Fridges, Freezers and Fridge Freezers – Stop! Don’t Buy One Until You Read This
Hello ! I have been supplying and installing Fridges, Freezers and Fridge Freezers and other appliances for nearly 30 years and if you ask me for my opinion on buying a Fridge or Freezer I would offer the following advice.
How much space is available for your Fridge or Freezer?
I know this sounds obvious and a bit of a stupid question – but you would be amazed how many people become so be-dazzled by all the whistles and bells when buying a new domestic appliance that they complete forget the basics – like will it fit?
The most common external dimensions for a fridge are 600 mm wide x 600 mm deep and the height can range from 450 mm to 2000 mm.
This is fairly obvious and easy to check, perhaps a more important consideration is the internal capacity, and you should try to match this as close as possible to your requirements. (Remember – trying to cool an empty space in a fridge is a waste of energy – just like trying to heat an empty room in a house. With this in mind you need to consider your shopping habits, your cooking habits and the size of your family before making your choice.
Most of the information covered regarding fridges can be applied to freezers, but there are some additional considerations.
Freezing Capacity – This indicates the amount of food that can be frozen in a 24 hour period and is usually indicated in kg.
Temperature – Freezers should keep food at -18C – and the optimum fast freeze temperature for food to retain most of its nutritional value is -26C.
Types of Freezers – There are two types of freezer, the traditional chest freezer, and my personal favourite, the upright freezer.
I find the upright freezer takes up less floor space and makes it easier to store and retrieve food.
Virtually all the information covered in fridges and freezers can be applied to Fridge Freezers and in most cases Fridge Freezers are the most popular and most economical choice.
Other Things to Consider
Energy Rating – All Fridges/Freezers and Fridge Freezers are now rated for efficiency, from A to G (A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient).
Colour – The white fridge/freezer is still the most popular colour but you can now easily get a silver fridge/freezer or a black fridge/freezer. And at some specialist stores, virtually any colour you want !
Cooling Agent – CFC gas was the most commonly used cooling agent, but this has now been banned, due to the damage it causes to the ozone layer when it leaks into the atmosphere, and some of the alternatives contribute to global warming. As a result many new fridges now contain natural gases, like Isobutene, which have no harmful effects on the ozone layer and don’t add to global warming.
Disposal of Fridges/Freezers
There are specialist firms that will dispose of fridges and freezers, your local council will advise you. Many older models contain CFC gases and even more importantly carelessly discarded fridges can be very dangerous to young children, who may become trapped inside them leading to suffocation!
Defrosting is essential to keep your fridge or freezer working at its maximum efficiency. It can be a real chore, but it is now possible to buy fridges and freezers that don’t need to be defrosted because the air is constantly circulated to prevent a build up of ice.
Extras Worth Considering
Zoned Freezers – you can now get fridge freezers with different temperatures in different zones, to match the freezing requirements of different foods.
Ice/Water – Many models now have ice-makers/dispensers and water chillers/dispensers fitted as standard.
Door Alarms – It is possible to get fridge freezers with door alarms fitted – to prevent doors being left open accidentally. I think these should be fitted as standard !
The purpose of this information is to give you the basic knowledge to make an informed decision on the type of fridge, freezer or fridge/freezer you need for your own personal circumstances. For this reason in this article, I haven’t gone into detail on specific makes and models of fridges and freezers, I have other articles where I focus on specific kitchen appliances, based on my own knowledge and experience.