A freestanding freezer is a godsend not only for gardeners, hunters, and mushroom hunters who need to store their surplus grown or harvested provisions. Now this household appliance is also needed for those who stock up on too much stuff in anticipation of a price hike. Hint: you can store cereals in the freezer to prevent food moths from breeding in them.
But kitchen space doesn’t allow everyone to put a large unit, so many manufacturers make medium- and small-sized freezers. This time Atlant M-7402-100 came to us for testing. As usual, we are going to examine its performance, capacity, and usability.
|Country of manufacture||China|
|Energy efficiency class||А+|
|Climate Class||N, ST|
|Total volume||65 л|
|Useful volume||60 л|
|Rated temperature rise time for products from -18 °C to -9 °C in case of power failure||8 ч|
|Storage temperature||-18 °C|
|Freezing capacity at +25°C||3 kg/day|
|Dimensions (H×H×D)||850×480×520 mm|
|Mains cable length||1,4 м|
* Contrary to popular misconception, this is not a deadline after which the device will necessarily break down. However, after this period, the manufacturer ceases to bear any responsibility for its performance and has the right to refuse to repair it, even for a fee.
The freezer arrived in a brown cardboard box, reinforced with polyethylene slings. The manufacturer’s logo and shipping information are printed on the package itself, and the model number and brief technical specifications of the unit are on the sticker.
In addition to the freezer itself with drawers installed, the package includes the instruction manual, warranty card, energy efficiency sticker, and a self-adhesive rating plate.
At first glance.
The design of the Atlant M-7402-100 freezer is simple and devoid of any frills: a traditional parallelepiped of white color. Only the manufacturer’s logo stands out on the smooth, slightly convex door. The door handle is integrated into the top edge, finished with plastic, and is a convenient groove.
The dimensions of this model are close to the freezer compartment of a large two-compartment refrigerator – and just like most of them, it has three food drawers: two normal-sized and a smaller bottom one.
The drawers are made of clear, slightly grayish plastic and have semicircular handles for an ergonomic grip.
The evaporator tubes are integrated into the shelves and located above the drawers. In this way, the two upper containers are cooled both from below and from above, while the lower container is cooled only from above.
They run along the right side of the rear wall in a special recess. Behind the top drawer in the same recess is a temperature sensor. This model has no backlight or door opening sensor.
The walls of the drawer have many stiffeners and protrusions that reinforce the construction: even when fully loaded, the container does not tilt and slides out without difficulty.
The side walls of the freezer are smooth and the back is flat.
The heat exchanger in the freezer is concealed: it is located behind the left side wall.
At the bottom of the back wall, we see a recess for the compressor unit: it’s the one that takes some of the useful volume away from one of the drawers.
The freezer uses a QD65YV unit made in China (Hangzhou Qianjiang Refrigeration Group), charged with R600a refrigerant. The compressor unit is suspended on rubber shock absorbers of moderate rigidity and does not protrude beyond the cabinet dimensions.
There are two height-adjustable feet on the bottom of the unit, at the front of the unit: they allow the unit to be stably positioned on an uneven floor.
The Atlant M-7402-100 manual is an A5 size black and white brochure printed on heavy white paper. The printing quality is good, the text and the few pictures are easily readable. The document is in Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakh.
The Russian-language part takes up 11 of the 36 pages of the brochure. The manual explains in detail the construction and purpose of the freezer, provides instructions for its installation and preparation for operation, operation and maintenance of the appliance.
A list of possible malfunctions with troubleshooting methods, energy-saving recommendations and the manufacturer’s warranty obligations round out the document.
The power control is located inside the unit: on the front panel above the top drawer.
The round mechanical knob has three positions: Min, Normal and Max. Turning it, depending on the temperature in the room, sets the desired cooling capacity. The unit has no function to set the desired temperature.
The freezer is not equipped with any operating indicator.
Before using the appliance, remove all packaging materials from it, including the bottom liner, foam pads and protective films on the doors and cabinet. After transportation, keep the freezer unplugged for at least one and a half hours, and if it has been transported at temperatures below 0°C, for at least four hours. It is recommended to keep the door open.
The manufacturer recommends cleaning the unpacked freezer: the outer surfaces with a soft cloth soaked in warm water or in a weak soap solution, and the accessories and plastic surfaces inside with a soft cloth with soap or soda solution, then with clean water, and after that dry and ventilate the unit thoroughly.
The chamber should be installed in a place out of direct sunlight, at least half a meter away from heating appliances (gas and electric stoves, ovens and heating radiators). Leave at least five centimeters of free space above the housing and on the sides.
As with most large appliances, after installation in the right place, the freezer should be aligned relative to the floor, achieving a stable horizontal position. The two front legs, the length of which can be adjusted by rotation, are used to level the freezer.
The side walls of the unit, behind which the heat exchangers are hidden, become noticeably hot during operation. As usual, we give pictures of the device turned on in the infrared range.
Front/left and rear/right walls of the switched on freezer in infrared. At the bottom of the rear wall, the working compressor is clearly visible.
In addition to traditional capacity measurements with a ruler and tape measure, we demonstrate freezer capacity with more illustrative examples
Either of the two top drawers of the freezer compartment holds up to 9 400-gram bags of frozen vegetables: three bags can be stacked horizontally, while the rest are placed vertically.
The lowest drawer, which has a little less depth, holds 5-6 vegetable bags.
A box of frozen pizza fits only in the top and middle drawers and only horizontally.
Atlant M-7402-100 has no automatic defrosting system, the user will have to monitor the condition of the evaporator himself, preventing the formation of an ice coat, and defrost the chamber manually.
It is recommended to defrost the freezer when a dense snow cover has formed on the cooling surface, preventing the transfer of cold to the products. Do not use hard objects to remove frost or snow: wait for natural melting.
Cleaning the freezer is recommended after each defrosting, but at least twice a year.
Wash the outside surfaces, as we mentioned above, with a soft cloth soaked in warm water or in a weak soap solution. On the inside, you should also use soap or soda solution, and then wipe the surfaces and shelves several times with a cloth soaked in clean water.
Of course, all manipulations should be carried out on the unplugged unit, and before turning it on, wait until it is completely dry inside and outside.
We consider the useful volume of a refrigeration unit to be the total volume of all drawers and shelves of the appliance, calculated through measurements of the internal capacities.
That is why the results of our measurements are guaranteed never to coincide with the values indicated in the documentation by the manufacturers: they indicate the total volume of the compartments, and we try to calculate the usable volume.
Our measured volume of the two top freezer compartment drawers is for each 31×31×18 cm³, the volume of the bottom one is 31×19×18 cm³.
The calculated total volume of the freezer drawers is thus 17.2+17.2+10.6 = 45 liters
We measured the energy consumption of the device in the maximum power mode for 3 days. During this time, the freezer consumed 0.877 kWh. The maximum daily power consumption is, respectively, about 0.292 kWh.
The operating noise of the freezer does not exceed 37 dB when the compressor is running. The unit does not make any noticeable noise when the refrigeration unit is paused.
To measure the freezing capacity of a freezer and evaluate the thermal insulation of the enclosure, our lab created a hardware and software package based on an Arduino minicomputer and DS18B20 digital sensors designed to operate over a temperature range of -55 to +125 °C and provide ±0.5 °C accuracy from -10 to +85 °C.
To ensure that the processor’s heat output did not affect the microclimate in the chamber and the measurement results, we placed the instrument outside the freezer. The sensors were connected to the minicomputer with three 0.3 mm² wires with additional sealing at the place of passage under the door seal.
The two temperature sensors were inside four-liter water containers placed in the top and middle drawer, as close to the center of the containers as possible. The dimensions of the bottom box did not allow us to place a third container. The total volume of freezing ballast was, therefore, eight liters, which is a little more than the declared freezing capacity of the device.
In this test, we were going to see how fast the water in the ballast containers would turn to ice when the unit was turned to maximum power.
We closed the freezer door when the ballast temperature was just under 10 °C and left the unit running for an extended period of time. You can see the results of the measurements in the graph.
During the first two and a half hours, the temperature in the containers dropped to zero, and the transition of water to the ice phase began to occur about 12 hours after the start of the test. Approximately at the same time, the freezer compressor switched from constant cooling to the “on/off” mode: a characteristic saw-tooth pattern appeared on the air temperature graphs. The air temperature in the lower drawer, which lacked a water container, dropped to a minimum of -26 °C at the first stage, and the two upper ones cooled down more slowly.
After about thirty hours of operation, the temperature of the ice in the containers equaled the average air temperature. Let’s take a closer look at the graph of temperature fluctuations at this stage.
The Atlant M-7402-100 design uses a classic on/off type compressor. Adjustment of power of the device is carried out by switching the motor on and off, the period of air temperature fluctuations is about 15 minutes. The average temperature in the upper box is about -19.5 °C, in the middle box about -20 °C, and the coldest in the lower box is about -21.5 °C.
To evaluate the quality of the insulation of the case, we decided to find out how long a filled freezer with the door closed “holds the cold” when the power goes out. We unplugged the unit that had been running for three days and filled with frozen water ballast and watched the temperature rise inside the chamber.
Six hours after de-energizing, the temperature of the “food” in the upper and lower boxes was -7 °C and -10 °C, respectively, and the temperature of the ice in the containers rose to zero degrees in 11 hours and 40 minutes in the upper box and almost 17 hours in the middle box.
The Atlant M-7402-100 freezer is an inexpensive, simple but well-made household appliance. Compact dimensions allow to use it as an additional freezer in a small apartment, in a country house and even on an insulated loggia, and not bad energy efficiency will provide low power consumption and will save food even at long, up to half a day, power outage.
The freezer is not overloaded with technological innovations, is not equipped with a possibility of precise temperature setting in the chambers and even has no operating indicators but performs its main task – long-term storage of frozen foods – very well.
- good energy efficiency
- easy operation
- low noise
- low price
- Lack of performance indicators
- No accurate storage temperature setting