Refrigerator Buying Guide
This refrigerator buying guide has been put together by mychoice to help you make informed decisions about your next refrigerator purchase – getting the right fridge for your household’s needs. Choosing the right type of cooling appliance can be difficult – especially as it’s such an irregular, one-off purchase. Refrigerators usually maximize available space and provide different compartments for different foods – so there’s always a place for all the different things you need to store. Whether you need more cooling space and have sufficient room for a tall/over the counter model, or less and want to store chilled foods conveniently beneath the worktop in an under the counter model, you are sure to find a model that suits you in our refrigerator section.
You can either read the full guide or click on the links below to find the answers to some of the most commons questions about refrigerators.
- What Size does My Refrigerator Need To Be To Fit Into My Kitchen/Utility Room?
- What Capacity Will I Need From My Refrigerator?
- How Do Refrigerators Keep Food Fresh And What Features Do They Have?
- How Much Does A Refrigerator Cost To Run?
- What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Refrigerator?
What Size does My Refrigerator Need To Be To Fit Into My Kitchen/Utility Room?
Everyone has their own needs and preferences when it comes to space in their Kitchen or Utility Room. Most people prefer their Refrigerator out in the open so they can easily get it, while other people have specifically designed kitchens and want a specific size of machine to fit a specific space.
**The first decision you have to make is, where in your kitchen you want your Refrigerator to go and what size it needs to be in order to fit. Here are the main options:
Freestanding Refrigerators are good if you want your machine to be seen and they’re fairly easy to fit in as they just slot into a specific gap in your kitchen.
Built-in/Integrated Refrigerators are designed not to be seen. They have a flat front and space to attach door hinges so they can be completely hidden behind a door. An integrated model is a refrigerator covered by a door panel that matches the rest of your kitchen units. When closed, the model will be completely hidden.
**A semi-integrated model is a Refrigerator covered mostly by a door panel that matches the rest of your kitchen units. When closed, the machine will be completely hidden except the controls.
Refrigerators are available in a variety of sizes and fits from under the counter 80 - 90cm high x 50 - 60cm wide x 50 - 60cm deep to tall over the counter 170 - 180cm high x 50 - 60cm wide x 50 - 60cm deep.
You should always check you have enough room for your appliance by looking at its specification. Please note that all refrigerators need to be connected to an electricity supply. If you would like mychoice to connect your appliance or offer a reversible door service (if applicable to the selected model), please check our connection services for that particular model.
What Capacity Will I Need From My Refrigerator?
Do you need a fridge with an ice box? If you already have a freezer, it's worth considering a larder fridge as you will get extra storage space ordinarily taken up by the freezer compartment. A larder will also automatically defrost itself. A fridge with a freezer compartment lets you store frozen food for a limited period, the length of which will depend on its star rating. (Always check maximum storage times on the packaging of the food product to ensure food safety) A 4 star rating means that the compartment reaches a minimum temperature below -18ºC, allowing you to freeze small amounts of fresh food.
Storage space for refrigerators can be hard to understand as it’s measured in total litres and cubic capacity rather than the physical dimensions of each compartment. Make sure you choose the right capacity refrigerator for your specific needs.
How Do Refrigerators Keep Food Fresh And What Features Do They Have?
Most refrigerators come with a cooling system that solves the problem of uneven temperatures caused by warm air rising. Many manufacturers have their own cooling systems that keep food fresh in this way.
There are many models in the market and most have specific features that help keep your food fresh for longer. The following features come with many models:
**Auto-defrost - This automatically regulates the temperature in your fridge to prevent frost build up.
**Easy clean shelves - Look for a fridge with glass shelves as they only require a quick wipe over with a damp cloth to keep them clean.
**Salad crisper - Ideal for keeping fruits and vegetables crisp as they keep produce separate from other food, preventing bruising.
**Dairy compartment - Allows you to store products like butter, in a special isolated compartment, preserving them better and preventing odour mixing.
**Temperature control - Be it electronic or an LCD display, this helps you monitor and maximize the freshness of your food.
**Anti-bacterial protection - Selected models have Microban built into the lining of the fridge, which acts by killing bacteria, micro-organism and algae growth, giving you permanent safe protection for your food and family.
**Temperature Warning Systems - Alerts the user, by sounding an alarm to dangerously high temperatures.
How Much Does A Refrigerator Cost To Run?
When energy labelling was introduced, all refrigerators received an energy efficiency grading ranging from A - G, with A being the most efficient. However, since manufacturers have striven harder than ever to make their refrigeration appliances more efficient, the only 2 energy grades you’ll find in use are A+ and A++. Standardised tests, monitored by Trading Standards, are carried out by manufacturers, who are responsible for grading their appliances.
You'll often find that the more expensive the appliance, the better the running costs, as energy-saving features such as thicker insulation, automatic door closing or 'door open' audible alerts will be included.
If you are upgrading your old appliance remember mychoice offer a recycling service, whereby we collect and recycle your old appliance when we deliver your new one; for full details of this service please see our link, Appliance Connection Services.
What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Refrigerator?
Fridge prices can vary between £100 and £1000. Whether you need something short to fit under the counter or a tall upright model, there should be an ideal fridge for every household/customer:
**If you are working on a budget, less than £200 will buy you a basic under counter model, usually in white with a capacity of up to 130 litres, which is good enough for a couple or someone living alone. Some models come with a frozen food compartment and auto-defrost.
**Spend £200 to £400 and there is more of a choice between upright and under counter fridges. Models with a capacity up to 350 litres of storage space can be found, which is enough to store a week’s worth of food for five people. Most fridges in this band have an A-rated energy rating.
**When you pay £400 - £600, most models are either designer and under counter or larger and upright. It’s here that you will find the bulk of family fridges with generous capacities of up to 350 litres. Expect to find more built-in appliances, a wider range of colours and A+ ratings for energy efficiency.
**Models that cost £600+ are mostly built-in, but the few that are freestanding are from some of the premium designer brands. With some of the largest capacities available (up to 400 litres) these are suitable for the largest of families and also offer the best style and functionality.
You can call us Monday – Friday 9am-6pm on 01442 563 147 or on 0800 197 5391 at anytime from 9am to 10pm 7 days a week. Alternatively you can contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within an hour if received 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or as soon as possible outside of these times. Please call mychoice if you have any questions about this refrigerator buying guide.