Freeze Dryers

How Much Are Freeze Dryers?

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If you’re thinking of buying a freeze dryer, you’re likely doing a lot of research before making your purchase. Of course, one of your top concerns will be how much the machine will cost you, but don’t worry. This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Freeze dryers can cost anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the brand and model that you choose. But that price tag isn’t the only thing you’ll pay. Owning a freeze dryer will also cost you money for the necessary accessories plus operating and maintenance costs.

This guide is going to save you loads of time and a lot of headaches by showing you the kind of costs you’ll run into when planning to buy a freeze drier.

Let’s get started.

How Much Is A Freeze Dryer?

Freezer dryer prices can range anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000 upfront per unit. That price range is vast because there are different types and sizes of freeze dryers, including professional and industrial versions.

The average user who just wants a household freeze dryer can expect to pay between $2,000 to $5,000 instead.

The price tags you’ll see will differ based on:

  • Brand
  • Model, design, and style
  • Capacity
  • Additional accessories sold together
  • Shipping fees (a small unit can weigh about 60 pounds)

As far as home appliances go, freeze dryers are a significant investment. So, you’ll want to do a bit of homework to ensure that you’re buying one that’ll suit your needs perfectly.

Why Do Freeze Dryers Cost So Much To Own?

There are 4 reasons why freeze dryers cost so much to own: the complex components, the additional accessories needed, the operating and maintenance costs, and indirect costs.

Related: Why are Freeze Dryers so Expensive?

Let’s take a closer look at each of those factors that contribute to a freeze dryer’s price tag.

1. Complex Components

The first reason freeze dryers are expensive to own is that they have complex components inside. Those specialized components are necessary because the freeze-drying process itself is also complicated. 

Here’s what the process involves.

Firstly, the freeze dryer will flash-freeze your food items. Then, they’ll go into a vacuum chamber that’ll remove 90% of all moisture inside.

So, when you invest in a freeze dryer, part of what you’re paying is for the high-precision freezing parts and the powerful vacuum pump that removes the water content from the items inside.

On top of that, the cost also includes labor charges for skilled technicians who can assemble these complex appliances at the factory.

This first reason represents what you’ll pay upfront to buy a freeze dryer. However, there are some additional costs you’ll also have to keep in mind, which you’ll see in #2 and #3 below.

2. Additional Accessories

Freezing and drying are not the only parts required to preserve your food items despite the appliance’s name. Once your food is freeze-dried, you’ll then have to store them very carefully.

That’s why you’ll need additional accessories to seal your food in bags that are both moisture-proof and oxygen-proof.

Harvest Right Review

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer: The Best Home Freeze Dryer Available on the Market

$2,695 $3,195
In our research, the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is your best option for a home freeze dryer. It offers professional freeze-drying capabilities at a fraction of the cost compared to commercial units. If you’re looking to begin freeze-drying, you need to check out what Harvest Right offers.

The freeze dryer itself doesn’t have an impulse or continuous bag sealing abilities. That’s why you’ll also have to buy sealing equipment alongside your freeze dryer, which adds to the overall costs.

Some users prefer sealing their freeze-dried food in jars instead. If that’s the case for you, you’ll have to invest in sealing equipment that can do that as well.

Lastly, you’ll also need to pay for the bags and jars as well. That means paying for Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, glass jars, and anything else you’ll need to keep your freeze-dried food preserved for as long as possible.

3. Operating and Maintenance Costs

Owning a freeze dryer can also be costly due to the operating and maintenance costs associated with the machine. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay these costs to ensure that you can operate the machine and continue enjoying its benefits.

The two main costs that you’ll need to keep in mind are:

  • Maintenance costs for the vacuum pump, mainly for pump oil changes and oil filters (upwards of $25 per oil and filter change)
  • Electricity costs to run your freeze dryer (Roughly $2 a day, depending on local energy costs)

Like a car engine, the vacuum pump requires oil to keep its components running smoothly and prevent overheating. As you continue using the freeze dryer over an extended period, that oil will become contaminated and require changing.

The freeze dryer you buy will come supplied with an initial oil supply, making the appliance ready to use as soon as you get it. There’s also an oil filter to remove impurities and keep the oil usable for longer.

However, the general rule of thumb is to replace the oil every 2-5 loads. The same is true for the oil filter since it’ll get saturated with impurities the more you use the machine.

4. Indirect Costs

#1 to #3 are the direct costs you can expect to pay for owning a freeze dryer. However, you must also keep in mind that there are several other indirect costs.

For example, you’ll likely need a convenient space to store the freeze-dried food that you prepare with the machine. That could mean investing in shelves, cupboards, or just giving up some of the limited space in your home.

Besides that, you may or may not have a surface to place the freeze drier. So, it’s often an excellent idea to invest in a dedicated cart or table where you’ll place the appliance.

Remember: freeze dryers tend to weigh upwards of 60 pounds, so you’ll need to pay for a sturdy surface to protect your investment.

How Much Electricity Does A Freeze Dryer Use?

As mentioned above, another cost associated with your freeze dryer is the electricity cost. Remember: the freeze dryer can take anywhere from 24-48 hours each time you use it. 

So, even if the hourly costs look negligible at first, remember that you’ll be running these appliances for extended periods at a time.

Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer

A small- or medium-sized freeze dryer will draw about 9-11 amps of power an hour. So, for example, the electricity cost to keep your freeze dryer running could be more than $2 a day.

Suppose you decide to buy a large freeze dryer instead. In that case, you can expect it to require about 16 amps per hour instead, costing $3 or more a day.

Again, it’s important to remember that these dollar figures are estimates. Power costs in your area can be higher or lower or cost you nothing if you’re relying on solar power.

How Can A Freeze Dryer Pay For Itself?

Freeze dryers are unique in many ways, but here’s another one you might not be aware of. Unlike most other appliances, you can use a freeze dryer to pay for itself.

In simple terms, you can use your machine to freeze dry food items and sell them to people who want them.

You see, there are many groups of people who seek to buy freeze-dried food items. They include:

  • Hikers and campers
  • Survivalists
  • Pet owners
  • Coffee enthusiasts
  • And more

As you might already know, freeze dryers are significant investments that not everyone is willing or able to afford. That means the number of people who own freeze dryers is likely to be smaller than the number of people who want freeze-dried food items.

That’s why many people who invest in freeze dryers start home businesses to help recoup some of the money they spent on the machine.

Some prepare food items and then freeze-dry them for sale, while others just offer their freeze dryers to pack other people’s food.

In doing so, your freeze dryer will slowly pay you back for the money you spent to buy it in the first place. 

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Freeze-Dried Food Or Own A Freeze Dryer?

So far, we’ve explored the direct and indirect costs of owning a freeze-dryer. We’ve also seen how freeze dryer owners can also use their machines to regain some or all of the money they spent on them.

Now, there’s an even more significant question you should ask: should you buy a freeze dryer or just buy freeze-dried food from someone who already has a machine of their own.

Well, the answer to that question depends on how much freeze-dried food you need and how often you’ll need it.

Here are two scenarios to consider:

Scenario One

Let’s suppose you only need freeze-dried food once in a while, perhaps to go camping or hiking. Plus, you have no plans of starting a home business where you freeze dry food for other people.

Harvest Right Review

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer: The Best Home Freeze Dryer Available on the Market

$2,695 $3,195
In our research, the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer is your best option for a home freeze dryer. It offers professional freeze-drying capabilities at a fraction of the cost compared to commercial units. If you’re looking to begin freeze-drying, you need to check out what Harvest Right offers.

In that case, you’re better off buying freeze-dried food as-and-when you need it. Firstly, you’ll only spend money when you choose to buy that food.

But more importantly, you wouldn’t be paying the cost to buy a freeze dryer or for any of the indirect costs involved with owning the machine.

Scenario Two

But let’s say you plan to freeze dry food often. Perhaps you want to freeze-dry your leftovers or do the same to keep long-term food supplies at home.

In that case, continuously buying freeze-dried food from someone else will cost you more in the long run. Instead, you could reduce long-term costs by purchasing a machine of your own, allowing you to freeze-dry as much as you want, whenever you want.


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