EZ Freeze gas refrigerators are completely non-electric in operation and use either propane gas or natural gas to freeze and refrigerate foods. That statement is not exactly true, since the LED interior light does use 4 “D” cell type batteries for operation. But the important part does not require electricity or any power source other than gas to both start-up and continuously refrigerate. Simply hook up the gas line to the gas source and light the flame. The fridge will be cooling within the first hour and be completely cooled down in about 8 to 12 hours depending on the size capacity of the unit.
There are a few reasons why EZ Freeze chooses to go this route of completely non-electric as opposed to a dual power (gas or 110 volt AC) operation. The main reason is the fact that EZ Freeze was founded by and currently owned by the Amish. Why would being Amish have anything to do with the power operation of the refrigerators? Amish beliefs include being independent of others and living a simple lifestyle. Not being “plugged in” to the electric grid is a big part of the Amish independence. In a modern day Amish home you will find gas powered refrigerators, hand or gas engine powered clothes washers, and gas powered lighting.
The original development of the EZ Freeze brand was centered on supplying the Amish communities. And the largest gas powered refrigerators were born. From that point, their distribution has expanded to the non-Amish world and now is the most popular brand of propane powered refrigerators.
Another reason for the non-electric design is the simplicity. No circuit boards, solenoids, or motors to complicate the operation. The only moving part of an EZ Freeze gas refrigerator is the thermostat unless you count the water and ammonia solution moving through the absorption system. The solution moves via gravity and pressure. The flame boils the solution and the vapors rise to the top of the unit where they condense back to a liquid. From there it travels downhill with only gravity helping. No motors or pumps involved in the circulation of the fluids within the sealed absorption system.
Other brand gas refrigerators, particularly the recreational vehicle type units, do require electricity to operate on propane gas. The RV industry has gravitated toward the use of circuit boards and solenoids to control the refrigerator temperature and automatic switching devices from one power source to another. All these features have complicated the once simple unit and have dramatically increased repairs within the RV industry. For this reason, most of the home style gas refrigerator brands such as EZ Freeze have stayed away from these devices.
One current brand and some brands no longer in production have offered 110 volt AC capabilities. This addition allows for dual power operation. Operation from the 110 volt AC source is very inefficient. Here is why…. In order for the absorption system to operate, it uses a heat source such as the flame that continuously burns. During the 110 volt AC operation, this flame gets replaced by a 110 volt heater rod. A heater rod is just a heating element that gets red hot to replace the flame heat. This power draw on the electrical system is over twice as much as a standard brand name compressor type electric fridge. The only benefit to this would be for a back-up power source to the gas service if for some reason the gas supply ran out and then enough electricity could be generated to keep the food from spoiling.
The “Gas only” design is totally off grid, simple in design, low on maintenance, and completely silent. Don’t you wish everything was like this?