The most necessary household appliance in the kitchen is, of course, a refrigerator. Today, there are a lot of companies engaged in the production of fridges, and many technologies that manufacturers equip their products with. Among all this variety, we will try to highlight the most basic characteristics and functions to determine the model of your new refrigerator.
Refrigerator types: built-in or separate refrigerator
First of all, you need to decide what type of fridge you want to use – a built-in refrigerator or a separate one. Built-in appliances are designed to save free space in the kitchen and be as discreet as possible against the background of the overall design. The fridge is built in a special niche and from outside doesn’t differ from the usual kitchen cabinet, but the cost of built-in appliances, as a rule, is slightly more expensive than the cost of the same separate appliances with the same characteristics.
You should always decide which refrigerator you want to use personally. The type of refrigerator, its volume, and size are closely related.
Fridges are divided into single-chamber, double-chamber, Side-by-Side, freezers, and wine fridges. The latter two types are part of a group of specific products that require separate consideration. In the meantime, let’s focus on refrigerators intended for wide use.
Single-chamber refrigerators have a common door for the refrigerating and freezer compartment, and double-chamber refrigerators have their own door for each compartment. The principal difference between two-chamber refrigerators and single-chamber ones is that when one door is opened, the temperature in the second chamber isn’t changing, thus saving electricity. In addition, in single-chamber refrigerators, the freezer compartment is usually smaller than in double-chamber models.
There are three ways of arranging the chambers in the refrigerators:
- “European”, in which a large freezer compartment is located under the refrigerator;
- “Asian”, where a small freezer is located above the refrigerator compartment;
- “American” – Side-by-Side, in which the refrigerating and freezer compartments are often located side by side along the entire height of the device.
Refrigerator dimensions and volume
Single-chamber refrigerators are usually small and have a volume of no more than 250 liters. Most double-chamber refrigerators with a height of 59 to 83 inches usually don’t exceed 400 liters in volume. However, there are a lot of two-chamber refrigerators of increased capacity, due to the increased width and depth. Side-by-Side refrigerators are the most spacious ones, they differ from the others in their considerable width, and some manufacturers also have several refrigerating and freezer chambers.
According to FoodLve, for a family of 2-4 people, a refrigerator of 200-350 liters will be enough. If you have a large family, you will need to choose the appropriate refrigerator. The choice in the market today is great, and you can choose from a large number of models with a volume of more than 400 liters. When choosing a refrigerator, it’s very important to combine the volumes of refrigerating and freezer chambers. If you like freshly frozen fruits and berries for the whole winter, you will need a bigger freezer.
Of course, the size of the fridge should be selected based on the size of the kitchen and the size of the niche in which it will be placed. Pay attention that the rear wall of the appliance should be well ventilated because it affects the amount of energy consumed by the refrigerator, its efficiency, and service life. There should be at least 2 inches of free space between the kitchen wall and the rear wall of the refrigerator. If it’s a built-in refrigerator, its dimensions must correspond clearly to the dimensions of the recesses to be built in. In addition, the necessary tolerances must be taken into account when measuring dimensions.
A compressor in the fridge
The compressor in the refrigerator is an energy machine that causes the refrigerant to circulate inside the system to cool the chambers. There are single- or two-compressor refrigerators. In two-compressor fridges, each chamber has its own compressor and its own independent temperature. When a door is opened in one chamber, the temperature of the second chamber remains unchanged, which saves energy.
In modern refrigerators, defrosting is mainly of three types: manual, drip, and No Frost. Most often, defrosting in the refrigerating and freezer cabinets uses a variety of technologies, such as drip defrosting for the refrigerating compartment and the No Frost system for the freezer compartment. Manual defrosting has almost never been used in recent years. In the case of drip defrost, moisture condenses on the rear wall of the refrigerator and flows into special channels, reaching the evaporator. No Frost (or Frost Free) is the most modern defrosting system. This technology includes a fan for even cold air circulation. The No Frost doesn’t produce frost at all. However, the humidity in the chamber is low enough to allow food to dry more quickly, so you should wrap it in a special film or put it in containers.
Refrigerator control type
There are two types of refrigerator control: electromechanical and electronic. Electromechanical control is carried out by means of the thermostat knob and allows to regulate the cooling only to a greater or lesser extent. Electronic control is usually has a display, which allows the precise cooling temperature for each chamber to be set and the fan and compressor to be controlled. In addition, the display provides a clear and visible indication of all functions.
A wide variety of functions and settings
Each manufacturer strives to make its product the most original and comfortable to use, so the latest models of refrigerators offer a great variety of functions and settings designed to simplify and brighten up our lives. Turbo-cooling, antibacterial protection by means of silver ions included in the machine and internal surfaces of doors, supercooling and super freezing, floor cold, various freshness zones for fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry, filters eliminating unpleasant smell and the function of “vacation” – all this is not a complete list of possibilities of modern refrigerators. As you can see, the variety is huge, and it’s almost impossible to make a wrong choice.
Of all household appliances, it’s the refrigerator that consumes the most electricity, as it’s always connected to the grid. Therefore, it’s very important to choose an economical model. The energy consumption of refrigerators is divided into several types and marked with the Latin letters A and B, where class A is a more economical option. In addition, there are refrigerators with minimal energy consumption, such models are marked as “Super A” or “A+” and “A++”.
The time when all refrigerators were the same size and the same color is long gone. Today, there is a huge variety of color and even design solutions, to turn the refrigerator from a simple household appliance into a full-fledged element of the interior and even make it the main decoration.