After quarantines and self-isolation, we are gradually getting used to working days. But now it has become obvious that in difficult times it is the house that is our fortress, which requires love, care and attention. Therefore, it’s time to do what we didn’t have enough time for before. For example, choose a refrigerator. There are so many models on the market today that you can easily get confused in them if you don’t know exactly what you need. The choice will depend on many factors — on the size of the niche that you are ready to put under the refrigerator, the design of the room (built-in or separate model), the size of the family (single-chamber / two-chamber device, different degrees of freezing) and, of course, on the budget.
Why such a spread of prices?
The price of a refrigerator is formed based on the set of functions, size, type of appliance, as well as depending on the class, design and brand.
The time and quality of food storage in it depends on what budget you are willing to allocate for the purchase of a refrigerator. You can choose the simplest appliance with a refrigerator and freezer without additional functions, but it is better to study what other options are available in modern models. Most of them (for example, the ionization system — the freshness zone) significantly helps to extend the shelf life of products. Even an optional seemingly automatic door closer helps to maintain a balance of humidity and temperature in the chamber, so that the refrigerator lasts longer and consumes less electricity.
In addition to additional functions, the price of the refrigerator is influenced by its design — there are single-chamber models, two-chamber, multi-chamber, side-by-side, two-door, four-door. There are models with ice generators and even wine compartments. Each additional compartment increases the cost of the device, but for a large family it may be necessary.
Prices also depend on the type of refrigerator compressor, which are classic linear and inverter. The first is a long—proven technology, for which manufacturers give a long-term guarantee. They maintain a set temperature level in the chamber due to the fact that the compressor first turns on to cool the space, and then turns off.
Inverter compressors are a newer technology that allows you to maintain the desired temperature level thanks to a constant power switching system. Models with such compressors are produced by many brands, including at an affordable price. Some manufacturers, such as LG, equip refrigerators with linear inverter compressors — they combine the advantages of the first and second types, but are much more expensive.
Should I embed a refrigerator or not?
When choosing a refrigerator, it is important to decide which model will fit better into the space, freestanding or built-in. The first ones are decently cheaper and can become an independent interior item. But a free-standing model will still not perfectly match the kitchen furniture, and this is its main drawback. Manufacturers today offer many models in a minimalistic style so that the device can be neatly integrated into the interior. For the same purpose, models with hidden handles are created, but the price for such refrigerators is higher.
Built-in models do not violate the aesthetics of the kitchen, but they are often narrower and shallow, that is, less spacious. Their model range is smaller than that of stand-alone ones. Accordingly, it is more difficult to choose a refrigerator suitable for technical characteristics.
Defrost is not necessary!
In old and some modern models in retrostyle, the freezer is located above the refrigerator and can be small. In most modern refrigerators, the freezer occupies a third of the total space and is located at the bottom, since it is used less often than the refrigerator. Such models are available in all price segments — both cheaper and more expensive. In two-door side-by—side models, the freezer is located on the left or right – this is a convenient solution for large families and cooks who make large stocks of frozen berries, vegetables, fruits.
When choosing a refrigerator, pay attention to the number of stars on the freezer: they indicate the effectiveness of long-term maintenance of the desired temperature. The more marks, the longer the products will be stored in the freezer without loss of quality.
The defrosting process is automated in almost all refrigerators today, but it can happen in different ways. Surely you have heard the phrase No Frost. This is one of the types of defrosting of the refrigerator, in which the fan in the freezer circulates air and prevents the accumulation of moisture and the formation of ice. When the fan stops working, the heater turns on, and the formed drops of moisture flow into a special compartment on the back wall of the case.
The other system is called drip. In normal mode, condensate accumulates in the cooling element on the back wall and turns into ice cubes. When defrosting, melting ice flakes drain into a special compartment and evaporate.
Superoptions in refrigerators
Now let’s look at the additional functions that refrigerator manufacturers offer today. Some of them are really useful. Others are designed to meet the individual preferences of customers.
Let’s start with the lighting. It may seem that this is the last thing to worry about. In fact, the light bulbs in refrigerators differ not only in dim and bright glow. There are incandescent, halogen, fluorescent and LED lighting devices. The first ones are practically not installed today: although they shine with a comfortable soft light, they quickly overheat — they have to be changed often. Fluorescent and halogen lamps last longer, but because of the bright unpleasant color, they are rarely used in household models. The best option is LED lighting. It does not overheat, it will serve for a very long time and gives light of different ranges from dimmer and yellow to brighter, white. You will not have to change such a backlight.
If you are particularly concerned about the fact that frozen foods retain their useful properties for a long time, choose a refrigerator with a super-freezing function. It allows you to quickly cool products to a low temperature, preserving their nutritional properties and useful substances.
Do you remember how we were warned earlier that you should not put a pot of warm soup in the refrigerator, because it is harmful for the appliance? Now you just need to turn on the supercooling function to quickly cool the dish before serving or the ingredients that are needed for cold cooking.
There are special freshness zones in the refrigerator for longer storage of fruits, vegetables, herbs, as well as thawed meat or fish. In this compartment, a certain gentle balance of temperature (as close as possible to 0 ° C) and humidity is maintained, so that such products are stored longer.
Air ionization is another important function of modern refrigerators. It prevents the development of bacteria in the chamber, so that products are stored longer, and unpleasant odors do not occur in the refrigerator.
The choice of additional options is a matter of your taste and personal preferences. For someone, the display is important, with which you can control the temperature and humidity inside the refrigerator space. For someone, for convenience, it is enough that a clock is built into the refrigerator. Of course, many pay great attention to the design of the product. Built-in refrigerator models allow you to maintain a uniform style in the room. Today there are models of a variety of colors and designs on the market — you can choose a suitable refrigerator for almost any interior.
In addition, many manufacturers make sure that the products retain their attractiveness for as long as possible. Whirlpool, for example, produces refrigerators with a special coating, which does not leave fingerprints.
Checklist for choosing a refrigerator
So, what do you need to consider when choosing a refrigerator?
1. Be very careful about the size. A miss even by 1-2 cm can turn into big problems when carrying and installing the device. In addition, even models with identical external parameters can have completely different volumes of refrigerating and freezing chambers.
2. Think in advance about additional functions that may be useful. Is it important for you to stock up as many berries and mushrooms as possible? Look for a refrigerator with shock freezing and a large freezer. Do you like salads of seasonal vegetables and fruits? Then a model with a freshness zone will be very useful to you.
3. How much do you need superoptions? Modern manufacturers offer a large selection of models with additional functions that vary dramatically in price. Think about it: how ready is your apartment or house for the operation of a powerful modern refrigerator? For example, if you like a model with an ice generator, you may need to connect it to the water supply. Are you ready to make another water sampling point?
4. Evaluate the quality of the material from which the refrigerator is made. To do this, it can be enough just to smell it from the inside — low-quality plastic gives off a sharp unpleasant smell that will be coming from your products for a long time.
5. Pay attention to the location of the shelves in the refrigerator. If you plan to keep three-liter jars of pickles there or often cook hot in large pots, you will need at least one high compartment.