How to choose a refrigerator

Choosing a refrigerator, first of all it is necessary to define its basic parameters: dimensions, volume and location of chambers, as well as the presence of defrosting system and additional functions.

Dimensions and type of installation

The average width of the fridge is 60 – 100 cm. For a small kitchen of 6 – 8 square meters. m will fit a model width of 60 – 65 cm, in a larger (from 12 square meters) will fit organically large fridge width of 80 cm.

Built-in models
Built-in models are recommended for those for whom kitchen design is important, in which the appliances are hidden under the panels of cabinets.
Freestanding models
Freestanding refrigerators are usually cheaper than built-in refrigerators and their appearance varies from conventional white cabinets to designer models in different colours and shapes.

Volume and location of cameras

Small fridge

Small fridges (up to 250 l) – single-chamber or with a freezer upstairs. This arrangement of the freezer brings a number of inconveniences, both for the user and for the cooling system itself. At each opening of a freezer cold will leave faster as cold air is heavier than warm air, therefore the compressor has to work in a more intensive mode.

Medium fridge

Average refrigerators (250 to 350 litres) are tall enough, with the freezer compartment usually located in the lower part. Such refrigerators are more convenient, as the main chamber is at face level, so to get food from the lower shelves, you do not need to bend over to the floor every time.

Large fridges

Large refrigerators (from 350 l) can have several chambers to cool different categories of food. Such a choice is made by those families who keep many fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fresh meat and fish in the refrigerators. These fridges have different conditions for storing different foods in each chamber, and the odours of the foods in the separate chambers are not mixed.

Side-by-Side fridges

In Side-by-Side fridges, the freezer compartment is located on the side of the fridge-freezer. These fridges are wider and are suitable only for a large kitchen.

French Door refrigerators have a freezing compartment at the bottom and two swing doors of the refrigerating compartment at the top. These fridges take up less space than Side-By-Side fridges, but have quite a large volume.


Refrigerators come with one and two compressors. As a rule, large refrigerators as well as Side-by-Side refrigerators are produced with two compressors. Having a second compressor allows you to cool food faster, using less energy and more efficiently maintain the temperature in each of the chambers.

In a single-compressor chiller, a change in temperature in one of the chambers leads to a change in the other. Because of this, if the temperature in the freezer compartment drops, the temperature in the refrigerator compartment will also drop and food can become spoiled. Such refrigerators are cheaper than two-compressor refrigerators, and the compressor produces its life more quickly because it cools both chambers simultaneously.

There are also models with an inverter motor. With it, the compressor works continuously, unlike the usual compressor, which is periodically on and off. The inverter motor has an extended service life and reduced noise level. The disadvantage of such refrigerators is their sensitivity to voltage drops. If there is a strong surge in voltage, the compressor may fail and it will have to be replaced.


Many refrigerator models have a drip defrost system or No Frost system.

In fridges with a drip defrost system, the ice on the back wall thaws naturally when the compressor stops working and flows through the opening at the bottom of the fridge into a special tray from where it evaporates. This is a simple and reliable way to defrost, but the freezer still has to be defrosted manually every 5 to 6 months.

Fridge in room

Refrigerators with No Frost system are more complicated. On the back wall of the fridge there is a fan that circulates air inside the chamber, directing it to the evaporator. At a certain moment the heating element is switched on and ice from the evaporator defrosts and flows into a special tray. Thanks to the circulation, the air is cooled evenly and the temperature recovers more quickly after opening the door, allowing for longer storage of food. The drawbacks of such refrigerators are higher noise level and dryer air in the chambers, which will cause food to spoil more quickly in the open. Having a No Frost system slightly increases the cost of the fridge, but allows for better use of cold air inside the chambers and less compressor load.

Energy Efficiency

The special label with energy efficiency class A to G is placed on large household appliances. It helps you understand how efficient and environmentally friendly your appliances are.

Energy Efficiency

The letter A on a bright green background marks the most energy-efficient appliances. There are also additional classes A+, A++ are appliances whose energy efficiency is higher than that of class A.

The letters B, C, D, E, F and G – and the corresponding colours from light green to bright maroon – denote the other energy efficiency classes, the least economical of which is class G.

When buying a refrigerator, energy efficiency parameters are particularly important, as this appliance operates 24 hours a day. This or that class of energy efficiency of a refrigerator is calculated as a ratio of energy consumption of the appliance for a year to the standard consumption determined by research. Thus, if the refrigerator consumes 55% of the standard consumption, it is class A, up to 75% – class B, up to 95% – class C, up to 100% – D, up to 125% – F, and if more – then G. The refrigerator of A++ class consumes only 30% of electric power necessary for operation of the refrigerator of D class.

Additional functions

Expensive models have an ice generator and water cooler function. Water for such chillers is supplied from the water supply via a filter or manually filled. Fridges with a water cooler allow you to get chilled water from the tap in the refrigerator door at any time. Those who like to make cocktails will need an ice generator.

The area of freshness is a zone with a temperature of about 0 degrees. It helps to preserve fruits and vegetables as well as chilled meat and fish for longer. Many modern refrigerators have a display on the door that displays information about the current mode.

Super-freezing fridges will freeze chilled food in the freezer faster. Fast freezing of vegetables and berries will preserve vitamins and flavour of food.

An alarm for an open door will remind you to close the door with an audible alarm.

For parents with small children, there is a child protection function that locks the doors and the control panel of the fridge-freezer.

How to equip your kitchen budget, but not at the expense of style: 7 smart tricks

Kitchen furnishing is one of the most expensive parts of the repair. We suggest items that you can save on and things that are not exactly worth it.

Choose facades from chipboard and MDF

Natural materials are good but expensive. Budget substitutes often look just as good. Thus, MDF in veneer coating is quite suitable for classic kitchen or country style, and lacquered chipboard will fit into the minimalistic interior.

Make facades without glazing

Of course, doors with glazing and built-in lighting inside cabinets add coziness to the kitchen, make it easier, but to create a budget project will have to love the “deaf” facades. To avoid sacrificing style, give preference to light facades (for small kitchens) and glossy coverings that help make the room visually lighter.

Adjust to standard sizes

Any special tasks for assemblers and manufacturers will increase the price of the headset. You will have to give up trimming of corners, non-standard cabinet widths and try to make rational use of existing modules. To simplify your task, create a visual project in any simulation program. One of the simplest is SketchUp, and you can design your future kitchen with IKEA directly on the website.

Love the open shelves and order

Upper open shelves instead of blind cabinets are another way to a budget project. One nuance – to make them look beautiful, keep order and take care of storage, for example, buy the same cans for bulk products. You can also decorate open shelves with photos and flowers.

Look for a competent collector.

Try the next trick. Go to an expensive kitchen salon and draw a dream kitchen together with designers. Come on weekdays at lunchtime, usually when they have the least work to do.

Then go to the mass market with a printout of the project and a smile and look for the one you like most in the expensive salon. Make a project in a budget store. You will most likely be told that some items are not feasible, but the project can still be implemented with changes.

And then – look for an experienced assembler, preferably with recommendations. He will help you combine both projects where you need to – save money. Thus, retractable corner cabinets in budget kitchens (they are called magic corners) are often not made at all, and in an expensive salon, their cost with all the fittings is tens of thousands of rubles (full price of some kitchens). Make a wardrobe to order – will come out cheaper, and fit it into a budget kitchen just to help a competent collector.

Give up on the built-in appliances

It is believed that by removing the built-in appliances, you will make the kitchen less comfortable. We don’t think so. A hob is a maximum worth going for in the fight for budget and style at the same time. The built-in fridge will already lead to the cost of the kitchen in times, and if there is also a microwave and other small appliances – even in 2-3 hundred thousand will be difficult to fit.

You can make a compromise if you have a competent collector. Budget kitchens do not have a stove and microwave at eye level, but you can separately order the frame, doors, cut off unnecessary centimeters and embed appliances.

Choose wood or plastic worktops

Natural stone is expensive, quality quartz agglomerates and artificial acrylic stones too, and work on them is more expensive even with natural materials.

You’ll have to save money and choose. The chipboard worktops can last a long time if they are primed and the joints are sealed. Wood is not an option for the lazy. It will have to be periodically soaked in oil, but as a reward, it will last longer and maintain its aesthetic appearance.