Toledo Talk

Chest Freezer

TT Peeps - I am planning on buying a freezer to put in the basement but have never had one. My concern (yes, I worry about everything when it comes to my kids)is the kids have a game room in the basement and often sleep down there when they have friends over and....I wonder if one of those freezers breaks down can it give off toxic fumes? I have two detectors downstairs but I can't seem to get over this aspect of it. Call me a nut case - but any thoughts would be great. Thanks and after this thread I promise I will talk about Mexican Restaurants again.

created by Molsonator on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:16:10 am     Home     Comments: 8

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Even if the chest freezer were to break down, the likelihood of it leaking refrigerant is so small that you should be concerned about other basement hazards, like radon, first.

When a freezer or refrigerator stops working, it is usually because the compressor becomes tied up. In such a case, no refrigerant leaks from the system.

I would say, by the odds, that the stairs to the basement are a thousand times more likely to hurt your kids than a chest freezer. Also keep in mind that a very small child could fall inside a chest freezer and becoming trapped, so I would recommend one with a lock on the lid.

posted by brainswell on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:49:53 am     #  

yeah, what he said. also, if you have room, put it in your garage or other cooler/cold room. we had ours in the basement for 8 years...also in the area of a game room and a bedroom...and the kids constantly had it open, getting stuff. In the garage, they'll forget about it+colder area=better efficiency. also, getting it in and out of a basement sucks.

posted by nana on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:11:23 pm     #  

While huffing refrigerant gases is likely to erode the lining of your lungs, the small amount in a residential freezer will not harm you even if someone shot the condenser with a .22 rifle. The couple of pounds of R-134a (or whatever refrigerant the machine uses) in the machine would quickly dissipate, and the gas would be a very small proportion of the total air volume in your house should such an event occur in the winter.

In a 12'×12'×8' room, there is something like 1150 cubic feet of air. This is about 100 pounds of air by volume, so even in a sealed room with all of the refrigerant leaking out (worst case scenario) the refrigerant would only take up 2 to 3 percent of the total volume of air. Plus, as soon as you opened a door or window, this percentage would drop even further.

Also, since refrigerants are typically heavier than air, they would tend to stay in the basement if your machine was in the basement. If you are really worried about this, keep the freezer somewhere in the vicinity of your central air or furnace system, and then you would have air circulation.

But really: drug freaks huff this stuff directly into their lungs, and while I am sure their longevity is significantly compromised, they continue to get high off until they are blue in the face.

posted by historymike on Oct 10, 2011 at 02:31:15 pm     #  

Oh, and if the stuff in the freezer stays frozen, you know that you have little-to-no refrigerant leaking. If you open the freezer and everything has defrosted, then you can pinch your nose. :-)

posted by historymike on Oct 10, 2011 at 02:32:52 pm     #  

i have a small chest freezer for sale cheap.
no leaks :-)

posted by jhop on Oct 10, 2011 at 04:46:29 pm     #  

Last storage freezer I bought had a lock on it too. You don't want anyone thinking it would be a great place to hide. If it doesn't have a lock, you can easily put a padlock mechanism on it to keep curious "hide and seekers" out.

posted by hockeyfan on Oct 10, 2011 at 06:56:14 pm     #  

dunno about other freezers but mine is a small chest model that does not latch and if anyone ever climbed in and shut the lid, they could push it right back open again. plus it's always too full for anyone, even a small child, to fit and get the lid totally closed. My fridge doesn't latch either. Not sure this is a major consideration on modern machines, is it?

posted by nana on Oct 11, 2011 at 01:27:18 pm     #  

Thanks All - Off to buy this weekend. You "ToledoTalked" me into it.

posted by Molsonator on Oct 12, 2011 at 08:34:44 am     #