Empty freezer is an energy waster

If your extra freezer sits empty most of the winter, it’s using more energy than it does during the summer when it’s full of ice cream.

A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one because the already-frozen food in it keeps the unit’s temperature low.

A tip: Pack your empty or half-full freezer with water-filled plastic milk cartons or two-liter bottles. This will keep your freezer running efficiently.

The water-filled containers—filled to four inches from the top—will ease the strain on the freezer’s motor and keep food cold longer during a power outage. And you can drink the water in an emergency.


  • Keep the freezer’s temperature higher than zero. Colder temperatures waste energy without extending the shelf life of your frozen food.
  • Chest-style freezers are cheaper to run than uprights because cold air stays in the unit when you open the top. When you open an upright freezer, all the cold air flows out.
  • Defrost a freezer if frost builds up to one-quarter of an inch. That happens only in units that aren’t self-defrosting or frost-free.