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Where do chest freezer dissipate heat?

I was thinking about totally encasing my chest freezer 3/8" tungue and groove paneling but then I was wondering if that would damage the unit. Do chest freezers dissipate heat on the sides and front of the units?

Anywhere they have a grill should be left open. I would think you could cut matching slots in the paneling where the grill is.

Next time the compressor is running, wait five minutes then run your hand around the outside and you’ll find the hot spots.

Freezers made in the last ~15-20 years have tubing that is brazed directly to the skin and may reject heat on all 4 sides. You can feel around on the skin and see where it is getting hot like Shadetree says. If you have an older model that has a visible coil on the outside, then that’s probably where all the heat exchange is occurring. You definitely want to avoid drilling a hole in the freezer in the area of a condenser tube.

There was somebody that did what you are talking about in the ‘post a pic of your kegerator thread’, maybe 6 pages from the end? IIRC he didn’t detail how he dealt with this issue, but did mention doing something. You’d probably need to blow a fan or two through the enclosure and leave space all around to transfer the heat out.

I am doing the same build with my chest freezer. I actually built a “bar type” top which overhangs the freezer lid so you can sut up to it like a normal bar. I built a 2x8 frame with casters and sat the freezer on that. The frame is 2" wider that the freezer, that way I made a sub frame with 2x2’s going up the walls around the unit about 18" on center. I have osb over that and am in the process of putting the T&G over that now. You could put the T &G over the 2x2 frame as well without the osb sheeting. Those 2x2’s keep the finished material off the freezer walls and I did that because they do get quite hot. I am venting with screen material at the top of the freezer walls in a few spots around the unit to allow for heat dissipation from the walls. There is an opening in the lower back corner of the freezer where the compressor is. I will be mounting an 8" fan there that is plugged into the temp controller so that when the controller turns on the freezer compressor the fan will come on as well blowing out heat away from the compressor. The bar down the street from me did a remodel and I scored their old 6 tap “H” tower, taps and 24" flush drain tray which will go on the bar top when it is finished. Hope some of this is helpful. I did a LOT of research prior to starting this project on wood encasing a freezer. Good luck on your build!

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