5 things to think about before buying a fridge freezer
Whether you’re a busy mum cooking for a growing family or a foodie who wants to keep ingredients in the best possible condition, here are 5 things to consider when choosing a fridge…
1. What type and size of fridge freezer do I need?
The space in your kitchen and the number of people you’re regularly feeding are the biggest factors when choosing a new appliance.
When it comes to having plenty of space to stock your weekly shop, width is crucial. Standard tall fridge freezers normally measure between 50 and 70cm wide, while American-style fridge freezers are much larger (measuring up to 90cm+ wide).
See our guide on how to measure if your new fridge freezer will fit
How big is your family? You may be cooking for a full house every day, or perhaps you’re a young couple in your first home? However many places at your dinner table, you’ll need to consider how much food you will need to stock, and therefore how big your fridge freezer should be.
With summer just on the doorstep, you may be planning barbecues and cocktail parties. As your fridge is at the heart of successful hosting, you want enough room for your foodie treats. Fridge freezers come in a range of heights, with different fridge/freezer ratios to suit different lifestyles:
- If you’ll need to store mostly fresh food, choose a model with a larger fridge/freezer ratio (70/30 or 60/40 split)
- Store a lot of frozen food? Opt for an equal fridge/freezer split (50/50)
- For a large family, look out for taller models, up to 2m high
Some fridge freezers have thin wall technology, which gives you more space on the inside without any change to the external dimensions. If you want to maximize your storage space, check out this Samsung American-style fridge
Some models like this Beko have shelves that can switch between fridge and freezer or chiller – so whether you need extra space for deli treats or your weekly shop has gone big on frozen foods, you can rest assured.
2. Do you want to keep food fresher for longer?
Your old fridge might have struggled to keep food fresh until the use by date, so you want to make sure you avoid wastage with your new model.
What’s more, as the temperature shoots up, the last thing you want is your party food to go off – especially expensive meat. Thankfully, modern fridge freezers often include food preservation features that keep goods fresher for longer, so you don’t have to go grocery shopping on the morning of your party. With these models you can:
- Keep fruit and veg at its best with Blue Light technology that mimics the sun’s rays
- Store fresh foods with twin cooling that keeps the fridge at the optimum level of humidity
- Ensure fish or meat stays at its best with fresh zones that keep it at the right temperature
- Lock in nutrients with the Fast Chill setting
Prolong the life of your family shop with the Hotpoint Smart SMX 85. Just fill it up with food then hit the super-cool setting.
3. Is it worth going for a frost-free model?
Defrosting a freezer takes a lot of time and effort. You have to take out all of your food, unplug the freezer and then wait for the ice to melt before cleaning it up.
Pick a frost-free model and you’ll never be stuck with this chore again. Although they can be slightly more expensive than a standard fridge freezer, these models stop ice from building up – making sure you maximise your storage space. They can also keep your energy bills down, as ice build-up means your fridge freezer needs to work harder.
Put an end to defrosting with this frost-free Beko. Freezer guard technology means food inside will stay frozen – whatever the outside temperature.
4. Do I want a water dispenser and ice maker?
Be the hostess with the mostess with ice cold drinks on tap by opting for a fridge with a water dispenser. Some can also dispense crushed or cubed ice for those lazy summer afternoons.
You can choose from fridges that need to be plumbed in to your water supply, meaning you never have to refill any tanks. Or you can choose one with a water filter you fill up from the tap. There's no plumbing to worry about and you can put the fridge freezer wherever you want.
Tip: Plumbed-in fridge freezers need to be within 1.5 metres of a water source.
If you’re after a model with an integrated water dispenser fed by an internal tank, look no further than this Kenwood. While serving up ice-cold water, this model also has low noise levels and a holiday mode to save energy.
5. Do I want to save energy and reduce running costs?
Remember that your fridge freezer will be running 24/7 – so it’s important to consider the energy rating, as this will have an effect on the running costs.
All fridge freezers are rated between A+ and A+++ and the higher the rating, the better. Although the top models can be more expensive, you actually stand to save on your energy bills over time. For a fridge freezer with an A+++ rating, try the ultra-efficient Samsung RB31.
Choose from 7 adjustable speed settings to keep it running at its best – and at only 40dB you’ll barely hear it in your kitchen.