It might be time to replace your refrigerator for a number of reasons: it might have issues, it might just be old or you may want to update to a newer model to gain access to new options that don't exist in an older fridge. But this doesn't mean the existing refrigerator is at its end of life. There are still a number of options that will keep this appliance useful in your house. Or perhaps you've picked up a refrigerator for cheap from a friend or colleague, and you're looking to make the most of it. Here are some fridge to freezer conversion guidelines to consider.
Benefits of Freezer Space
A normal freezer, when attached to a refrigerator in the usual appliance model, can store fresh food, leftovers, freezer bags and a number of other options that keep the food frozen and fresh until your household is ready to consume it. Freezers can open an entirely new set of opportunities with regard to modern cooking.
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Frozen meals come in an incredible number of varieties, from frozen pizza to gluten-free pad Thai. Frozen vegetables remain just as fresh as canned versions and can substitute for fresh in any given meal. Quality meats can be purchased at sale prices in the grocery when on sale and frozen for future usage in a meal. With the options available in today's markets, many people may end up thinking they need a spare freezer or chest fridge to keep purchases fresh until it makes sense to use them in the household.
An old refrigerator can be re-fit to become a freezer, which can give you that extra storage room if you're a household that likes to store meats, leftovers, pre-prepared meals or fresh products like jams, jellies, canned goods or stored grains. It may not seem difficult, but you need to be a bit technically handy, and you need to understand what differentiates a refrigerator from a freezer.
Convert Mini Fridge to Freezer
This may also be true for mini fridges, but you'll need to be careful — not all mini fridges can put out enough cooling energy to turn themselves into mini freezers. Some mini fridges come with a small freezer built into the unit. You'll want to check the hardware and other documentation to see what sort of cooling technology is built into the mini fridge.
A refrigerator, normal-sized or small, that has a compressor has the chance of being re-wired to create a new freezer. Some small refrigerators, however, have different, cheaper technology in place of the compressor, and these models may not have the capacity to be re-wired into a freezer unit. It may not be possible to convert a tiny dorm fridge to a freezer, for example.
If the unit does have a compressor, it may need a new thermostat that reaches below-freezing temperatures to better store frozen foods. In this case, it's best if you have an expert technician handy to help you make the transition.
How to Convert a Fridge
To turn a refrigerator into a freezer, you'll need to change out the existing thermostat with one that allows the temperature to drop below freezing. Refrigerators operate above those temperatures, so you'll need to know how to remove the existing thermostat and replace it with a new one. This process is best done by a professional. Here are the steps you'll need to take:
- Examine the appliance's output and determine whether it has the capacity to become an overall freezer. You may need the help of a qualified technician or engineer to judge this.
- Locate the compressor. Familiarize yourself with the wiring options between the compressor and the existing thermostat. According to Instructables, you may need to unscrew the compressor mount from the appliance to gain access to the wiring.
- You'll need to replace the existing thermostat with one that has a range dipping below freezing. If you're familiar with wiring, replace the connections to the relay box and the rest of the controllers with your new connections. If not, you may want to contact a professional to do the switch for you.