How to choose a refrigerator that is right for you?
Refrigerator Buying Guide
Buying the right fridge may not seem terribly exciting but it is really important. Getting the right fridge for your home minimises the frustration of trying to find space for everything, makes finding what you’re looking for easier, and most importantly, keeps your food fresh. Follow these simple steps to choose the best fridge for your needs.
1. Measure your space
When measuring, you’ll need to account for a certain amount of space that will be required at the sides, back and top of the fridge so that it receives proper ventilation. How much clearance room you’ll need will depend on the model, and you could risk losing your warranty if you fail to leave the minimum requirements and your unit breaks down. Also make sure to leave enough room to open the fridge doors! It may seem simple, but it’s an issue that can be overlooked.
2. Size of fridge
After carefully measuring the space available for your new fridge, you need to work out how big it needs to be storage-wise. Fridge capacity is measured in litres, and big families will obviously need much bigger fridges than someone living alone.
Here’s a rough guide for what fridge sizes are most suited to different household sizes:.
2 people (1-2 people): 200-400 litres
4 people (3-4 people): 520-600 litres
5 people (5+ people): 700 litres
It’s important to consider your unique needs—if you usually eat out or get dinner delivered a smaller fridge might be more appropriate; or if you love to entertain, eat a lot of fresh food or pre-made frozen meals you might need a bigger fridge/freezer.
3. Types of Fridges
French Door Refrigerators:
Compartment heaven for budding chefs and busy households that need an organised fridge. French door fridges have two side-by-side fridge doors on the top, and a single or double drawer freezer on the the bottom. Some even have a drawer with it’s own temperature control for extra cold drinks, and to contain the odours of seafood and cheeses.
- Everything in the fridge is at eye level and is easily accessible.
- The shelves are extra wide so can fit large things like pizza boxes, cakes and platters.
- The two narrow fridge doors don’t take up much space when opened.
- One or two wide freezer drawers make it easy to keep frozen food organised.
Many models have a convenient ice and cold, filtered water dispenser on the front.
French DoorSHOP FRENCH DOOR
Side-by-side fridges have vertical, not horizontal, freezer and fridge compartments that sit side by side. The long, narrow doors can be opened with less space between the fridge/freezer and the cabinetry that sits opposite it, making them great for galley-style kitchens where space is tight, even though they store more than top and bottom-mount fridges. Some also give you the convenience of instant ice and cold water from the front of the fridge.
- Narrow fridge doors that don’t need as much space to open.
- Great storage space with large door shelves in the fridge and freezer.
- Many models have a handy ice and cold, filtered water dispenser.
- Lots of freezer space for bulk buying and batch cooking.
Side By SideSHOP SIDE BY SIDE
The opposite of the traditional top-mount fridge design. The fridge compartment sits on the top so you can see and access everything in the fridge without having to bend down, and the freezer compartment is on the bottom.
- Better design than top-mount fridges because items you use every day are at eye level.
- You don’t need to bend down to find things in the fridge—appreciated by tall people!
- The freezer compartment usually has a slide out freezer basket instead of freezer door.
- There are so many different bottom mount fridges to choose from and more being added.
Bottom MountSHOP BOTTOM MOUNT
This standard fridge design has the freezer compartment on top of the fridge compartment. It’s the fridge design we’ve seen in kitchens for decades, and it’s still popular because it’s the most cost-effective type of fridge you can buy without compromising on the shelf space needed for our modern lives.
- The most traditional fridge style.
- Usually the cheapest type to buy.
- Has the cheapest running cost.
- A wide variety to choose from.
Top Mount SHOP TOP MOUNT
4. Energy Efficiency
When comparing different fridge models it’s important to check how much energy the fridge uses (shown in Kwh per year) and the energy ratings (shown as stars).
The more energy star ratings a fridge has, the less it will add to your electricity bills. If two fridges use the same amount of energy but are different sizes, the larger fridge is more energy efficient because it keeps more space cold using the same amount of energy. Most older fridges are not very energy efficient when compared with today’s latest models, so it’s worth considering updating your fridge sooner rather than later for electricity bill savings.
Fridges with built-in ice makers and water dispensers do increase your energy usage by about 100-150 kWh each year, but some of these fridges also have energy-saving eco and holiday settings. In general, top-mount and bottom-mount fridges are more efficient than side-by-side and French door fridges.
5. Design and other considerations
Think about everything you need to store and how organised you want your new fridge to be. Shelving layout can make a huge difference to how much a fridge can hold. Also think about the material the shelves are made from. Plastic shelves and safety glass shelves make cleaning the fridge easy, and safety glass stops spills from dripping down onto other shelves, whereas wire shelves don’t.
Water and Ice Dispenser
Getting ready-made ice and cold, filtered water from the front of your fridge is the ultimate everyday convenience and makes entertaining so much easier. These dispensers are generally features of French door and side-by-side fridges, and they need to be connected to your water supply by a plumber, so remember to factor that in. If the dispenser is on the inside rather than the outside, keep in mind that it will take up some of your storage space.
Water Ice Dispenser image
Keep kids safe by looking for child-friendly features many fridges now have like:
- A water dispenser with a child-proof setting
- A lockable, child-proof medicine compartment
- Temperature controls with a child lock
Child Proof image
Some fridges give you greater temperature control than others. Some models allow you to set different temperatures for different compartments, while others have a quick cool setting in the fridge for drinks and a quick freeze setting in the freezer for meats.
Everyone wants to keep harmful bacteria away from their food to protect their health. Many modern fridges now have anti-bacterial wall and door coatings that stop bacteria forming in the fridge so food stays fresher for longer.
Choosing a good crisper helps stop fresh fruit and vegetables from wilting and drying out so they stay fresher for longer and your food doesn’t end up in the bin. Crisper technology has come a long way in the last few years so take the time to compare different types of crisper technology.
Energy Rating o,age
Having good lighting inside the fridge makes it easier to see everything and find what you need fast. LED lights give you bright light that’s more natural and energy efficient than panel lights, and LED lights also generate less heat so the fridge stays cool.
Bar Fridges and Wine Coolers
Mini-fridges and wine coolers are great for parties because you can keep all the drinks cold and fit all the food in the fridge. Also excellent for keeping your favourite snacks and drinks on hand so there’s no need to constantly trek back and forth to the kitchen.
Wine Cooler image
6. Exterior Material
The material you choose for the fridge exterior affects the look and feel of your kitchen. Stainless steel is modern and stylish, while white steel is the cheapest option. Some people are hesitant about stainless steel because it can show fingerprints and stains more than other options, but many fridges now have fingerprint-resistant and stain-resistant steel.
Here are some of the exterior finishes you can choose for your new fridge:
- White Steel: White Steel
- Stainless Steel : Stainless Steel
- Layered Steel: Layered Steel
- Black Steel: Black Steel
- Luminous Glass: Luminous Black Mirrored Glass
- Black Glass: Black Glass
7. Installation & Premium Delivery
It’s important to find out whether a plumber needs to install the fridge you want. This is a requirement for some fridges, such as those with water and ice dispensers. The Good Guys can organise a professional installer for you, or if a plumber isn’t needed but you don’t want the hassle of getting your new fridge home, The Good Guys can deliver and unpack it for you then take away all the packaging and your old fridge—just ask for premium delivery when you buy your new fridge.
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