Appliances

Product overview

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Freezers

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Need a stand-alone freezer?

Our test results will show you the top-performing models. Plus, we’ve covered the features you should consider when buying a freezer.

From our test

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Efficiency

It used to be claimed that chest freezers were more efficient than upright freezers, but our testing doesn’t back this up.

Factors in newer freezer designs, such as insulation thickness and size and type of compressor, can have a much bigger impact on efficiency than whether the freezer is a chest or upright type, or even if it is frost-free or not.

When you’re comparing freezers, it’s worth comparing the energy use figures on the labels, the annual running costs from our test or checking the Energy Rating website which has a 10-year running cost calculator.

Reliability

We looked at the reliability of freezers, fridges and fridge-freezers in our 2015 appliance reliability survey.

Stand-alone freezers were the most reliable appliance in our survey (96 percent). Mitsubishi scored the only perfect reliability score of any product we’ve surveyed, with none needing repair.

  • Above-average: Mitsubishi, Fisher & Paykel
  • Average: Acqua, Aspira, Westinghouse
  • Below-average: Haier

Total number surveyed: 1474

Energy ratings

Refrigeration technology is continually improving. To reflect this, the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) and energy-rating labels have been updated.

Since April 2010, updated labels have been required on all new fridges and freezers. Star ratings on new models have been wound back by about 2 stars to encourage greater efficiency. (So a 4-star model on the old label became a 2-star model under the new labels.) It doesn’t mean a model is now less efficient – the star ratings have just been calculated differently. (You can use the kWh/year to compare models, too.)

Super-efficient models that exceed the current 6-star energy rating can achieve up to 10 stars.

MEPS
MEPS applies to all fridges and freezers made in or imported into New Zealand from 1 January 2005. All models must use no more energy per year than an amount calculated according to their size and type.

MEPS is a requirement manufacturers have to meet. You won't see it on a fridge sales sticker, but better energy efficiency will mean more stars on the energy labels.

Check energy ratings at www.energyrating.gov.au.

Food storage

If you focus entirely on running costs (energy efficiency), you could get a model that doesn't store food well. Remember that energy is used in producing and distributing food too - if you have to throw the food out, that energy will have been wasted.

We test for all aspects of food storage and we only recommend models that'll keep food in good condition.

Buying second-hand

New fridges and freezers are more energy efficient – so if you’re buying second hand, newer is better.

  • Stick to well-known brands under 5 years old, as newer models are much more energy efficient. They’re also easier to get parts for if anything needs fixing.
  • Check the lid or door seal is intact, in good condition and the door or lid shuts properly.
  • Make sure the door is hinged on the correct side for your kitchen (or is reversible).
  • Make sure the interior is in good nick and free from funny smells. Only buy if it looks tidy and well cared for.
  • If you buy a fridge from a second-hand dealer and then discover it’s faulty, you're covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act. If you buy privately, you're not.
  • Under the Electricity Act, all electrical appliances for sale must be safe – whether they're new or second-hand, bought privately or from a dealer.

Freezer & fridge-freezer Top Brands

The Top Brand award recognises brands that perform consistently well across product testing, reliability and customer satisfaction.

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