If you are thinking of purchasing a freeze dryer there are a number of things you will want to consider. A freeze dryer is a long term investment after all, just like a washing machine or any other large appliance. Here are a few things to think about before spending your hard-earned money.
How much food you will be freeze drying – If you plan on freeze drying small amounts of food for your future personal use, then a small freeze dryer should serve you well. If, however, you are planning to create a viable long term emergency food bank for your entire family you will likely need a larger freeze dryer. Each freeze dryer will indicate how much food it can process at any one time.
Whether your electrical wiring is up to the job – The larger freeze dryers consume quite a bit of electricity and require a 220 volt plug. If you have an older house or live in an old apartment building it may not have one. Also, freeze dryers can draw as much as 16 or 17 amps at their peak consumption. So, if you do not have a 20 amp plug in your home that you can use for the dryer you will need to install one. Otherwise your circuit breakers will be tripping all the time . If you cannot change the system you will need a small freeze dryer. They will work with a 110 volt, 15 amp system.
How much space you have for the dryer and food storage – As we discussed briefly above, you may have to get creative when it comes to where you put your freeze dryer. They are not small. So you cannot expect to just put it on the kitchen counter and forget about it. A lot of people put them on mobile carts and move them around as needed. But whatever the case, make sure your home can accommodate the freeze dryer you have in mind.
The weight of the freeze dryer – If you have ever lifted a microwave oven you know they are heavier than they look. The same is true for the freeze dryer, except they are much bigger than a microwave. The large home freeze dryers can weigh more than 160 pounds. That is a lot of weight to move around. Which is another reason many people keep them on carts, even if they have lots of room in their homes.
Maintenance – Freeze dryers are not high-maintenance appliances. But they are not maintenance-free either. You will need to make sure you keep the dryer clean at all times and that you inspect critical aspects of it, such as the door seal, from time to time. In most cases, the freeze dryer vacuum pump needs to have its oil changed occasionally too . It is not a complicated process, but it does need to be done.