When a chest freezer breaks down it can cause a lot of frustration, because you’ll need to find a new home for all of your frozen food, or potentially face the loss of hundreds of dollars worth of frozen produce. Added to this is the stress of repairing the chest freezer or buying a new one.
If your chest freezer develops a fault, you can get the fault fixed, or you can buy a new freezer.
If the freezer repair is going to be expensive then you might be better off cutting your losses and replacing the broken chest freezer with a new one. New chest freezers range from around $300 to $1000, so if your appliance engineer quotes you several hundred dollars to fix the problem, then you should certainly look at alternative options.
Common Chest Freezer Problems and Fixes
There are a number of problems that frequently crop up with chest freezers. Some of them will require an appliance engineer, but there are also some minor issues that you could probably fix yourself.
Excessive frost in the freezer
A small amount of frost build-up in a chest freezer is normal, but if there is an excessive amount this can affect the efficiency of your appliance, making it run harder than it needs to. Frost builds up when warm air gets into the freezer, for example when you open the freezer door. If there is more frost than there should be, this could indicate that your door isn’t closing properly. If the hinges have frosted over, you should defrost the freezer and see if this fixes the problem.
The freezer running but not freezing
If the freezer is running but not getting cold enough to freeze food, then this is usually an issue with the compressor, or it could point to a leak in the system. In this case, you should contact an appliance engineer to assess the problem.
The freezer making a loud noise
If the freezer is suddenly making loud noises when it’s running, you likely have a compressor issue. The compressor is an electric motor which will usually need to be replaced when it goes wrong. A compressor replacement is an expensive job, and it may make better financial sense to replace the freezer.
The light not turning on
If the light in your freezer isn’t turning on you can fix this yourself by replacing the lightbulb. If it still doesn’t turn on, this could point to a defective door switch, which can be replaced by a homeowner without too much trouble.
How Long Does a Chest Freezer Last?
The lifespan of a chest freezer is expected to be between 12 and 16 years. If your chest freezer has broken, and it is older than ten years, then you will probably be better off replacing it rather than paying to have it repaired, because it likely won’t last for much longer anyway.
However, depending on the issue, it may be worth getting a newer chest freezer repaired. If you repair a chest freezer which is only two or three years old, you could get many more years of service out of it. You will need to weigh up the cost of repair versus the cost of replacing the freezer.
What Does a Chest Freezer Cost?
A new chest freezer will typically fall into the price bracket of $300 to $1000, depending on the size, make, and model. You may be able to pick up a small chest freezer for less than $300 in a clearance sale, or if you want a high-end chest freezer then you could spend up to $2000.
It’s important to have a look at how much a new chest freezer that suits your needs would cost, as this will allow you to determine if it is worth paying to have your old chest freezer repaired.
Should the Broken Chest Freezer be Repaired or Replaced?
When deciding between repairing or replacing a broken chest freezer, you need to make sure you have all of the information you need to make an informed choice.
Freezer repair needed
Before you even start to consider whether you should discard your broken freezer and replace it with a new one, you need to assess what the actual problem is.
In some instances, it may be an easy fix that you could do yourself. Research the issue online and look through some DIY chest freezer repair videos for some assistance. If you are definitely unable to fix the issue yourself, you can then start thinking about your options going forwards.
Age of broken freezer
The age of your broken freezer is important because it will give you a good indication of how much longer you can expect the freezer to last. If your freezer is already older than ten years, then it is unlikely that it will be worth repairing it. You may spend several hundred dollars on repairs, only for the freezer to die a year or two later and need replacing.
In this case, it would be better to just replace the freezer now and not have to pay out twice. If the freezer is fairly new then it may be worth repairing, depending on what is wrong with it. If the cost of repairs is going to be similar to the cost of a new freezer, it would be smarter to choose a new chest freezer.
Cost of freezer repairs
The cost of the repairs your broken freezer needs will largely dictate whether you should repair it or replace it. If the freezer can be fixed for less than a hundred dollars, and it has a good few more years of life left in it, then this would probably be considered to be worth it.
If the chest freezer repairs are going to cost several hundred dollars, then it is worth investigating how much a replacement chest freezer would cost. If the cost of repairs exceeds the price of a new chest freezer, it makes no financial sense to repair the broken one.
Cost of a new freezer
The cost of a new freezer should be considered before you decide to disregard your current broken chest freezer. There is a vast range of chest freezers available in various sizes, which come with equally varied price tags. A small chest freezer should not set you back more than $500, however, if you need a large chest freezer you will more likely pay closer to $1000.
Investigate the cost of chest freezers in local stores or on appliance websites for the best deal on a chest freezer that suits the needs of your family. Understanding this cost will help you make a better decision on whether it is worth replacing your broken chest freezer.
Running costs of both freezers
If you have a very old chest freezer which has broken down, then it is almost certainly worth replacing it rather than repairing it, because you will save money in running costs alone. Modern chest freezers are much more energy efficient than old freezers, with technology advancing at a rapid pace.
You will notice with a new chest freezer that running costs will be significantly lower compared with an old chest freezer, and this will help to offset some of the cost of purchasing the new freezer.