Refrigeration Buying Guide
For most of us the purchase of a fridge, the main fridge for the household is driven by two events – the current one breaking down or a new kitchen being fitted. We therefore don’t spend as much time researching for the one appliance that often runs the entire household as the decision is often made in a rush or over shadowed by the new kitchen.
We’ve put together our buying guide to try and help you make the best possible choices for you.
Here’s the list of things to consider before you decide which fridge to buy:
- What features you need
- Colour options and style
- Energy efficiency & the environment
With the growing trend towards shopping more frequently, gone are the days when we needed a big fridge to ensure we could fit in the weekly shop. With smaller kitchens, more access to supermarkets and 24 hour store openings, we are storing far less food at any given time than before. All of which affects what size of fridge we actually need to buy.
Undercounter fridges are typically the most versatile. Not only can they be freestanding units used to create a focal point in a kitchen they can also slip away under the work surface if required.
Consider how many litres your fridge would hold too. Many slimline units won’t hold much. A good sized under counter fridge would typically have at least a 100 litre storage capacity.
What features do you need?
Essential features in any fridge are multiple shelves, an auto defrost function and a salad crisper drawer. How many shelves does your fridge come with. Often the inexpensive models only have 2 which reduces the amount of food you can store.
Typically a higher-spec fridge will include features such as a dedicated wine rack allowing you to store a couple of bottles of your favourite tipple but without taking up precious door space. Has the door on the fridge got lots of storage pockets too? A good fridge will give you a variety of different sized storage drawer and pockets – all designed to eek out every possible storage space.
Colour options and style
Typically many high end fridges will come in a wide array of colours – many of the inexpensive fridges are only available in white. It’s important to pick a finish that will complement your kitchen décor and have longevity. A well manufactured fridge will last for some time and you may not wish to change your fridge each time you redecorate.
What style are you looking for? Some fridges come with a canopy top and some are manufactured without any joins and are engineered from a single piece. This is important if you want to make a design feature of your fridge in your kitchen.
Look for design subtleties, such as an integrated handle which adds to a well thought out design.
Where is your fridge to be located? Avoid placing your fridge in places where the temperature fluctuates greatly – such as the garage, conservatory or near a radiator. You’ll make the compressor work harder and it will shorten the life of the fridge.
Ensure that if you’re placing your fridge underneath your worktop that there is a sufficient gap all round the unit for airflow. If you need to integrate your fridge then make sure you buy one designed for this.
Ensure the model you buy has a reversible door option too - not all models come with this function, and that you have enough gap between the fridge and the next unit so that the door can open properly.
Energy efficiency & the environment
As this is a major household appliance and runs 24/7 all year it is important to consider the energy use of the appliance. Most fridges start with an energy rating A and some models are as efficient as A+++. The more efficient the energy rating the lower the annual running costs.
Ensure your unit is not placed directly into sunlight or near a radiator. This will ensure that the compressor is not trying to bring the temperature down and as such will use less energy.