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Lifespan of a ULT Freezer. Consequences for using them for too long?

How many years have you been using your ULT freezer? Maybe some of them have been there long before you joined the lab. ULT freezers which you store your valuable samples for long durations must be highly reliable.

We all want our freezers to not fail, and be able to use them for a long time. However, continuing using a ULT freezer for a long time, may also have negative consequences. If so, what are the downsides to using a ULT freezer for many years?

Risk of failure or sudden product renewal

When there is a big difference between outside temperature and internal chamber temperature, or when you open the freezer’s door frequently, the freezer’s compressor will endure a large amount of stress, and may cause old models to break.
Currently, if you are using freezers older than 2012 (9 years ago), you may find that fixing your freezer if it is broken would be a challenge, as some of the components are no longer in production.
In order to evade such risks, a planned renewal of your equipment should be considered.

Old freezers can be pricey for your electricity bills

One research findings state that half of the lab’s electricity comes from equipment using the power plugs inside the lab. Of which ULT freezers can easily be suspected as the main culprit, since they are constantly on 365 days a year.
However, latest models of ULT freezers are equipped with enhanced invertor control technology and refined thermal insulation, and as a result are much more energy saving compared to models launched 5years ago.

Refrigerants of old freezers may harm your lab and the earth

ULT freezers started to adopt HC (hydrocarbon) refrigerants much later than household electronics such as refrigerators and air conditioners. Not many are aware that ULT freezers which still use old refrigerants that contribute to global warming require a compulsory once-a-year checkup.
Of course greenhouse gas emission is a global problem, but wouldn’t you prefer to concentrate on your work with no disturbance by equipment maintenances?