Below are a series of things you may want to take into account for before you purchase your next fridge freezer. In this fridge freezer guide, The first and most crucial is do you need a separate fridge and separate freezer or are you looking for a combination model?
Fridge freezers come in two basic forms, the really basic form is a fridge with a compartment within it containing a freezing unit – these are generally only suitable for someone living alone or for ice.
The other most substantial version is where the unit is quite tall and has a completely separate freezer unit either above or below the fridge unit. These are often the same size as each other.
Now, lets talk about some of the basics to think about:
Size of Fridge Freezer
The exterior dimensions of the fridge freezer will be provided in centimetres – height, width and depth, so make sure you measure the space that you have in CMS but our advice is to allow at least 2 CMS all round to allow air circulation as both units generate some heat while in operation.
Secondly make sure you leave 3-5 CMS at the back to allow for the cable. You should obviously also consider your ceiling height if this is an issue.
You may find that some models will need even more space at the back of them to allow for cool air venting, so you will have to bear this in mind when choosing.
For built-in models, make sure that you allow for the “housing” as well.
The interior capacity of the fridge freezer is generally quoted in litres and/or cubic feet.
Some makers provide a separate breakdown of how the space is divided up; i.e. litres/ of fridge space, and litres/ of freezer space.
These numbers are a useful way of comparing the models as you will find some models have big variations depending on their constructions.
Fridge Freezer Space and Your Lifestyle
Consider what sort of food that you buy: If you regularly buy fresh food and tend to only use the freezer for ice cubes, ice cream etc then you should consider a model with a larger area and smaller freezer.
If your shopping tends towards lots of frozen items that you keep in the freezer for a long time then you need to make sure you have not only a higher capacity freezer but also one that has a more powerful freezing element.
Fridge Freezer Energy Efficiency
Fridge freezers all now energy rated with “A through to G” according to their energy efficiency.
“A” is the best and will save you money on your electricity bill but bear in mind that some of the really cheap “A” rated models may be under powered.
Their running costs are very often given in “kilowatts per year”; a good guideline when comparing models in the shop.
You should use the ratings to get an idea which model will cost more to run, by multiplying this number by the “cost per kilowatt hour” that you pay for your electricity.
Generally speaking, more recent models tend to fall into the A – C range. The fridge and freezer areas will have separate controls to allow it to work at optimum temperatures.
Fridge Freezer Star Ratings
Given in 1 star* to 4 stars **** for the freezer section. The more stars the better! Most fridge freezers will be three or four stars. This means that the majority of foods can be frozen and safely stored for up to twelve months.
Lower star ratings are usually applicable to ice boxes rather than freezers meaning than food can only be safely frozen for ** = one month and * = one week.
Frost Free Fridge Freezer
This really does means just that! No more de-frosting, emptying out, scraping off ice and mopping up puddles of water in your kitchen.
Consider this option if you a re going for a bigger size of freezer and if you have a family who are in and out of it a lot.
This has to be one of the best innovations ever and although models with this feature tend to be more expensive, it’s definitely worth considering.
Fridge Freezer Auto-Defrost
This automatically regulates the temperature in your fridge freezer to prevent frost build up meaning that you should never get unwanted ice ever again! Not available in all models but again, worth looking out for.
Fridge Freezer Shelving
Look for shelving that is easy to clean and can be removed (and ideally is adjustable).
Be careful of glass ones as these can break and are expensive to replace – however they are very practical for the fridge section as they can just be wiped down and don’t block the view of what’s inside.
It’s worth checking to see if you can comfortably reach all the shelves as some fridge freezers can be quite tall! For the freezer section the food drawers need to be strong – they will potentially be carrying heavy food items and have to be tough enough not to crack when being pulled out for the hundredth time! Most are made from see-through strong plastic.
Try them out in the shop to make sure that they don’t feel flimsy – they will have to stand up to lots of wear and tear and are very often the first things to break.
OTHER USEFUL FEATURES TO LOOK OUT FOR IN Fridge Freezer
Fast Freeze – This option quickly lowers the temperature of the freezer reducing ice build up on food.
This may have a light to indicate operation and can be useful to freeze fresh food, especially soft fruit.
Noise dBA – Noise levels measured in decibels. A reasonable level is anything under 40, while anything nearer 50 would be quite noisy.
Not all models will give this information but it’s worth looking out for especially if your fridge freezer will be in an open plan kitchen/family room.
Reversible Doors – Many models have this option making them easier to integrate into your kitchen, and move to a different position should you want to later on.
GENERAL About Fridge Freezer
Fridge freezers are a very convenient and space saving appliance that you won’t want to replace every year, so try to ensure that the model you choose suits your food buying habits and quantities.
A variety of colours and finishes are easily available to suit every taste. As with all appliances, look out for good design, strong construction (especially on the doors and freezers drawers) and a warranty that you’re comfortable with.
Fridge Freezer Guide - What Type of Fridge Freezer Should I Buy?
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