Hybrid freezers that can refrigerate too

Hybrid freezers that can refrigerate too

Stand-alone freezers have always been about one thing: providing extra storage space for frozen foods. But two new models—the Hisense DZ9 dual-zone freezer and the Frigidaire FKCH17F7HW, both being tested in Consumer Reports’ labs—have hybridized the product, combining freezing and refrigeration. The result is a freezer that can also handle surplus beverages, meats, and the like.

Hisense, a Chinese manufacturer looking to expand its presence in the U.S. market has given Lowe’s the exclusive to its DZR dual-zone chest freezer (model FC-33DT1HA). The $ 360 unit has a claimed capacity of 9 cubic feet split between a 6.7-cubic-foot deep freezer and a 2.3-cubic-foot freezer/refrigerator section with a temperature range from 21° to 50° F, good for ice cream, soda, and more. The DZ9 has adjustable wire storage baskets and a water drain that can be used during manual defrosting.  

The Frigidaire FKCH17F7HW, $ 600, resembles a standard upright freezer, with a claimed 17 cubic feet of capacity. Its unique feature is the Frost-Free Operation, which lets you convert the unit to a refrigerator with the push of a button. The unit is self-defrosting, so you won’t have to remember to periodically do that task by hand. In Consumer Reports’ freezer tests, self-defrost freezers offer better temperature control than manual-defrost models, though they tend to be a bit noisier. We’ll see whether the same holds true for the Frigidaire FKCH17F7HW, and how its performance, energy efficieny, and ease of use compare to that of the Hisense DZ9.

—Daniel DiClerico    

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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