When it comes to storing food in the fridge we want to make sure that we’re doing it properly and that we can store enough. The fridge is one of the most important appliances in the home, so it needs to be the right one for you.
Our Buyer’s Guide is here to help you find your perfect fridge. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about fridges, from the size to the energy efficiency.
The type of fridge that you buy will depend largely on the size of your household. They can range in size from a mini fridge to a tall fridge.
If you are only intending on holding a very small amount of food in your fridge or you are planning to keep it in another room in the house for snacks then a mini fridge may be what you’re looking for. It’s small enough to hide away but it’s large enough to fit items in. Most mini fridges feature automatic defrosting to so you won’t have to manually defrost them.
A standard fridge usually has a height of around 85cm and can include a small freezer section or ‘Ice box’. This is useful if you only eat an average amount of fresh food and a small amount of frozen food, although, the small freezer box will take up some of your fresh food space. These fridges can often be stored under a counter.
If you have a large family and you eat a lot of fresh food then a tall fridge may be more suited to your lifestyle. They often reach a height of approximately 130-150cm so you can store plenty of food.
This fridge is a mix between a standard fridge and a mini fridge. It’s slightly bigger than the mini but smaller than the standard. It can fit into small spaces in your kitchen but it does not hold as much food. Compact fridges are available in 50/55/60cm. It’s perfect for when you’re entertaining guests and you need to chill food and drink.
To buy the right sized fridge for your kitchen, you need to measure the space where it will be placed before you order.
Fridge sizes are measured in litres which will give you an indication of how much you’ll be able to store in it. Refrigerators with a 100-200 litre capacity are suitable for small families and fridges with a capacity of 200-300+ litres are great for larger families.
It is completely up to you what type of fridge you buy, there are different types that will suit different people. To get the best out of your fridge you should base it on your lifestyle, otherwise features that you don’t need could go to waste and you could spend more money than you need to.
American Style Fridges are the biggest type of fridge. They usually offer a side by side fridge freezer combination and they are available in a range of styles and colours so you can choose one to suit your kitchen. Some American style fridges offer three or four door compartments, though it is worth noting that they can differ in size. When selecting your fridge it’s important to choose the one with the right sized compartments for you. If you’re looking for a fridge that has a number of different features then the American Style Fridge could be exactly what you’re after as they have a large capacity and typically come with a drinks and ice dispenser.
Fridge freezers are the most common type of fridge as they come in a variety of sizes and styles, take up less space and they are convenient for families. Fridge freezers are useful if you don’t have the floor space for something wide in your kitchen or for two separate appliances but you have enough space for something tall and thin. Your choice of fridge freezer will depend on what you use it for most. There are three different types of split:
70/30 – Maximum fridge room
60/40 – Maximum freezer room
50/50 – Equal fridge freezer room
Freestanding fridges are suitable for both small and large kitchens as you can slot it where you want it to stand. Freestanding fridges are completely visible in your kitchen so be sure to choose one that you like and one that fits in with your kitchen theme. If you don’t plan on settling down in your current house then a freestanding fridge is a good option for you as you can take it with you when you move.
Built-in fridges can create a neat and seamless look in your kitchen, because they’re hidden away behind a cupboard door and are not visible. If you want to replace your built-in fridge then you will need to choose a model with the same fridge to freezer proportion as your old one, so be sure to choose the right proportion for your household before you buy. You will also need to buy a fridge with the same dimensions as your cabinetry to ensure that it fits properly.
If you don’t have much room in your kitchen or you don’t need to store a large amount of fresh or frozen food then an under counter fridge is perfect for you. It sits nicely under your counter without taking up any additional space in your kitchen.
Different fridge models will offer you different features, some will be more useful to you than others but it will depend on your lifestyle. So it’s best to buy a fridge with features most useful to you, otherwise they could take up space in your fridge that you may need. Fridges with certain features may be more expensive but they are worthwhile if you know you are going to use them.
Defrosting the fridge can be a chore so if you hate doing this then you may want to invest in a fridge/freezer that does it for you. The fridge regulates the temperature which prevents frosting. However, if you have an ice box then it will still need to be defrosted.
The coating can be on walls, shelves or doors and protects the fridge from antibacterial growth which then maintains the hygiene in the fridge.
This is a useful feature as it allows you to make room in your fridge when you need it. If you have bulky or big items that are difficult to store because of the size and shape then adjustable shelves will come in handy. You should also consider the type of shelves that are in your fridge, glass shelves with spill trays are popular because they prevent dripping juices from foods and they are easier to clean than fridges with racks.
Frost free technology is similar to auto defrost but it refers to the freezer section. It prevents frost from developing and building up in the freezer meaning that you don’t have to spend time defrosting it yourself.
A wine rack can also be used as a general bottle rack, it stops the bottles from rolling around and keeps them safe and secure in your fridge. Most racks are removable so you can remove them when you don’t need them.
There are different types of door storage available, some door storage is adjustable and some is fixed. Most people like to keep their bottles, jars, cartons and eggs in their door storage but the type of storage that you choose will depend on what you intend to store. You can also get fridges with door rack dividers which prevent your jars and bottles from rattling, or covered door storage which keeps your products cool when you open the door and expose it to warm air.
Dedicated compartments stop smells from transferring throughout the fridge. They’re useful if you like to eat a lot of different foods with strong flavours and smells.
This setting allows you to rapidly lower the temperature of your fridge or freezer so that you can quickly cool your new groceries, it also means that the content of your fridge or freezer will remain cool even if the door is left open while you unpack your shopping.
If you want your fridge to be more flexible in terms of where it can be placed then you might want to consider a fridge with reversible hinging. It allows you to swap your fridge door from left to right so that it’s not restricted by other counters or cupboards.
This will keep your fridge running in the most energy efficient way while you’re away from home – it is particularly useful if you go away a lot.
Alarms you when you accidentally leave the door open which then reminds you to close it. By alarming you to close the door it will stop your food from defrosting.
LED lighting in your fridge is more energy efficient than a standard bulb and it’s also brighter so you’re able to see the contents of your fridge clearly.
Some fridges and fridge freezers come with a child lock so that young children aren’t able to open the fridge when unattended. They are usually featured on American style fridges. A child lock function is also available on water dispensers.
Fridges may have different temperatures throughout the fridge so that you’re able to store a variety of food correctly.
Most fridges come with one or two salad crisp drawers, they enable you to store your salad in a way that keeps it fresher for longer. Having two salad drawers means that you can store big and bulky fruit and veg in a different compartment to soft fruit and veg to prevent them from bruising and to reduce waste.
The freezer rating on a fridge freezer tells you how long you can freeze food for. It’s recommended that you buy a 4-star freezer as they allow you to store food from fresh and for up to a year. Anything less than a 4-star rating allows you to only store pre-frozen food.
Fridges and Fridge Freezers currently have to display the EU energy label which ranges from A+++ to D with A+++ being the most efficient, anything less is an older model. It’s important to note that the running costs of your appliance will depend on the amount you pay for your electricity supply.
The features that you choose will also have an impact on the appliance’s energy efficiency, if it’s larger then it’s more likely to cost more, but if it has features such as auto-defrost and frost free technology then it will run more efficiently.
Using your new fridge is exciting, but first you have to remove your old one and install your new one. There is help available for both installing and disposing of your fridge – check with your manufacturer as they’ll be able to tell you how to install it correctly and how to dispose or recycle it correctly. They may even be able to do it for you.
If you are installing your refrigerator under a counter then you should ensure that you have a gap of 25mm at the top, back and sides of the counter so that the warm air that is produced can be ventilated properly. It’s important to measure the space of where you want your appliance to be located before you order to confirm that it will fit.
Once you have positioned your fridge the way that you want it, you should wait 4-6 hours before switching it on - this will give the gasses enough time to settle.
It is important that you dispose of your old appliance in the correct way to protect the environment. Refrigerators contain harmful chemicals and toxins that can be dangerous to humans and the environment if they are not disposed of properly. When you buy your new appliance the company may offer a collection service to remove your old fridge, they will then ensure that it is disposed of correctly. You could also take it to your local recycling centre or call your local council as they may be able to collect and remove it.