold. I contend that cold is transmitted too. Cold is a bunch of slow-moving molecules that slow down other molecules along a path. Those fast molecules can no longer move fast with all those slow molecules crowding them. It's like dancers being crowded by waiters carrying drinks and food to the tables. Just saying. Carry on.

  • There are also chest style (12V) fridges for use in vehicles or for camping.

  • Very informative. I was considering getting a bottom freezer model because of my assumption that - like a chest freezer - it used less energy to freeze food. Surprisingly wrong. Now rethinking what I need.

  • Manual defrost refrigerators exist. Look at hotel spec equipment.

  • Worth noting appliances without defrost are more common than expected. We need them in laboratories because reagents are sensitive to hot/cold cycles of defrost. And these aren't fancy medical grade units we use. Regular kitchen appliances half the time.

  • Engagement

  • great work, as always! Just wanted to comment that refrigerator seals typically use magnets to provide a seal at the door. This is a safety feature, as older style fridges that used a mechanical latch had a reputation for trapping children once the fridge had been discarded. (and I'm just guessing that someone already mentioned this in the 6000+ comments before mine?)

  • This channel and Nostalgia Nerd are my favourite ones to listen to when I can't sleep. Just, someone talking to me about something not emotionally stimulating in great detail is so soothing.

  • At one point early on in this video you use the word longer-er . Um, I don't think that is a word. But, I use a lot of my own personal made up words too. (Or should that be also ? )

  • I have had both chest and upright freezers and i will NEVER own a upright freezer again. In addition to having all the issues you have discussed you also have what i have dubbed the 'toe missle' this is when the food in the freezer is rock hard covered in frost slick and aiming for the top of your foot. Again dont do it and if you do cause free or something then stand well back.

  • The rebel country randomly scorch because snowboarding frustratingly escape but a cautious windchime. honorable, gamy multi-hop

  • For our whole lives, we had a chest freezer, that us kids used to beg to defrost on the hottest Summer day. My parents moved, and a year later the freezer died. Another fun fact. Fridges and freezers HATE being moved. And if you do move them, leave them in situ for up to 24 hours before turning back on. Certainly re-store your food, i.e. use it as a cooler, but dont turn on until the liquid settles.

  • As for making the freezer deeper, if it's too tall for your vertically challenged friends and relatives you could partially bury it. How insulating is the ground?

  • If you sacrifice even more efficiency, you can just go for a doorless fridge with an active air barrier like on a grocery store refrigerated sales rack. Some stores even still use doorless "trough" freezers, now that is just energy murder.

  • I like how you approached this. Best way to help people change for the better is to not show judgement, just inform.

  • Please your not one of those climate change warriors! Bye 👋


  • 20:22 you ok buddy

  • Noticed just now the monty python reference, nice

  • 0:39 hm that computer in the middle with a Pentium 4 sticker looks cool... what case is that? Also is that a iMac G3 just sitting outside?

  • Is... is that where you normally store your imacs?

  • Heat pumps are *never* helping with global warming. The only thing that will really help with the ecocide (why focus on climate change - one aspect???) is tackling overpopulation - particularly in the western world (the populations may be stabilising but they're stabilising at sizes far too big) - and capitalism. Religion, naturally, needs throwing away, too, as it was only devised to numb the minds of the exploited. To think heat pumps are the answer is cloud cuckooland denialism at its worst. Great series, otherwise.

  • UH OH! Confounding variable alert! Had me rolling.

  • I currently live in a tiny but fab loft studio ... but whenever I move, I might just get myself a small chest freezer. Mind you, I'm traumatised currently from living with a oddly short fridge with an internal and tiny 'ice box' (and, no, it's not frost-free!) - it feels like I've fallen back in time. I've never had one of these before.

  • Why do you want to "fight" against the cljmate changing for? This has been going on on since the beginning. Why change perfection? Don't fuck about with earths processes. I live here too.

  • Has noone noticed the poor iMac and VCR combo player sitting in an e-Waste pile outside the window at 0:45?

  • You make the end of my days a joy I look forward too, thank you

  • my frozen porch says screw you about global warming!!

  • If you're going to buy a chest freezer, I highly recommend getting one with a sliding internal shelf. Yes, for it to actually be usable, you then can't use all of the space (as otherwise the shelf would have nowhere to slide to), but you still get 3/4 of the total space and MUCH greater accessibility to everything inside.

  • Please don't ever mention climate change!!!

  • "The clouds of steam you see falling to the ground"? Steam?

    • More correctly, water vapour. Steam, per se, is generally created from hotter than environment.

  • Well 99 cent frozen pizzas kinda ruin the price comparison.

  • By this logic, ovens should also be chests, but mounted on the ceiling

  • A thought on bottom freezer with pull out drawer requiring more energy: when you pull out the drawer, you're removing the contents of the drawer from the insulated box. While it's relatively brief, this removal allows for a greater amount of heat exchange between the items in said drawer and the surrounding warmer air. It's also likely a greater amount of cold air inside the freezer will be exchanged with warmer air from outside the freezer simply due to the action of a greater quantity of items moving in and out of the freezer area. Does all that add up to a 20% difference? Likely not and as you mentioned, the ice maker likely contributes to that difference as well. However, I suspect it is a factor in the increased energy need.

  • Can i turn my regular fridge on its back for savings or will it damage something?

  • Have you ever been rummaging through a chest freezer and dug your nails into the frost buildup on the walls? I have, it's not fun

  • “Twelve, thirty four” is a funny way of saying 1-2-3-4 🤣🤣🤣

  • I watched this video before my family actually got a chest freezer to replace the old refrigerator in our basement, I was excited because this is the perfect way to expand our limited side-freezer space upstairs, only bad thing is, as mentioned, the digging.

  • this is a good video

  • *tønk* "It's a cooler." 🤣

  • Electric cars are not energy efficient. Aka charging batteries. Its just another link in a chain of energy loss. The idea is that they don't make co2. But that's a completely different discussion. Making batteries is also nasty business.

  • "... as you browsed your food Netflix..." This sent me rolling on floor

  • If Canada is a bit more optimistic it is because the average temperature in a home must be a bit colder than most of the states since the average temperature outside is lower and heating a home is one of the most expensive thing so if the temperature inside the home is lower it takes less energy to cool down the fridge...

  • 7:00 Empty fridge full of cold air. You open the door, what happens? Bye bye cold air.. 75% full fridge, and you open the door.. Oh, there's 75% less cold air in there.. Also there is cold food to equalize the temperature when you close the door. == Less air to cool back down.

  • its a chilly bin

  • 15:04 imac g3 spotted in the back 👀

  • I am almost 36 and how can this guy still always teach me something or at least bring to my attention the more efficient way of doing things!?

  • I recommend dividing your food types and putting those into plastic grocery bags. You can easily pull out what you don't want quickly and also return items quickly.

  • What kind of monster buys a blue cooler instead of a red one?

  • That face at 0:12 is hilarious.

  • That's the coolest shirt ever

  • I'd love to see a fridge design with individual doors for each shelf. Like a freezer car or icecram car (Family Frost here) they doesn't open all at once either, why our fridge does? I know it's good (?) to take a glance all at once what's inside, but individual door design may guide us to better categorize the stuff we put in. And we can write on the doors the categories or more specific if it's desired. (and here is a good place for 'smartening' too, if a Smart fridge knows what's inside, it can show us all at once and it can guide us where the wanted stuff is. (But the smart system adds to the energy consumption sooo ... nevermind)) :D

  • Next week: Ovens are stupid: why this 1950s vintage ceiling mounted oven is better

  • Your electric car is powered by magic!

  • I’ve come back to this video 6 times in the past hour to source info from Reddit comments. Thanks

  • I'm boosting engagement!

  • No one is talking about this egress window blocked with shit?