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.
Volume and location of cameras
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.