5 Ways to Fill Your Freezer for Efficiency

By: Craftster.org ,Contributor  | 
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Key Takeaways

  • Filling your freezer to capacity makes it more energy-efficient by minimizing the amount of warm air that can enter it when you open the door. Also, the mass of the contents helps to recool the air.
  • You can use non-food items like newspapers, bags of shipping peanuts and containers filled with water to fill empty spaces in the freezer, contributing to its energy efficiency.
  • To really optimize your freezer's efficiency, defrost and dry it first. Strategically place your food items for easy access and use non-food fillers to occupy the central spaces. Leave enough air space for the thermostat to function properly.

A well-known trick to making your fridge and freezer more efficient is to fill it to capacity. But what if you just don't have enough food to fill your freezer? There are a few handy non-food items you can use to take up space in your freezer so that it is more energy efficient.

Why Filling Your Freezer Helps With Energy Efficiency


Each time you open your freezer, cold air escapes and warm air flows in. The majority of the energy your freezer uses goes towards cooling down the air that comes in when you open the freezer door. When your freezer is full, there is less room for warmer air to take up, and the items that are in there help to cool down any air that does sneak in. So keeping it full means less energy used.

What to Use to Fill Your Freezer for Energy Efficiency

1. Newspaper: You can move food items towards the outer sides of your freezer and stuff the interior spaces with newspaper.

2. Bags of shipping peanuts: These take up lots of room in mostly empty freezers, and the bags can be molded to fit the spaces.

3. Ziplock bags filled with water: Not only will this help with energy efficiency, but you'll also have ice on hand to keep your food cold if there's a power loss.

4. Reusable plastic to-go containers filled with water: These stack up like building blocks, and are easy to take in and out, and use for small gaps in your stocked fridge.

5. Milk jugs filled with water: If you'd like to reuse, instead of recycle, your milk jugs, this is a great use for them.

How to Fill Your Freezer for Energy Efficiency 1. Defrost and dry your freezer. 2. Move what food items you have towards the front and sides so that you can quickly grab them when you need them. 3. Fill interior central cavity with the non-food item of your choice. 4. Be sure to leave air space around the edges and top so your freezer's thermostat can sense the temperature. Got a tip or a post idea for us to write about on Planet Green? Email pgtips (at) treehugger (dot) com.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the type of freezer affect how efficiently it can be filled for energy savings?
Yes, the type of freezer (chest vs. upright) can affect its efficiency and how it should be filled. Chest freezers typically are more energy-efficient and better at maintaining cold air when you open them, potentially requiring less filler strategy than upright freezers.
How often should I reorganize or replace the fillers in my freezer to maintain efficiency?
Regular checks, at least bi-annually, are recommended to ensure your fillers are maintaining your freezer's efficiency. Replace water fillers if they've leaked or evaporated and adjust their placement as necessary to accommodate new or removed food items.