Choosing the Best Home Fridge Freezer
The latest fridge freezers offer a perfect blend of form and function – they are designed to look sleek and create perfect conditions to keep your food fresher for longer. With the vast array of dimensions and combinations that they come in, there is sure to be at least one model that looks great in your kitchen and is also the perfect fit for your budget and your requirements.
So how do you sort through the choices and find the fridge freezer that is ideal for your home? Understanding the features and the pros and cons of the different types will help you make a smarter choice.
Integrated v/s Freestanding Fridge Freezers
When buying a fridge-freezer, the first decision you will have to make is whether to buy an integrated or a freestanding model. Integrated models are designed to align perfect with your kitchen cabinets whereas freestanding models can be placed anywhere in the kitchen as long as there is a electrical outlet close by.
Pros & cons of both types:
- Freestanding models: Because they can be placed anywhere these fridge freezers can fit into any kitchen. There is also a wider variety that you can choose from and you can take it with you when you move. However, they tend to be bulkier than their integrated counterparts and can take up too much space in a small kitchen.
- Integrated models: These fridge freezers are slimmer and can be squeezed into smaller spaces, making them ideal for smaller sized kitchens. However, you will have a smaller range to choose from and they are also more expensive, to buy and also to run.
Top-Mounted v/s Bottom-Mounted Fridge Freezers
All fridge freezers come in two versions – top-mounted, where the freezer is mounted above the fridge and bottom mounted, where the freezer is below the fridge. Neither one is better than the other. The right one for you will depend on your requirements.
A top-mounted model typically has a larger fridge space with a less spacious freezer mounted above it. This is ideal if you use fresh produce more often when cooking and use the freezer only sparingly.
You should however consider a bottom-mounted model if you prefer to buy in bulk and batch-freeze foods for cooking through the week. Most bottom-mounted models have pull-out drawers that make it easier for you to access the content. However, these models will contain a smaller fridge capacity, which is something that you must keep in mind.
Check the Energy Star Rating Label
Fridge-freezers do consume a lot of power since they need to be running 24 hours a day, so it makes sense to choose the most energy-efficient model
The energy labels A+, A++ or A+++ indicate the energy efficiency of any appliance. A model with an A+++ label will be the most energy efficient and will be cheaper to run in the long run.
Should You buy Frost Free?
Frost-free models are really convenient. You never have to worry about defrosting the ice build up that can be quite tedious in manual defrost models. However, it comes at a price. Frost-free fridge freezers are more expensive so if you are on a strict budget you have to settle for the cheaper alternative.
Other Features To Consider
Other features to consider when looking for the best fridge-freezer include:
- Adjustable shelving
- Salad drawers and crispers
- Bottle and jar racks
- Door in Door features
- Temperature controlled compartments that allow you to set different temperatures for different produce
- Power light indicators
- Outside digital gauge (fridge & freezer) instantly see the temperature.
- Water and ice dispenser
- LED for better and more efficient lighting
Built in Ice Cube and Water Dispenser
If you are someone who loves cold drinks and instant ice; choose a fridge/freezer that comes with a combined ice cube and water dispenser. These are really popular and provide a useful addition, however there are a few considerations to consider. Try and go with a no plumbing required model, rather than one that needs plumbing. Models that need plumbing will incur extra costs and normally contain filters that need to be changed regularly. These models get the water from a mains supply similar to a washing machine. The self-plumb version is simply a matter of plugging it in, and then forgetting about it, but you will be responsible for manually filling up the water reservoir.
Finally whatever model you decide to buy, it’s worth going through a few review sites to find out as much information as possible. Fridge-freezers come in a wide array of sizes, inner dimensions and configurations to suit any size of kitchen as well as your budget. Understanding all features and the pros and cons of the different models will help you make a smarter choice, and more importantly leave you with a unit you will be happy with for years to come.
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