Having a freezer means extra expense to run it; to cut operating costs I have a manual-defrost freezer, which takes about 2/3 as much electricity to run.
The reason a freezer needs defrosted? Each of the shelves in the freezer has cooling coils running through it. Whenever you open the door, new air gets inside, and this air always has some moisture in it. This moisture condenses on whatever is coldest- the coils- and freezes. It gets thicker with time, and that layer of ice traps the cold. This makes the freezer work harder and harder to cool. Ice blanket= bad.
Defrosting every 6 months is usually about right. It's a little hassle, but pulling everything out reminds me of what all is in there. Seeing it all again= good.
At any rate, you're trying to melt all the ice out of the freezer while NOT letting all that food thaw. There are some tricks I've learned along the way to help with that. Watch the slide show above to learn them.