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I am a happy owner of an upright frost free freezer which, after only two years, has needed to have its mechanical defrost timer replaced. Apparently, this timer runs the heater coil for twenty minutes after every twelve hours of compressor operation.

I have read some concerns that people have voiced about short cycling a refrigerant compressor and am interested in cutting costs as well as reducing wear on the machine.

My question is: are there any controller upgrades that would be more intelligent about running the defrost coil? For example, a simple, improved rule set would consist of:

  IF   time since last last defrost > 12 hours
  AND  positive rise (defrost timer is being energized because thermostat closing)
  THEN start defrost cycle
  ELSE run compressor

It strikes me that there might be a drop-in replacement controller that already follows similar logic, which would theoretically greatly reduce the chances of short cycling the compressor when initiating a defrost cycle.

In our usage case, we open and close the freezer at least once a day and try to keep it packed to the gills with pwecious fwood.

  • "Short cycling" from the defrost cycle is not a concern here. The main issue with frost free freezers that I know of is they tend to wreck food more quickly than manual defrost freezers. The defrost cycle tends to accelerate food freezer burn. – user39367 Oct 20 '15 at 0:29
  • @chris, thanks for pointing this out. I actually constructed some crude storage bins that are lined with phase change material that freezes at -10 deg F to help keep some of my most precious food from being destroyed as quickly. – baitisj Oct 29 '15 at 22:41

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