There are 4 main types to choose from:
- Plain door, these have no water or ice making features, they will normally have a larger capacity as there are no water tanks or ice makers taking up space.
- Non-plumbed water, these will have an internal water tank inside the fridge door, just fill it up and you can benefit from chilled water through the fridge door.
- Plumbed water and ice models need to be plumbed in to your mains water supply, you can then have an automatic supply of chilled and filtered water and ice on tap. You will suffer from decreased freezer capacity owing to the ice maker and also bear in mind you will need to replace the filter roughly every six months, to keep your water and ice tasting fresh.
- Non-plumbed water and ice, is ideal if you do not want to plumb your fridge freezer into your water supply and there are also no filters to replace. There is a manual fill water tank in the fridge which pumps water round to the freezer, you can then dispense water and ice from the freezer door. The ice maker does slightly impact on the capacity in the freezer.
Side-by-Side or Multi-Door
The typical American style product is the side-by-side, which has two doors, with the freezer on the left and the fridge on the right. Newer to the market and following the trend in America, is the multi-door product, which will typically have two fridge doors at the top and 1 or 2 freezer drawers underneath. You can read my blog to see which style would suit you best.
When you look on retailer or manufacturer websites you will be faced with Net and Gross capacities. Gross volume will indicate the total internal capacity, whereas net capacity will include the actual usable capacity once all the furniture such as shelves, door racks and drawers have been taken into consideration. So, it is normally best to take account of the net capacity as this will be your usable storage space.
The biggest single thing you want from your fridge freezer is to keep your food as fresh as possible. There are many claims from manufacturer’s that they have technology to keep your food fresher for longer, I’ve outlined a few below:
- Humidity controlled salad crisper – Fruit and vegetables do need humidity to keep them fresh, this is normally done with a special cover in the salad crisper, which locks in the right amount of moisture.
- Meat and Fish drawer – Separate drawer in the fridge which keeps at a lower temperature than the rest of the fridge.
- Air vents in the fridge – Sometimes in the fridge you will see ice droplets forming on the back wall, these then defrost and the water evaporates. These days,
a lot of models have air vents in the fridge so these droplets do not form, the air vents also cool the fridge a lot quicker and keep a more stable temperature.
- Dual cooling – Uses two fans and evaporators instead of one. The benefits of this are faster cooling and more humidity in the fridge (to prevent food from drying out).
A+ is the minimum standard and all fridge freezers have to be at least A+ energy rating, the best energy rating is A+++, but how much do you actually save, buying an A++ or A+++ model rather than the standard A+?
Normally an A++ or A+++ will be more expensive to buy, so it is worth looking at the energy consumption figures of each model and working out the costs per year, for example, if you are paying £200 more for an A++ model, how much energy will you save per year?
You will sometimes get extra features in a higher energy rated model, so it’s also worth looking closely at the specification.