We all have an item in our kitchens that many of us take for granted. Have you guessed what it is? It’s the humble refrigerator!
Can you imagine a life without a refrigerator, especially when you have one or more kids? How would you keep essentials such as milk, eggs, meat and vegetables from going bad in a flash in our tropical climate?
Needless to say, living without a refrigerator in this day and age is unimaginable. It’s fair to say that you should put some thought into choosing a refrigerator that is right for your family.
These days, there’s an art to buying anything, and that includes fridges. If you do the necessary research, you can find out exactly what kind of fridge you need to buy that suits your family’s needs.
Choosing a refrigerator that suits your family’s needs is important for many reasons.
We’ve made your task a bit easier by doing the research for you. Here’s what you need to know about buying a fridge that is just right for you in every way!
Types of refrigerators
1. Side-by-side refrigerator: This popular style of fridge has adjoining doors for the freezer and for the fresh food compartment, which is why it’s called “side-by-side.”
These fridges have a big storage capacity for your food, allocating equal space to the fridge (on the right) and the freezer (on the left).
Many of these fridges come with a water and ice dispenser. However, keep in mind that sometimes the fridge section may be too narrow to put in a large platter — posing a problem if you are entertaining.
Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; Depth: 30 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 45 inches; Height: 71 inches
2. Top freezer refrigerator (top-mount): This is the old fashioned kind that your parents definitely would have had. Still very popular, these fridges are cheaper than more modern models and are generally quite energy-efficient, too.
The top freezer model usually takes up less space in your kitchen, but it may not have as much storage space as other refrigerator styles.
Average dimensions: Width: 29 inches; Depth: 31 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 58 inches; Height: 66 inches
3. French door refrigerator: This is the hottest new trend in the world of refrigerators. The French door fridge has 2 doors that open up the fridge section on top, and a pull-out freezer section located below. This means that you’ll have a full-width, double-door fridge with plenty of storage space.
With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won’t be letting as much cold air out when you’re opening just one door to grab the milk.
The fridge has wide shelves with plenty of room for large platters — again, a good option for large families.
Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; Depth: 29 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 48 inches; Height: 68 inches
Check energy efficiency when choosing a refrigerator
A refrigerator can easily consume the most amount of electricity in a household, so it’s important you choose one that is energy-efficient. This way, you’ll not only be doing your part to cut down carbon emissions, but you’ll also be saving money in the long run.
Look at the number of green ticks on your fridge’s Energy Label. The more green ticks the fridge has, the more energy efficient it is. If you’re about to buy a new fridge, this is definitely something to keep in mind.
You do find “smart fridges” with energy-efficient features, like being able to track their own energy consumption and deliver the information straight to your smartphone.
But remember: such refrigerators may be significantly more expensive than ones without these features.
How many green ticks does your fridge have?
Energy conservation tips:
- Buy a refrigerator of sufficient capacity that will meet your storage needs.
- Make sure there is enough space for airflow on all sides of your refrigerator, especially at the back.
- Always allow hot food to cool completely before putting it in the fridge.
- Do not overload your fridge.
- Test the door seal occasionally by closing the door on a thin piece of paper. If it doesn’t stay in place, the seal needs to be replaced.
Doing your research prior to choosing a refrigerator will ensure you buy one that not only suits your family’s needs, but your budget as well.
Cost of a refrigerator
The price of refrigerators can vary between different brands, depending on the model, size, features, etc.
If you first do your research and decide on the specific fridge you would like to buy, the best thing to do next is to go to a few of the places recommended above and compare prices.
This way, you get the best deal. A number of the stores listed above also offer a best price-match guarantee.
More great tips!
- Use your fridge wisely. You may have noticed that your fridge has clearly labelled compartments for fruit, vegetables, eggs, etc. Use these according to the label, as they are designed to preserve those specific types of food for the longest time possible.
- Check the temperature. Set your fridge temperature to below 5 degrees Celsius as this will prevent harmful bacteria from growing on your food.
- Clean your fridge often. Give the inside of your fridge a thorough cleaning at least once a week: (a) Use warm, soapy water to rub down the insides of the fridge. (b) If there are any compartments that can be detached, do so, and wash them under running water. (c) Keep a small dish with baking soda at the back of your fridge to absorb odours. (d) Never store raw meat next to cooked foods. (d) If you notice any spills from raw meat or fish, ensure you clean them immediately.
- Check your space. Before choosing a refrigerator, check the dimensions of the space you have allocated for it in your kitchen. As chic as that fabulous french door fridge is, it’ll be a total waste if it doesn’t fit into your kitchen!
- Go to the manufacturer’s website. They list all the newest models and features to look for once you find yourself in an appliance store.
Refrigerators should ideally be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Do some proper research before you go out to buy one. This will ensure you find a fridge that will not just suit your budget, but will meet the needs of your family, too.
Sources: www.wikihow.com, reviews.cnet.com/refrigerators/buying-guide, https://homefoodsafety.org, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com
Also read: The 21st century refrigerator from LG
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore