21 Jan 2013
The purpose of a refrigerator/freezer is to keep beverages cool, make ice and to freeze certain food.
Liam Gawne from Miele says because a refrigerator is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is important to choose the best quality model you can afford.
There are a wide variety of refrigerators on the market, offering various extra features, which can make the task of choosing a model overwhelming. Gawne suggests a few things homeowners should consider when looking to buy a fridge.
Bottom-freezers include a freezer compartment below the fridge. The freezer usually comprises of pullout drawers instead of shelving. These models are convenient as the fridge is at eye-level, providing convenient access. The freezer, which isn’t accessed quite as often, is located out of the way below.
Separate side-by-sides is two completely separate appliances that have been specially designed to stand next to each other, giving the impression of being a single appliance. They have a freezer on one side and a fridge on the other.
Gawne says the bonus about having a model like this is that you can configure the choice of appliances to suit your individual preferences. If you need more refrigerator space, you can choose a separate fridge, or you can choose three appliances, such as two fridges set aside a single freezer. They are also smaller than their single side-by-side counterparts, which makes them easier to manoeuvre and transport.
Ultimately, the refrigerator should complement the design and style of the kitchen and in open plan kitchens, it should help create a seamless flow from one room to the next.
The finishing touch
Gawne says a refrigerator’s finish is important. They are commonly available in white, and for a price, in a number of bright colours as well. "However, refrigerators with a stainless steel finish have become all the rage." But, stainless steel can be difficult to keep looking good as it shows dirty smudges and fingerprints more than other finishes.
Consider the size
If you are building a new kitchen, Gawne recommends that you work out exactly which refrigerator you are going to purchase beforehand, so that you can accommodate it in the cabinetry design. If you are buying a refrigerator for an existing kitchen, it is essential to measure the height, width and depth of the area in which it must fit before you go shopping. Gawne reminds homeowners to allow a few centimetres above and behind the unit for air to circulate and make sure there is room for the doors to open.
Consider the environment and save money
Refrigerators are permanently on and tend to use more energy than other appliances. It is estimated that they can consume as much as 20 percent of your monthly electricity usage. Therefore, it is important to consider the energy rating of the refrigerator before you buy it.
Brands that offer energy saving models will probably bear the European Union energy label. This indicates the energy efficiency rated in terms of a set of energy efficiency classes from “A” to “G” on the label – with A-rated appliances being the most energy efficient and G-rated appliances being the least efficient. Gawne suggests that consumers should also buy the best quality machines that they can afford as the longer a machine lasts, the less carbon footprint it will leave.
Modern refrigerators offer a host of added features, which make them function better and more convenient to operate.
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