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The Purchase : Productopia Tips : Freezers

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Look for good construction. Look for a one-piece cabinet with wrap-around construction and acrylic enamel finish. Sealed-compressor systems offer fuss-free maintenance.

Carefully consider capacity. Innovations in insulation materials let manufacturers offer large-capacity models in smaller-than-ever cabinets. Although you may be tempted to purchase the biggest freezer your space -- or your budget -- can accommodate, remember that freezers run most efficiently when filled tightly.

Weigh options wisely. If you plan to store lots of bulky items, consider a model with sliding baskets. If parties leave you hunting for the ice trays, consider an icemaker -- standard issue in a few models, and an optional accessory for most.

Find freedom from frost. Frost-free models are convenient, but they're also apt to cause freezer burn, so be sure to package food properly. Cheaper manual-defrost models cost less to operate, and that semi-annual defrost isnít so tricky if you know some tricks.

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