Fridge And Freezer Buying Guides
Advice on which Fridge Freezer you should buy
The most important thing to do when you decide to either buy a new or replace your old fridge freezer is your budget. You should also have an idea in mind of the style of appliance you want. There are a few options available:
- Single stacked unit
- American-style double fronted unit
- Separate free-standing fridge and freezer
- Built-in or integrated fridge freezer.
These are designed to fit into a special kitchen unit and to take a matching kitchen cabinet door and are generally the most expensive choice.Chest freezer and free-standing fridge
The amount of space you have available is also something you should check before you go out to buy, as it is essential you have your exact measurements, rather than thinking it looks about right. We have all unfortunately bought something and then realised when we got it home that it was too big.
Once you have established your preferred style and budget, it is a good idea to carry out some previous research before parting with any of your money. Customer reviews from large retailers are a great help and should help you to cross some options off your list before you go off shopping.
If you do have room for the American style unit and that is your preference, bear in mind there is an additional cost to be taken into consideration. Most of these appliances have a water and ice dispenser. The water is run through a filter, and this filter should be changed every six months or so for most models. The cost of the filters are variable but don’t forget to include this into your calculations. It is a good idea to shop around for the best price for these filters, as they can vary considerably.
Along with most other electrical appliances, fridge freezers will have EU Energy labels showing a range between A – G, with A being the highest. Unfortunately it does not always follow that the highest rating means the appliance has the best performance. If you are strongly drawn to purchase a higher rated appliance, bear in mind that the amount saved each year on your electricity bill can be as little as £10 to a maximum of about £100.
Spend as much as you can
It can often be a false economy to buy the cheapest appliance available. Quite often this fridge freezer will not have been manufactured to the highest standards, with probably a cheaper finish. Bear in mind though that however much you pay for your appliance, it must and will meet a BSI standard.
The reason the advice is to go for the best fridge freezer that you can is that if you buy too cheaply it is quite likely this appliance will not meet your required standards for keeping food fresh, and may well wear out long before its more expensive competitors. You could end up having to replace this type of appliance much earlier than you would prefer.
Your research will certainly pay off to help you to avoid some of these appliances that have been identified as providing poor longevity and performance.
You should check the seals on the doors to ensure they are well-fitted, giving a tight closure of the door, this is very important to maintain a correct temperature inside your appliance. Also, check how pliable the walls of the cabinets are, what you are looking for is a firm feel, which should indicate the walls are of a good thickness.
You should also ask for details of the insulation to ensure it will be sufficient. Ask for a sample thickness across a few appliances, as what you are looking for is the densest available.
It is also a good idea to select a unit that has drawers in the fridge for the separate storing of fruit and vegetables and meat. The meat drawer generally being at the bottom of the fridge where the air is coldest. Not only does this ensure your meat is kept at the best temperature, but also means that raw meat is kept away from all other produce stored in your fridge.
Cold air systems
There are two cooling systems available in fridge freezers:
- a falling air system or
- air driven.
The forced air system is more efficient as the cold air is drawn from the freezer and blown in via a fan into the fridge, thus the temperature is more stable. The potential issue with a falling air system is that when the fridge door is opened, ambient air is drawn into the fridge and it will take extra work on the part of the motor to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level.
Cleaning and MaintenanceIt is a fairly straightforward job to keep your new appliance bright, shiny and clean but you may want to look at your preferred appliance and check whether it will be easy to keep clean. It may have been designed internally to leave a few awkward spots, and this is exactly where crumbs and food debris will fall and may cause you mould problems going forward if it is a difficult to get to spot.
How to make the best purchaseYou may very well get the best deal over the internet but it is a good idea to go and look in a few electrical retailers first, to check out all the points raised above, and to be absolutely sure of the appliance you wish to buy.
It’s at this point that you can start to shop around for your best deal. If you find a good price on the internet, before you push the button to confirm your order, check whether there will be a delivery charge and also how long a leadtime for delivery will be. A high delivery price can negate all your bargain hunting. Obviously what you are really looking for is a free delivery offer, or at least a minimal charge.
If you have an old appliance, check with your supplier whether they will collect your old fridge freezer and dispose of it safely and in an environmentally sound way. If they don’t offer this service, your local Council certainly will but there will be a charge. You naturally don’t want to deal with an irresponsible company who will just fly tip your old appliance, not only is this a great eyesore, it can be a danger to animals or children, plus the leakage of gasses are damaging to the atmosphere.