So it’s time to choose a refrigerator. Choosing a refrigerator in the kitchen… The question is very serious and first of all you should decide what kind of refrigerator your kitchen needs. There are actually a few questions that need to be answered: what kind of food, in what quantity will you have to store in the fridge? It is necessary to think over and choose a design of a refrigerator that it harmoniously blends in your kitchen ensemble! And finally what price are you ready to pay for this important household refrigerator?

Appliance-fridge

The refrigerators intended for cooling, freezing and storage of foodstuffs and drinks include: autonomous and built-in refrigerators, freezers, refrigerating and wine cabinets with blind and transparent doors… For the time being, we will leave the portable and transport refrigerators alone. They include water coolers, ice makers for cooking food ice, ice cream and medicine refrigerators and many other highly specialized refrigerators.

There are three cooling systems: compression cooling, absorption cooling and thermoelectric cooling.

The vast majority of refrigerators are compression refrigerated. In a compression refrigerator, the cooling fluid (refrigerant) is circulated under compressor pressure. Compression refrigerators are the most economical and have virtually no volume restrictions.

Absorption refrigerators have no compressors, and circulation of the refrigerant is carried out due to heating of the heat exchanger. Absorption cooling is used on small and medium size refrigerators. With the same volume, absorption refrigerators consume more energy than compression refrigerators, but less than thermoelectric ones. The main advantage of the absorption cooling method over thermoelectric and compression refrigerators is the possibility of using alternative energy sources. Absorption chillers can run on liquid and gaseous fuels. Combined electro-gas chillers operate on direct and alternating current and on liquefied gas. As a rule, a gas cylinder with a capacity of 5 l is enough for 230 hours of continuous operation.

Cooling in thermoelectric refrigerators occurs when direct electric current passes through thermoelectric semiconductor plates. One part of the plates is inside the refrigerator chamber and the other part is outside. In cooling mode, the inner parts of the wafers are cooled and the outer parts are heated. When the current direction changes, the inner wafer parts are heated and the outer wafer parts are cooled. Electricity consumption by the thermoelectric refrigerator, compared to absorption and compression analogues, increases with the volume of the refrigerator. For this reason and the compactness of the unit, the thermoelectric cooling method prevails in mini-fridges.

If you are sensitive to noise and you are worried about even a slight noise, you can choose a fridge-freezer with thermoelectric cooling. Thermoelectric refrigerators that have neither compressors nor refrigerant are absolutely silent. Compression refrigerators necessarily noise, as there are no absolutely silent compressors. Compressors with external suspension make the greatest noise. The quietest refrigerators in their size group with linear compressors. Absorption refrigerators belong to low-noise ones. They produce only weak gurgle sounds when liquid flows through pipelines.

Refrigerator volume and dimensions

Kitchen Image

Dimensions are selected taking into account the space available for the refrigerator. The standard depth is 60 cm, but if the kitchen allows it, you may prefer a refrigerator up to 80 cm deep. The height depends on the layout of the chambers and can be from 50 to 210 cm. The widths of the refrigerator models vary from the standard 60 cm to 100 cm. The volume of the refrigerator should allow to place the products not close, but with a reserve of free space for air circulation. So, in more detail … For small apartments or those who do not need a large volume quite justified choice will be a small and compact refrigerator. Such models, as a rule, are single-chamber with a small freezer compartment located in the upper part (“freezer” may be absent). In terms of size, they reach 160 cm in height (there are also very small 50 cm), and the width and depth is usually the standard 60×60 cm. Their volume is sufficient for those who live alone, as well as for hotel guests. Refrigerators of “European” type can also be placed in a small kitchen. They are quite narrow (width 60 cm) and can be up to 2.5 meters high. The standard depth for European countries is 60 cm. Depending on the height of the fridge, the volume can vary from 200 to 350 litres. The freezer and refrigerator compartments are located above each other and have separate doors. For such refrigerators, the freezer compartment is usually located at the bottom, but the opposite option is also possible. Models of the “European” type are ideal for a small family, the only drawback is the inaccessibility of the upper shelves of the fridge for people of small stature, especially children. With a fairly spacious kitchen you can afford a refrigerator with a width of up to 1 meter. And, unlike the “European” type, they will be much lower (up to 180 cm) and more convenient for all with the same volume. Such models are typical for Asian manufacturers. Manufacturers of such refrigerators are mainly Asian manufacturers. These models are characterized by the location of the upper freezer. It is possible to choose a refrigerator of big volume among models “Side-by-Side”. They are a cabinet with two doors on the sides (freezer and refrigerator). These refrigerator models are available with volumes from 300 to 650 litres. Their dimensions are also impressive: width up to 1m, depth up to 85 cm and height up to 180 cm. Side-by-Side” refrigerators are designed for large families or for those who are used to preparing large volumes of food. Many well-known manufacturers have such models of refrigerators (LG, Samsung) When buying a refrigerator, take into account the size of the door – in the open condition they can severely interfere in tight spaces. On some models it is possible to change the side in which the door will open.

Energy consumption of the fridge

It is important to choose the right refrigerator for your kitchen depending on its energy consumption class. The most economical refrigerators are marked with the letter “A”. Next come classes “B” and “C”, which are not very different from the first and are also considered to be economical. Refrigerators with higher energy consumption (from “D” to “G”) are practically not available today. The difference between classes, apart from the energy consumption of compressors, is also in how long the refrigerator is able to maintain temperature without using electricity. So, chasing the class, you can overpay for the refrigerator. A significant difference in price between two refrigerators that are close to class energy consumption is unlikely to pay off. Therefore, the main thing that the economy is expressed by the letter no lower than “C”.

In addition, if you want the kitchen refrigerator to use less electrical energy, follow a few simple rules. First, do not put food in it that is above room temperature. Naturally, do not leave the doors open for long periods of time. And it is advisable to choose a place for the fridge as far away from the battery and the cooker as possible.

Stainless steel refrigerator beside white kitchen cabinet

Built-in refrigerator

The built-in refrigerator is good in that it fits perfectly into the interior of your kitchen. The refrigerator is closed by a door, only its temperature sensors and other indicators are visible. Thus, without opening the door, you can control the operation of the built-in refrigerator. The space underneath the fridge is used as a locker or as a dishwasher, for example. This is where its advantages end. The built-in fridge costs more than its analogues of the same volume. Besides, its useful volume is at least two times less than the total volume of space it occupies. As for the rules of operation and installation: slits should be made in the furniture for free passage of air to the compressor refrigerator.

Built-in fridges help to save scarce kitchen space and create greater comfort in the kitchen. In terms of basic consumer characteristics, they are identical to free-standing refrigerators. Most built-in refrigerators are 54-58 cm wide and 53-55 cm deep. Kitchen furniture is manufactured to these sizes, taking into account the necessary technological tolerances. For other sizes of refrigerators, special attention should be paid to the size of the niches in the furniture. The free-standing analogue is wider than the built-in model.

Refrigerators can be built not only in the kitchen, but also office furniture, a variety of bars and shop windows. For embedding recommend refrigerators of the same class of performance as the rest of the kitchen equipment.

Kitchen-builtin refrigerators

Built-in are single and double-door refrigerators with different chamber arrangements, refrigerated and wine cabinets, as well as vertical freezers. Freezers in the form of kiosks are not built into furniture.

A fully-configured fridge-freezer can be combined with a kitchen table, dishwasher and stove. The fridge-freezer and fridge-freezer of small height allow you to create an optimal combination and achieve increased comfort of use in a spacious kitchen.

The main difference between a built-in refrigerator and a free-standing one is in the furniture hinges on the doors and in the presence of fasteners for decorative panels. Furniture hinges ensure normal opening of the door when the refrigerator is tightly attached to the walls of kitchen cabinets and room walls. Fixing parts give the product an unattractive industrial look, but after embedding them will close the furniture panels. The front furniture panel can have its own hangers or hinges. In this version, it does not load the hinges of the refrigerator and is connected to its door by sliding rails.

Silver french door refrigerator

In the kitchen ensemble, the refrigerator can be completely hidden behind the furniture panels, or have open front surfaces of the doors and keep its “face”. The location of the fully-fitted BHP helps to identify the grille in its basement, which is needed to supply fresh air to the heating parts, compressor and condenser. In some models, an electronic control panel with colour LEDs and digital temperature indicators remains visible. The electronic panel above the door clearly informs you about the operation of the BHP, allows you to change and control modes, activate various functions without opening the door to its chamber.

Built-in refrigerators are generally more economical in operation than free-standing refrigerators due to better insulation of the walls. Fencings with decorative furniture panels help to reduce noise perceived by the human ear. The noise of a refrigerator built into furniture is less disturbing than that of a free-standing refrigerator.

It is not recommended to install the refrigerator next to a stove, oven or cooktop. For ease of use, the location of the shelves and sections, which have to be used frequently, should be at such a height that you do not have to either bend or squat or tiptoe to get the right product. It is best when it is convenient for all family members to use it. To increase user-friendliness, small refrigerators should be placed on a stand or placed under the worktop. The support for the refrigerator can be a furniture box.

When the BHP is built into furniture, electrical safety requirements and cooling of the compressor and condenser must be met. There must be sufficient clearance around the refrigerator for air circulation. Openings for cold air inlet in the lower basement under the refrigerator and outlet of heated air behind its rear wall shall have cross sections of at least 200 sq. cm. The air circulation duct must not be obstructed by foreign objects.

It is recommended to entrust the installation of the built-in refrigerator to a refrigerator familiar with the details of operation. An unprofessional installation may result in the refrigerator not working properly and the need to remake the already installed decorative panels of the kitchen furniture. It can also serve as a basis for removing your refrigerator from the free warranty service.

The basic assortment of built in refrigerators make single-door refrigerators and refrigerating cases in volume from 90 to 400 l. Single-chamber refrigerators have dual-vapor cooling systems and self-thawing walls in the refrigerating chamber. Volumes of freezing chambers from 17 to 70 l. The prestigious models have compartments of “freshness” in volume from 40 to 100 l. Some models have a “freshness” chamber, but no freezer.

Volumes of built-in two-chamber refrigerators are from 210/40 liters to 480/130 liters. Some of them have “freshness” chamber/separtments with volume from 40 to 130 liters. Volumes of swing models (side-by-side) are larger, but their share in the range is small.

Built-in vertical freezers have capacities from 67 l (Bosch, Siemens, Liebherr) to 215 l (AEG). Models with volumes of up to 120 litres account for about 90%.

Number of refrigerator chambers

labeled cans in fridge

The number of chambers is one of the main criteria for choosing a refrigerator. The possible number of one to three depends on your requirements for the functionality of a “food keeper”.

Single-chamber refrigerators are only small refrigerators with one door. They mainly consist only of a refrigerator compartment. But there are also models with a small freezer compartment, where you can put no more than 2 kg of meat.

Refrigerators with two chambers (refrigerator and freezer) are most common. The main criterion when choosing a two-chamber refrigerator is the mutual location of the “freezer” and the refrigeration compartment. Manufacturers create models of two-chamber refrigerators both with one door and with two doors. Advantage of two-chamber refrigerators with two doors is that at opening of one chamber the cold atmosphere in the second chamber is not broken. In this way, the electrical energy required to maintain a certain temperature is also saved.

On the basis of the separation idea, three-chamber refrigerators have emerged. But they have not become widespread. Partitions between the chambers “eat” the useful volume of the refrigerator. It is desirable, that the chamber which will be used most often, to be located in the upper part. Naturally, this does not apply to “Side-by-Side” refrigerators. An important detail in favor of choosing a refrigerator with a freezing chamber located in the upper part is energy saving up to 10 percent.

Cooling chamber

As a rule, a refrigerating chamber occupies the main volume of a refrigerator. There are many shelves and containers for different foods.

The shelves are either glass or grated. Glass shelves are good because they are easy to clean and look more aesthetically and beautifully. The advantage of grids is that they do not interfere with air circulation inside the refrigerating chamber. And, in general, any shelves, except plastic ones, are very durable, the main thing is that there are enough mounts inside the chamber. This will allow you to create any combination with the height of the shelves inside the refrigerating chamber.

The defrosting system inside the refrigerator works only in automatic mode. Today there are two main systems in use: the drip wall (“weeping wall”) and No Frost. With the drip defrost system, or as it is also called the “weeping wall”, moisture is collected on the back wall of the refrigerator, then drains into a special tray allocated for it and evaporates. Still, with such a system it is desirable to defrost the refrigerator on your own once in six months. Refrigerators with drip system are cheaper than those with No Frost system.

Silver side by side refrigerator

No Frost system is based on the principle of air circulation inside the chamber. This not only prevents frosting, but also maintains a uniform temperature throughout the entire space. Moisture condenses on the cooling element of the chamber, then is collected in a container from which it gradually evaporates. The only disadvantage of this system is that it occupies a useful volume inside the chamber.

Electronic control with digital thermometers provides accurate regulation within 1 degree, which guarantees the best conditions for the longest possible storage of fresh and frozen food. The built-in control panel with colour light indicators and digital temperature indicators provides clear information, allows you to change and control modes, activate various functions without opening the refrigerator door. The mains switch on the remote control allows you to switch off the fridge without pulling the plug from the socket. The “Child Protect” button on the remote control protects your fridge from accidental power-ups. The memory button turns on the electronic digital thermometer, which shows the temperature rise of frozen food during your absence.

“Fast cooling mode” in the refrigerator by turning on the fan allows you to quickly lower the temperature of a large number of products immediately after they are bookmarked, which contributes to longer shelf life. At the end of the fast cooling mode, the normal mode of operation with the fan switched off is automatically restored.

The “fast cooling mode” of drinks in the freezer serves to bring their temperature to optimal before consumption.

The “self-diagnostic” function in emergency situations helps to identify the cause of the fault and take the necessary measures in time.

The electronic calendar indicates the location of the product, the time it was loaded for storage and the maximum date of use. The electronic assistant can give you information about storage times, how to defrost the product and recipes for cooking food, but you will have to pay a lot more for this.

If your needs change periodically (e.g. in summer you need to store frozen foods and in winter fruits and vegetables, or periodically there is a need to receive large numbers of guests), you can buy a refrigerator with a universal camera. In the universal chamber you can set plus, zero or minus temperatures depending on the need.

For wine lovers we offer refrigerators with special shelves in the cold storage chamber, double-chamber refrigerators with separate wine chambers and special wine cabinets. Wine cabinets can be combined with each other, with refrigerators and freezers, installed side by side or one above the other.

Freezer

Refrigerator with furniture and appliances

Depending on the location of the freezer, different designs are used inside it. In the lower part of the refrigerator, the freezer compartment is equipped with three drawers that can be pulled out. If the freezer compartment is located at the top, it is usually divided into parts by shelves. The main criteria for the freezer compartment are its useful volume and its ability to maintain a certain temperature. At different temperatures, food can be stored for a relatively long period of time. For storage for a week, a temperature of -6 degrees is sufficient (such fridges have one star). If the temperature is maintained at -12 degrees, it guarantees the safety of food for up to 1 month (two stars). If the temperature is -18 degrees (three asterisks), you can store food in a fridge for up to three months. If it is possible to set the temperature below -18 degrees, you do not need to worry that the food will spoil for at least six months. These fridges are marked with four stars. Defrosting systems are used both automatic (drip, No Frost) and manual. With manual defrosting systems, the freezer must be switched off after a certain period of time by removing accumulated frost and washing the compartment at the same time. When choosing a fridge, do not forget that the larger the freezer, the smaller the volume of the fridge. Think about which compartment you need more.

Woman in dress with refrigerator

Freezers are designed for customers who need to store large amounts of frozen food. A large freezer with a quick-refrigerator compartment helps save time and money on wholesale purchases of fresh and frozen food of high quality. Regular feeding with benign food keeps you in a good mood, healthy and able to work.

Freezers can be vertical in the form of a small nightstand (mini-freezers), serving table and cupboard, as well as horizontal in the form of a drawer and chest with the upper lid. Vertical freezers can be free-standing and built into kitchen furniture, with manual and automatic defrosting.

The efficiency of using the space occupied by small freezers is less than for large models of the same type. When using the same materials and technology, the same freezers of different brands have the same ratio of useful and oversized volumes. The higher the economy class, the greater the wall thickness of the freezer and the lower the proportion of useful volume in the overall volume.

If the freezer is maintained at a temperature not higher than -18 ° C, but conditions for rapid freezing are not provided, it must be marked with 3 stars.

Vertical freezers are more convenient to operate and take up less floor space than GEL, but are more difficult to produce. Even minor defects in the cabinet door seal result in significant cold leaks. Lowering the temperature of the outer walls at the cabinet door opening leads to misting, ice formation and freezing of the sealant. To prevent this from happening, the door opening is heated by electric heaters or pipelines through which the hot refrigerant circulates.

Wooden design cabinet kitchen

Horizontal chest freezers are less convenient to operate but are better at keeping the cold. With the same wall thickness and volume, chestnut uses less electricity than a vertical freezer of the same brand. Cold air does not escape from the chestnut even if the lid seal is defective. Chest freezers are designed for customers living in city apartments with spacious kitchens and utility rooms or in their own homes and cottages. They are preferred for long term storage of large amounts of frozen foodstuffs and are therefore used in small shops and catering facilities. The maximum volume of kiosks can exceed 600 liters.

The chest lids can be opened upwards or moved to the sides. The hinged lids are deaf. Sliding lids are deaf and transparent. Low-temperature kiosks with sliding lids are preferable for retailing frozen food and ice cream.

Most of the kiosks are simply equipped with wire baskets. Separate models have thermometers and alarm system for food storage temperature increase. The key lock is used more often in kiosks than on vertical freezers.

Most vertical freezers and almost all chest freezers have a natural cooling method and manual defrosting. Freezers in the form of a cabinet with automatic defrosting have forced cooling with a fan and not freezing walls. Automatic defrosting models consume more energy and are less reliable than manual defrosting models.

With the same dimensions, the useful volume of a free-standing freezer is larger than a forced-cooled freezer with a fan, and an economical model with thicker walls is smaller than a model with thinner walls and higher energy consumption. Freezers with forced cooling and automatic defrosting are preferred for use in high humidity environments.

The hygienic cleaning required for any refrigerator is the most time-consuming process in servicing a freezer. In normal domestic use free-freezers can be defrosted 1 or 2 times a year before a new load of products. Since defrosting is usually combined with hygienic cleaning, the laboriousness of maintenance of freezers with manual and automatic defrosting is almost the same.

Freezing capacity in large freezers is up to 40 kg/24 hours. Batteries of cold, forced ventilation by a fan and grate baskets help to increase the freezing speed of foodstuffs at full depth.

The duration of safe storage of frozen food in emergency situations can reach 70 hours without the use of cold batteries. The use of cold accumulators at full load of the freezer increases the time of safe storage by 8-10 hours depending on the amount of salt solution filled in them and the quality of wall thermal insulation. On large freezers this time may exceed 3 days. With well-established modern service, this time is quite enough to eliminate any malfunction in the cooling system.

Zero zone

The zero zone is a chamber or compartment where zero temperature is maintained with a high percentage of humidity. This ensures that food stays fresh for the longest time. This is convenient when you want to cook something, but not right away, but after a while, so there is no need to freeze the food.

Refrigerator compressor

Whether you choose a single or double compressor refrigerator depends on many factors. It is clear that a small refrigerator will in any case be with one compressor. Large refrigerators with one compressor manufacturers produce at a lower price. But thus the motor will work simultaneously on “a freezer” and a refrigerating compartment. That is, when it is necessary to lower the temperature only in one of the chambers, the compressor will cool both, while consuming additional electricity.

It is therefore advisable to choose a refrigerator with two compressors. Firstly, one motor is not able to cool large quantities of food quickly enough. Secondly, it is better to have a second compressor for a refrigerator with two separate, freezer and refrigeration compartments. In this case each of the motors will only cool the chamber strictly allocated to it, and the temperature for each of them can be adjusted separately. Certainly, models in which separate cooling is realised by means of one compressor are presented in the market, but such rather few. Additional advantage of the refrigerator with two compressors is the possibility of switching off one of them. For example, it is convenient to wash only one compartment, and to leave the second in working condition.

Ice makers

Small quantities of ice cubes can be cooked in ice moulds from a regular refrigerator or freezer. In fridges with ice makers it is possible to cook ice in cubes and crushed form in quantities sufficient for the needs of 1 family. In an independent compact ice machine designed for home and office you can cook 12 ice cubes in 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 1 kg/h of ice crumb.

Food ice is prepared using purified tap water or bottled ice. Volumes of cisterns for purified water are from 1 to 4.5 liters. Ice generators prepare ice in the form of cubes of various sizes and crushed. Built-in bunkers are used for ice accumulation.

Refrigerator for storage of cosmetics and medicines.

Most models offered to customers have a modern design and body made of plastic. A nice exception is that some DaiNet models are made in retro style, using wood. Typically, manufacturers usually vary the color – ivory, blue and blue shades and, finally, so beloved by women pink.

Cosmetics refrigerators are standardly positioned as a stand-alone stand-alone household appliance, some of which can also be powered by a car cigarette lighter. An exception is the German Biszet, which has produced a wall-mounted model for bathrooms and some models DaiNet, which hang on the wall. Among the main manufacturers are leading Chinese and Korean firms – DaiNet, Samsung from the well-known and such as Biszet, Shenzhen, Jianhui, Huangyan, familiar only to a narrow circle of consumers. We can also mention the American Uzo 1.

Kitchen

The volume of refrigerators for cosmetics is quite modest and ranges from five to thirteen liters – here again the leader is DaiNet, providing the widest range of models. The most popular volume is 6-8 litres, which will fit the whole set of cosmetics and perfumes from the shelf of an average beauty.

Volumes of refrigerators for cosmetics and medicines from 5 to 30 liters. The most common models have volumes of 6-8 liters. Some models of refrigerators have 2 compartments each, and one of them is without cooling. The uncooled compartment is used for cosmetics, which is quickly consumed and does not need long-term storage.

Optimal storage temperatures are from 9 to 15 ° C, in some cases up to 25 ° C. Lower temperatures and lower air humidity result in loss of moisturizing properties of cosmetics. Refrigerators for cosmetics and medicines are installed in the bathroom or bedroom.

Luxury models of refrigerators

user-friendliness, right down to the built-in computer. Among elite models refrigerators in the style of “retro” and exotic forms.

Electronic control with digital thermometers provides accuracy of regulation within 1 degree, which guarantees the best conditions for the longest possible storage of fresh and frozen food. The integrated control panel with colour light indicators and digital temperature indicators provides clear information, allows you to change and control modes, activate various functions without opening the refrigerator door. The mains switch on the remote control allows you to switch off the fridge without pulling the plug from the socket. The “Child Protect” button on the remote control protects your refrigerator from accidental power-ups. The memory button turns on the electronic digital thermometer, which shows the temperature rise of frozen food during your absence.

“Fast cooling mode” in the refrigerator by turning on the fan allows you to quickly lower the temperature of a large number of products immediately after they are bookmarked, which contributes to longer shelf life. At the end of the fast cooling mode, the normal mode of operation with the fan switched off is automatically restored.

Silver french door refrigerator

The “fast cooling mode” of drinks in the freezer serves to bring their temperature to optimal before consumption.

The “self-diagnostic” function in emergency situations helps to identify the cause of the fault and take the necessary measures in time.

The electronic calendar indicates the location of the product, the time it was loaded for storage and the maximum date of use. The electronic assistant can give you information about storage times, how to defrost the product and recipes for cooking food, but you will have to pay a lot more for this.

If your needs change periodically (for example, you need to store frozen food in summer and fruit and vegetables in winter, or periodically need to receive a large number of guests), you can buy a refrigerator with a universal chamber. In the universal chamber you can set plus, zero or minus temperatures depending on the need.

For wine lovers, you should buy a refrigerator with special shelves in the refrigerating chamber, two-chamber refrigerators with separate wine chambers and special wine cabinets. Wine cabinets can be combined with each other, with refrigerators and freezers, installed next to or one above the other.