The fridge has undergone something of a revolution. It’s no longer a white, boring, boxy appliance placed in the corner of the room. The ‘ice-box’ of today has been redefined – it’s energy efficient and super-stylish with a range of colours to choose from and a host of state-of-the-art features. We’ll show you what to look for when buying …
Work out the dimensions of the space the fridge will need to fit into. If you’re refitting the kitchen, account for the height, depth and width of the units you’re buying. Remember to allow a couple of inches above and behind the unit for air to circulate. Be sure to leave enough room for the door to swing open, too!
Left to right
Make sure the doors open in the correct direction or can be reversed. You can’t have a door that opens and hits another kitchen appliance. If the fridge has reversible doors, then let us know which way you want them to open. Do this before the fridge is delivered, otherwise it might mean they need to be taken off once delivered, and that could turn into a costly mistake.
Top-freezer fridges are probably the best-known style; this is where the bottom two-thirds are dedicated to the fridge and the top one-third is the freezer; it’s great for people who use the freezer a lot, since it’s within easy reach and you don’t have to bend down. Bottom-freezer fridges work the other way; best for people who don’t use the freezer much. Side-by-side fridges are where the unit splits down the middle, usually with the freezer on the left and the fridge on the right; ideal if you want equal, easy access to both.
Fridges used to have a few adjustable shelves, an egg holder and a butter tray. But now there’s an endless array of features… but what to choose?
Lots of models have sectioned climate control, which means you can keep different foods at different temperatures and fresher for longer, while others have sophisticated defrost features designed to defrost frozen foods quickly and stop ‘freezer burn’. There are also fridges with built in wine-racks that do away with the need for a separate wine fridge.
The water and ice dispenser have gone state-of-the-art, with some cheap fridges giving only the amount of water you need, so sophisticated they detect when your glass or bottle is full. Others give hot water—perfect for the tea drinker! Samsung has even partnered with SodaStream and built a fridge that delivers fresh seltzer water. ‘Blast-chillers’ are being built-in; they are capable of turning a warm can of coke to icy cold in minutes, and there are also deodorised compartments to keep your fridge smelling sweet 24 hours a day. Some models can even make ice in bulk, saving a trip to the petrol station before your party or barbie.
There are even ‘quiet fridges’ with built in systems that stop the usual hum and buzz, anti-bacterial coatings to keep food germ free and fridges with LED lights. For the truly high-end, there are even fridges with built-in Wi-Fi and touch screen controls. One manufacturer has even built Google and Twitter into their top-of-the-range models.
One of the most important factors is energy efficiency, not only as a conservation issue but also to keep electricity bills low. Some new models monitor their own energy use and deliver the information to your smartphone. There are plenty of other green features that will not break the bank, such as fridges that sound an alarm when the door isn’t shut.
Do a little homework, be armed with knowledge and confidence and choose a fridge with amazing features that you’ll use every day. Keep an eye out for fridge bargains at the Fowles Home Renovator Auction and don’t forget that we’ve got a carpet auction and a timber and building materials auction, too.