The refrigerator is one of the main appliances in any home, as it is responsible for keeping food fresh for longer. The wide variety of models makes the buying process can be confusing. We help you with this buying guide to choose the correct refrigerator.
Today many homes can survive without a dishwasher, without a microwave, and even without a washing machine. But none of them can do without a refrigerator in their kitchen and when the current refrigerator breaks down, you have to act fast to keep food for longer.
Here Are Some Tips for Buying a New Refrigerator
In this buying guide, we will help you choose the right refrigerator for your needs. To do this, we tell you what you should look for when buying a refrigerator. From the most obvious, such as type or size, to features that perhaps many people do not take into accounts such as energy efficiency or internal cold distribution systems.
Choosing a refrigerator can become tedious as, externally, many models can look the same. Pay attention to its specifications as price differences are not always in vain. It can be much more interesting to invest a little more at the time of purchase to save in the long term on the electricity bill.
First, Measure Your Kitchen, Elevator, and Building Stairs
It may seem obvious, but it is not the first time that a user buys a refrigerator with more capacity than the one they have at home, without realizing that it does not fit in their kitchen or the installers cannot take it to your home because it does not fit in the elevator or down the stairwell.
Therefore, before starting the search for your new refrigerator, it is best to take measurements of the kitchen space in which it will be installed and access routes to it.
Refrigerators have a standard maximum width and depth measurements, but there are different types of the refrigerator and each of these formats does have a different measurement in both width and depth, so it is advisable to keep these measurements in mind.
Something that can vary is the height of the refrigerator. If you have cabinets or any other element that may make it difficult to install the appliance, it should be taken into account when choosing its height to avoid unpleasant surprises.
The location of the refrigerator must also be taken into account. It is advisable to move it away from heat sources such as the oven or radiators as this additional external heat can affect its performance.
These are some types of Refrigerator that exist
With the measurements duly noted, the next step will be to choose the refrigerator format that interests you. The best known and most common type in Spain is the combi type and, therefore, these will take over most of the stocks in stores.
However, other options that offer interesting alternatives should be considered. Next, we show you some refrigerator models that, perhaps, are better adapted to your needs.
One Door Refrigerator
This type of refrigerator is ideal for confined spaces thanks to its compact size of between 90 cm — to install under the counter like a dishwasher — and 170 cm high. It has a single door and the freezer, if it has one, is located in an isolated compartment inside, but it is not very efficient in freezing food.
Refrigerator with Two Doors
Like the previous type, this refrigerator has a smaller size, but in this case, the freezer is insulated in the upper part of the refrigerator and separated in different doors so that the opening of the refrigerator does not affect the temperature of the freezer. It is an economical option for second homes, sporadic use, or for a single person.
It is the most common format, in which the freezer and refrigerator are separated and the freezer is located at the bottom. Its size ranges from 170 cm to just over 200 cm high.
Side by Side or American Refrigerator
It is one of the most voluminous models, not so much in height, as in width and depth, where they occupy more than usual, reaching 92 cm in width and up to 75 cm in depth. American refrigerators divide the space vertically with access from two doors, one the freezer and the other the refrigerator compartment.
French or French Door Refrigerator
We could say that it is a hybrid between an American refrigerator and a combi. From the American, it retains its volume and the two-door opening of the refrigeration area, while from the combi it adopts the separate freezer distribution in two or three large external drawers. This not only allows you to isolate the different cold areas, but it also preserves the temperature of the freezer better because you do not have to open the entire freezer to look for something, the separate drawers open.
Refrigerator with 4 doors
These large-format refrigerators maintain a capacity similar to the American and French-type ones, but the freezer area is separated at the bottom and accessed from a double door for both the freezer and the refrigerator. This is a perfect solution for kitchens that are not very wide since this reduces the space required in front of the refrigerator to open the doors.
In addition to its format, the external design is also important. If you don’t want to limit yourself to the traditional white of appliances, there are models with colored finishes, silver, black, and even fingerprint-resistant metal or glass.
If you want it to go unnoticed in your kitchen, there are also built-in refrigerators. This type of refrigerator allows better integration with your kitchen furniture by installing a panel with the same finish as the rest of the furniture on the outside of the refrigerator door.
Choose the Refrigerator with the most Spacious and Versatile Interior
How many times have you had to work hard to fit all the jars, bottles, and containers of food into the refrigerator like a puzzle when you returned from shopping? There is always something that you have to put in a place that is not suitable because it does not fit.
Although they may have certain measurements on the outside, it is important to know the interior capacity of the refrigerator. This capacity is measured in liters and reveals the use that the manufacturer makes of the interior space.
On average, a family of four may need a refrigerator with a total capacity of about 300 liters between the refrigerator area and the freezer.
Maintaining order inside the refrigerator is essential so that the cold is distributed evenly, so having specific drawers, shelves and compartments will help you keep the interior of the refrigerator well organized and do a more efficient job.
The use of mobile shelves, wine rack accessories, compartments for specific foods such as eggs and cheese, or the presence of drawers with humidity control to improve the preservation of food, are some of the elements that you must take into account so that the interior of your refrigerator does not saturate with the arrival of fresh watermelon in summer, or a voluminous birthday cake.
Some models, especially the American ones, have a dispenser for water, ice, or crushed ice on the refrigerator door, something that is very convenient to obtain a glass of fresh water without having to open the refrigerator and without causing loss of water. temperature.
Under this same concept that seeks maximum thermal efficiency, there is an ingenious system exclusive to LG’s American refrigerators that deserves mention. It is the Door-in-Door system in which, by two taps with the knuckle, the refrigerator door becomes transparent and reveals the interior.
In this way, the loss of temperature is avoided by being able to decide what to take from the interior before opening the door.
Refrigeration Distribution System and Efficiency in Freezing
As we have already advanced in the previous section, the homogeneous distribution of cold is one of the keys to keeping food fresh for longer.
This has a direct impact on consumers’ pockets since a refrigerator with a more efficient distribution system will avoid having to throw food away.
This cold distribution system is popularly known as No Frost, although nowadays each manufacturer has given it a different name and few use this term, betting on the names of more sophisticated proprietary technologies, which prevent the formation of frost in freezers or blocks of ice in the refrigerators.
Cold distribution systems have become increasingly sophisticated and exist from those that take advantage of the laws of thermodynamics to locate fans or ventilation slots in strategic places, to those that use a camera system that recognizes the type of food in each zone and modifies the flow of cold air to maintain the ideal temperature in that zone.
These sophisticated systems can also include activated carbon deodorizing filters that purify the air inside the refrigerator and absorb bad odors.
In addition to the efficiency in maintaining the temperature, it is important to take into account the category of freezing that is expressed with stars. The more stars, the more efficient freezing.
These refrigerators only reach -6º C, so they are not suitable for freezing food.
Freezers in this category are also not efficient at freezing food. They only reach -12º C.
With three stars, the refrigerators reach -18ºC and, although they are still suitable for freezing food, they are capable of keeping them frozen for a limited time that can range from a week to several months.
This category is the most common in domestic refrigerators. With a four-star appliance, the freezer reaches -24ºC, which guarantees proper freezing and that the cold chain will not be broken.
The Noise Level is also Important
The refrigerator will be running 24 hours 365 days a year, so a noisy refrigerator will become real torture. Anything that does not exceed 50 dB is considered an acceptable noise level, the approximate equivalent of a quiet conversation.
Refrigerators are getting quieter and quieter, but they still can’t help but generate a certain type of noise. The motor, the fans, and even the expansion of the materials make it almost inevitable that the refrigerator generates noise. The important thing is that this is not annoying.
Most of the current mid-range and high-end refrigerators do not exceed 40 dB by much, this noise level is appreciable if you are next to the appliance, but practically inaudible when you are a couple of meters away.
The most advanced refrigerators are even capable of modulating the speed of the motor to maintain lower levels of noise and consumption.
Consider Energy Efficiency
The refrigerator, unlike washing machines, dishwashers, or other kitchen appliances, is one of the few appliances that, from the moment it is installed, does not stop working throughout its useful life.
The refrigerator consumes around 30% of the household’s monthly electricity consumption. For this reason, it is important to make sure you choose a refrigerator that is energy efficient so that electricity consumption does not skyrocket.
There is a European regulation that requires manufacturers to label all their products in an informative label that provides the user with all the technical information on their consumption, sound, and a classification based on an energy efficiency scale.
The energy efficiency classification uses a letter system in which the most efficient would be those of class A +++ and the ones with the highest energy consumption those of class G. This energy label remains visible on the devices displayed in stores, or on the refrigerator detail page in its online variant.
The savings in electricity consumption provided by the most efficient refrigerators means that in a period of between two and three years, this initial extra cost is amortized with the savings in the electricity bill.
In short, always bet on a refrigerator that is as energy efficient as your budget allows. Over the life of the refrigerator, you will save several hundred euros on your electricity bill.
More Reliable and Durable Motors
Engines are one of the components that has evolved the most, both in their performance to improve cooling efficiency, and in the durability of their components.
The useful life of a refrigerator has been an average of 10 to 15 years, which is determined by the work that its engine has done and under what conditions it has done it.
Manufacturers like LG offer 10 years on their Inverter Linear Compressor motors due to the fewer components, which makes their repair easier and the parts that can fail are reduced.
Samsung also offers a 10-year warranty on its Digital Inverter motor, reducing wear on parts by automatically adjusting the operating speed. Other brands, such as Balay, offer an additional maintenance service with which the warranty of their refrigerators is extended by 5 years.
Refrigerators Join the Internet of Things
See the recipes of the weekly menu to see it on the screen integrated into the refrigerator, leave the traditional post-its in the refrigerator, but digital format; or doing the weekly shopping directly from the refrigerator are some of the digital skills that the most advanced refrigerators now have.
The most advanced refrigerators can connect to your home WiFi network. This connectivity allows you to connect to the refrigerator through a control app installed on your smartphone.
From this app, you can do several things depending on the functions that the manufacturer integrates. One of them can be to remotely activate the cameras built into the fridge to check if you have the necessary ingredients to prepare your food before you get home.
This connectivity is also used to update the appliance and optimize its operation and even to carry out self-analysis to detect faults in advance and avoid more serious and costly failures.
I hope that this article will help you a lot. For further information, keep visiting our blog.