In years gone by, it used to be easy to buy a fridge freezer, it was either freestanding or built-in. But things have changed and now the variety and colours of fridge-freezers are just two of the things you need to think about when buying a fridge-freezer.
At first you will need to think about size. Fridge-freezers are getting bigger and bigger, with as much as 50cm difference between the biggest and smallest. Widths are changing too, especially since American fridge-freezers are becoming more and more popular. There are lots of new colours and features, too.
You are probably replacing an old fridge-freezer and if so you will doubtless want the same style, unless you are completely remodelling your kitchen, that is. Whichever, take a good look at the space you have available, and check those measurements carefully. Fridge-freezers need to have space around them for air circulation.
Once you have decided on the space available, then you need to think about the style of fridge-freezer. Freestanding fridge-freezers are the most economical, you can move them around easily if you move home, and they work well in most kitchens.
You might want an integrated fridge-freezer which can be hidden behind cupboard doors in your kitchen. These are hidden away so no-one sees them, but they are more expensive than free-standing and there are fewer types so less choice.
You could prefer an American fridge-freezer with lots of space and a water or ice dispenser. These side-by-side fridge-freezers have a great capacity and they look great, with sleek lines and a host of features. Many come with separate thermostats which means you can control the temperatures in different areas of your fridge-freezer, and they come with water and ice dispensers. They are more expensive, they take more energy to power, and they take up a great deal of room.
What size should I buy? If you have a large family and like to keep lots of fresh food available then make sure you have a fridge-freezer with a large fridge capacity to keep your foods in tiptop condition. If you are the sort of person who bulk-freezes then you will want to make sure you have enough room in your freezer.
One thing to think about is when you read measurements of capacity, this is with all the drawers shelves and door racks taken out. If you are looking for accurate capacity measurements then you will need to take that into account. So make sure you check out how bulky those drawers are, because they can change the capacity by as much as 25%. This means two fridge freezers with the same capacity will still differ in the amount of food you can store in there.
Which features should I pay more for? Fridge-freezers can incorporate different features to make life easier, and some are better than others. One of the most important is getting a frost-free freezer. This will save you lots of time because it never needs de-frosting. No more standing around while bowls of hot water remove built up frost. It has to be my favourite feature. Features that boost cooling are good, known as quick-chill and fast-freeze. These mean you can boost cooling if needed.
Adjustable shelves are useful because you can store big things or just have large things frozen for a short time. A good salad-crisper drawer is a great feature to have. If you can, choose one that doesn’t come out all the way, then you won’t end up dropping salad all over the floor. Smooth-sliding drawers are a great plus if you can get them because its so frustrating trying to get those drawers out if they keep getting stuck.
You might not want a white fridge, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to pay more – especially if you choose black or silver. If you want a different colour and finish then you will end up paying a fair bit more for it.
Whichever fridge-freezer you choose, remember to buy it from a reputable dealer.