How to choose a refrigerator: 7 tips from experts

A refrigerator is usually bought with years of service in mind. We tell you how to choose a model that will work for a long time without problems

French doors, energy efficiency, super freezing, and ice-making are all about the refrigerator and it’s easy to get confused about all these features. Together with experts, we figure out what to look for when choosing a refrigerator, how to save money and which options will save you during power outages, and which ones will help you during the holidays.

Table of Contents

    Rules for choosing refrigerators

    As a rule, the manufacturer gives a guarantee for a new refrigerator for a period of one to five years. The average service life is from seven to ten years, but it happens that the unit is changed no earlier than 20 years of active operation. In order to postpone the replacement period as much as possible, it is worthwhile to responsibly approach the choice. Here are some things to watch out for, according to experts:

    1. Regular loading and suitable size

    It’s a shame after a couple of months of operation to find that the refrigerator is simply not enough for all the required volume of products. So it is worth evaluating in advance what should be regularly in the refrigerator and which sections are most often used.

    The capacity of refrigerators is determined in liters. For one person or a couple, an option of up to 200 liters is suitable, but large families need large models – multi-chamber and two-door.

    In addition to the total volume, attention should be paid to what products are most often stored in the refrigerator. The following points are important here:

    • frequency and amount of use of the freezer. If you need frost for a long time, it is better to give preference to options with a freezer located at the bottom of the refrigerator: they usually have more volume. In other cases, you can get by with a refrigerator with an upper freezer – compact and practical;
    • the number of fresh vegetables, fruits, and perishable foods that are kept permanently. If you often buy fresh products, it is better to choose a model with a special fresh zone. It maintains zero temperature, which allows the contents to be stored longer. In large refrigerators, there may be several such compartments;
    • the number of bottles to be placed on the shelves. Not the most obvious, but an important feature is a capacious door and separate compartments for bottled products. Sometimes it is very important to be able to accommodate a lot of juice, milk, kefir, and some alcohol.

    2. Place under the refrigerator

    At this stage, you need to decide: a built-in refrigerator or a freestanding one. Modern kitchens are often designed in such a way as to hide all household appliances behind facades. Refrigerators are no exception, they can also be put away in a closet. There are two main options:

    • partially built-in – a niche stands out in the kitchen set;
    • fully built-in, you need to allocate a separate cabinet for them, and the refrigerator door is closed from above by the kitchen facade. From the outside, it is quite difficult to guess that there is a refrigerator behind this design.

    With any type of refrigerator, you need to carefully measure the place where it will be placed. When measuring, it is important to take into account the presence of sockets and skirting boards. Another important point is in which direction the door will open: when adjacent to the wall, an additional distance must be laid in order to avoid blows.

    Refrigerator doors come in different types:

    • opening to one side. Most often, during the initial installation of the refrigerator, you can choose which side to hang them on;
    • hinged doors. There is a choice between French doors (when hinged only in the refrigerator, and the freezer can be represented by retractable shelves) and side-by-side doors (in fact, these are two full-fledged narrow refrigerators attached to each other).

    When choosing a refrigerator, you need to consider the climate class parameter. This indicator is related to the temperature in the room: if it is a basement, you will most likely need an SN class (moderate – from 10 to 32 degrees Celsius), and in a hot climate, ST (subtropical. 16-38 degrees) or T (tropical: 16 -43 degrees). In average rooms, you can get by with class N (normal, 16–32 degrees).

    3. Control type

    Typically, the refrigerator is once adjusted to the desired level of cooling, in which it operates in the future. Although most modern models have special modes: for example, “vacation” and “defrost” . So it makes sense to think in advance about how it is more convenient to manage the unit:

    • electromechanical control allows you to manually set the simplest indicators, it can be found in most budget models;
    • electronic control makes it possible to set the cooling level to a degree, select individual functions;
    • Wi-Fi control gives you full control, right down to fault notifications.

    4. Noise level

    Modern refrigerators are almost silent. In measurable terms – according to GOST – the noise level should not exceed 53 dB, experts advise focusing on 40 dB. But if the refrigerator is located next to the study or bedroom, which is often the case in small apartments, even this level can be critical.

    Compressors are responsible for the operation of the refrigerator chambers. The more compact the model, the more likely it is that it has only one compressor, which provides energy to all chambers. Two-compressor models usually distribute energy throughout the refrigerator and freezer compartment. In this case, you can, having gone on vacation or to the country, turn off only the refrigerator compartment, and leave the freezer to work.

    The No Frost function can add noise – a special ventilation system that eliminates the formation of ice and snow on the walls and doors. Such refrigerators can “sound” quite strongly in open spaces (which is why they are so noisy in supermarkets), but they are suitable for an apartment if the manufacturer has set normal noise levels – ideally up to 40 dB.

    5. Defrost type

    No Frost is a convenient solution, but the drip system, which involves “manual” defrosting, has its advantages.

    With the drip system, all the condensate that forms as a result of cooling the products flows down the walls into special trays, and then turns into frost. Periodically, such refrigerators must be disconnected from the mains, completely defrosted, and washed. Of the benefits: a simple system is not equipped with additional fans, which means that there is more usable space in the refrigerator, and it makes less noise.

    No Frost is noisier and takes up more space, but such a refrigerator has to be cleaned and washed much less frequently.

    6. Energy efficiency

    A refrigerator is a household appliance that runs around the clock, so its energy consumption is high. Choosing an energy-efficient model can help save on operation – here you need to pay attention to the labeling.

    The letters A, A+, and A++ denote refrigerators with the highest level of energy efficiency. The more environmentally friendly the model, the more expensive it will cost, but indicators with the letter B are quite worthy of use.

    To calculate the real savings, it is worth looking at the number of energy consumption per year in the datasheet. It is expressed in kilowatts. This will help you calculate how much money you will need to run your refrigerator per month and whether it is worth spending money on a more expensive but energy-efficient option.

    7. Additional features

    Additional parameters can seriously affect the operation of the refrigerator:

    extra cleaning and freshness maintenance. A carbon filter and an antibacterial coating are responsible for this parameter. Together they guarantee the cleanliness of the refrigerator for a longer period;
    open door alert: even a small gap allows cold to escape and warm air spoils some food;
    the supply of water and ice is a useful feature for those who often drink soft drinks. The refrigerator cools the liquid in a special compartment and independently forms ice cubes;
    automatic options for freezing and maintaining temperatures. For example, the “Vacation” option can turn off the cooling of the main chamber, while continuing to keep the freezer running. “Super Freeze” will help to quickly cool a bottle of champagne if there is little time left before a date or the President’s New Year’s speech.

    Expert comments

    Alexey Gribovsky:

    – When choosing a refrigerator, you should pay attention to the presence of the AntiFrost (NoFrost) system, which will allow you not to defrost the refrigerator. Some models from the low-price segment still require defrosting, but, as a rule, this only applies to the freezer compartment – the refrigerator compartment of almost all of them is already made using technology that does not lead to the formation of ice.

    There are also technologies that allow you to keep food fresher longer: separate cooling for the food zone, more even distribution of air flows, etc. Almost all modern refrigerators have a low noise level and it will be difficult to hear it from the next room. The country of origin does not play a big role.

    The most common breakdown in refrigerators is mechanical damage. For example, if the cooling tubes are not closed with a solid wall (which is extremely rare now), then moving the refrigerator from place to place can damage them.

    Today, the assortment includes many models not only for different budgets but also for different customer requests. For example, the fresh vegetable zone allows you to keep vegetables fresh longer due to the lower temperature and optimum humidity. There is also a function to access drinks through a separate door, which maintains the required temperature in the entire refrigerator and at the same time allows you to cool drinks to the desired temperature. There are also refrigerators with electrochromatic glass on the door: by touching it, you can make it transparent and see what is inside.

    Anna Vlasova:

    – Now there is a trend for a smart refrigerator due to the fashion for a healthy lifestyle. This is reflected in the development of household appliances: functions began to appear to prevent the reproduction of viruses and bacteria, dual mode functions, when the freezer can be switched to refrigerator mode and vice versa. There are zones of freshness, where the temperature is kept near zero – for the storage of meat and fish. A vacation mode has also appeared: activating the function provides for an autonomous transition of the refrigerator to an economical mode when the freezer is fully operational. More brands began to offer ergonomic solutions for competent and compact storage of products. From visual trends, almost all companies have begun to offer consumers not only traditional white and gray colors, but also more interesting options: black, bronze, marble and others.

    The most important thing about our X that it is for
    those who are in a hurry

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