When it’s time to pick out a new fridge…

A fruit-fan's fridge!

Why might you be in the market for a fridge upgrade? It could be down to a variety of factors.

If your current fridge breaks down entirely, it can lead to a lot of food waste and a replacement might be needed as soon as possible.

Sometimes people want a new model that fits in more pleasantly with a new kitchen they have, offers a feature they fancy having or is larger or smaller than their present fridge, depending on their needs.

Energy efficiency can also play a part in the desire to upgrade.

A fifth of Brits have a fridge or freezer at home which they’ve owned for a decade and a half or even longer, Energy Saving Trust and Ipsos MORI research from last year shows.

In the context of 43 per cent of us claiming to have faced a bigger than expected energy bill at one time or another, the Trust suggests that some people may want to find a replacement model.

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The likelihood is that a fridge-freezer this old will be eating up more energy than an appliance of this sort needs to, it says. It may be beneficial for those with such old models to find a more energy efficient alternative, and cut down their electric bill.

Remember that fridges’ and freezers’ EU energy labels are one way of checking the efficiency of such products.

Features found in fridges 

You might spot some of these while you’re fridge shopping:

Compartments: Models vary when it comes to how many shelves, drawers etc, they provide you with.

Reversible door: An easy way to change which side the handle goes on – and the direction of door-opening.

Colour: Of course, if you’re going to be integrating a fridge so it is a better visual fit with other aspects of the room, this will be less of an issue. Fridge colours range from white, to silver, to more unusual shades.

Auto defrost: Means your fridge defrosts automatically.

Glass shelving: Can improve ease of cleaning and stop drips moving from shelf to shelf.

Warning signal: An audio signal if the temperature falls too low in the fridge.

These are just some of the features that are out there in the world of fridges, you’ll come across others as you shop.

Two in one 

It’s possible to get a stand-alone fridge or a model which also includes a freezer.

Most of us use both types of cooling system to store food, so if the model you want doesn’t also have space for frozen items, you’ll likely want to invest in a freezer to go with it.

Size and space 

Fridges and fridge-freezers really vary in size. A large model can seem too big in a modestly proportioned kitchen. It’s definitely worth striking the right balance between capacity and appearance within the space.

Remember that, unlike a washing machine, say, a fridge is integral to cooking in your kitchen, and is definitely best sited in the space itself.

The fridge is part of the ‘kitchen triangle’ that is so often talked about, so its closeness to the oven and the sink is important.

You’ll want to be able to grab that food from the fridge, prepare and get it in the pan without covering too much space, ideally.

The capacity of a fridge tends to be measured in litres, and will be listed when you buy.

Appropriate fridge placement depends on a number of practical factors, such as the amount of space the item needs left around it.

Find out about all these practical issues, and if in doubt consult an expert.

[Image: Thinkstock] 

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