Buying a fridge

Everything you need to know about buying a fridge

A high-end fridge from LG.

A high-end fridge from LG.

When choosing the best fridge for your home, it’s important to take into account a number of considerations. Firstly, measure the space where your new fridge will sit, as this will let you know what size you should buy. Then consider how much food you expect to keep in it. Household fridges are generally measured in litres (L), and range in size from small fridges of less than 170L to 850L giants. For an average household of two people, a storage capacity of about 300L should be enough; however, if you like to do big shops you’ll need a larger fridge!

When you work out how much room you have for the fridge, include a gap of about 50 to 100mm at the top, back and sides to provide proper ventilation. Also, make sure the fridge will fit through any entrances, doorways or stairwells into your house. If you have limited space, try playing around with different dimensions. A tall, narrow fridge, for example, could provide the same amount of storage space as a shorter one that needs more floor space.

Designs and styles

Shelving layout can do wonders for how much a fridge will hold. Maximise the storage capacity of your fridge by considering what it will need to store, and how items are usually organised. If you are a fan of frozen pizzas, for example, a very narrow freezer unit may cause problems. Adjustable shelves are a common feature that will make the task of organising your groceries a little easier.

There are different types of fridges that may suit individual needs better than others. Top-mount fridges are generally the cheapest and most common type. In this configuration, the freezer sits at about eye-level, with the fridge compartment underneath, which allows both the fridge and freezer sections to house reasonably wide shelves.

Another variation that is becoming popular is the bottom-mount fridge. Bottom-mount fridges are similarly dimensioned to top-mounts, except that the fridge section sits above the freezer. This configuration puts the fridge section at eye-level, which allows easier access to foods that are used most frequently, although the freezer can affect the temperature of the crisper tray immediately above it. Some manufacturers use thicker insulation to stop freezer and fridge compartments from affecting one another, further more a twin fan style fridge has more control over temperatures of fridge and freezer as there is no transfer of air between compartments.

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