It is impossible to say unequivocally what refrigerator is best. But to choose the ideal device for your needs, habits and a purse is quite possible, if you are a bit shy in the characteristics and capabilities of modern technology.
10 nuances of choice
1. The size
For many cuisines, the first and important limitation is the size of the technique.
- If the kitchen is small (up to 8 sq. m.) select a narrow refrigerator with a width of 45-55 cm.
- Narrow and high refrigerator in a small kitchen in Khrushchev
- Narrow and high refrigerator in a small kitchen in Khrushchev
- For a standard kitchen, a standard refrigerator of 60x60 cm is suitable.
- For large kitchen and a large family, you can choose a Side by Side refrigerator (we'll talk about it later) or French Door (a refrigerator with swing doors and a freezer from the bottom).
Large refrigerator type French Door
- For холостяков и пар хватит и вовсе небольшого холодильника высотой до метра – его можно встроить под столешницу или духовку как показано на фото ниже.
Built-in mini fridge
A few more tips:
- When replacing an old refrigerator (especially a built-in one) without permutation, it is necessary to specify its dimensions in the instructions or on the manufacturer's website and to pick up a new device of the same dimensions. In all other cases, the available space can be measured with a tape measure.
- Usually the main factor in choosing the dimensions of the refrigerator is its width. Depth is of particular importance if it is of fundamental importance for you that the refrigerator does not act or act as little as possible for a common line of the headset.
- The height of the refrigerator is chosen so that its most active users can easily reach the top shelves. If the device is too high, the upper shelf will most often stand idle or bring a lot of inconvenience to household members.
First of all, the volume of the refrigerator depends on the dimensions of the case, but still the capacity of the cameras can vary from model to model.
- For семьи из 3-4 человек оптимален объем холодильника 200-250 л, морозильника - до 200 литров.
- For одного человека или пары подойдет и меньший объем, например, 120-150 л.
- Big families should take a closer look at the refrigerator from 300 liters.
Other things being equal, it is better to choose the largest volume with the required dimensions.
3. Number of chambers and offices
The chambers are called heat-insulated sections for products. In old units, the camera is usually one, even if a freezer is provided: there is no thermal insulation, the walls are gradually overgrown with ice entirely.
- In modern refrigerators there are usually two chambers: a freezer (it can maintain the temperature from -24 to -6 ° C) and a refrigeration chamber (from 0 to +8 ° C).
- Cameras can be located one below the other, or nearby. The last option is a Side-by-Side refrigerator: the chambers in it are of the same height, but of different widths (the refrigerator compartment is larger than the freezer compartment), its two doors open in a mirror manner, like in a wardrobe. Two-door refrigerator Side by Side - an excellent choice for a large family or those who need to store a lot of supplies in the freezer.
Side-by-Side Refrigerator 550 L
In addition to the two main chambers, modern refrigerators can have additional chambers and compartments with a certain temperature regime:
- Zone of freshness (zero chamber). Meat, fish, dairy and other perishable products, as well as cooked meals in this department are stored longer due to lower temperatures - from 0 to +1 ° C. That is, the products do not become fermented, but all the chemical and biological processes go many times slower than at +4 or +8 ° C of a conventional x-ray camera. Meat in the freshness zone can withstand several days without frost, the cheese does not dry and less is air-dried. Apples and citrus fruits in general can lie for months. "Freshness zones" can be dry or wet, when the camera controls not only the temperature, but also the percentage of water vapor. In the "dry zone" the relative humidity is not more than 50%, it is intended for storage of meat products. And in the wet to 95%, in such an environment, vegetables and fruits are better preserved.
In our opinion, the zero camera is really a valuable option for every refrigerator. It will simplify your cooking, reduce the percentage of spoiled products to a minimum and allow you to go to the store less often.
Judging by the reviews, the freshness area allows you to store cooked dishes ... at least a week
- Fruit and vegetable storage area. The "warmest" compartment (8 ° C), which is almost in every modern model. Here, fruits, vegetables and greens never freeze, last longer are tasty and useful.
- Camera for wine. Of course, here you can store not only wine, but also any other drinks. The temperature in such a chamber is regulated - today you can store red wine in it at 18 ° C, and tomorrow - cool champagne to 15 ° C.
See the material on the topic: What should be the temperature in the refrigerator?
It is impossible to say unambiguously which brand is better, and which is worse. Especially, if one specializes in budgetary, and another - on elite models. The main criterion for ratings is the percentage of customers' satisfaction.
- The ideal refrigerator is affordable, normally freezes and cools, does not overeat electricity and lives for more than 10 years.
Here are the top 10 brands of refrigerator manufacturers:
However, there are no "dark horses" on the market - except for the leader of the Liebherr list, excellent refrigerators are produced by the majority of famous manufacturers of household appliances.
- At the same time, do not forget that any brand has successful and unsuccessful specimens. Moreover, most failures occur after the expiration of the warranty period (refrigerators are for decades, and the warranty is 2-5 years). Just some brands break every tenth, and some have one hundredth or a thousandth refrigerator, which is reflected in the rating.
Добавим лишь, что полезно обращать внимание не только на производителя, но и на страну сборки. For Японии и Германии качество техники — предмет национальной гордости. Кроме того, хорошим знаком является сборка в стране, где расположен головной офис компании.
See also the material: 4 stages of the choice of an embedded refrigerator and the nuances of its installation
5. Power consumption
It is believed that 20% of electricity is spent on an average family refrigerator.
- The energy consumption indicators are individual for each device and should be indicated in the characteristics. Most often the standard refrigerator consumes from 200 to 300 kWh per year (ie an average of 17 to 25 kWh per month).
But to accurately calculate how much will consume your device in advance it is impossible. The fact is that the energy is consumed mainly by the compressor. But how many hours per day it will work depends on the load, the temperature in the room, the frequency of opening the door. In summer, the refrigerator has to be cooled more often at high temperatures. Therefore, manufacturers state only the expected figure for the year, but in real life it can differ.
- However, we can say that the refrigerator with a large estimated energy consumption in practice will spend more than with a small.
Refrigerators are labeled with letters from A +++ (most economical) to G (least). This is an estimate of the amount of energy loss during operation. In this case, sometimes a class A +++ technique requires more kWh than Class A. Why? This means that the former itself spends more (for example, at the expense of increased volume), although it spends more economically.
In any case, the labeling on the label should indicate the estimated energy consumption. Simply if the class is not A +++, but lower, then in theory there is a more economical refrigerator of the same size. But the actual difference is usually insignificant - more important is the specific data in kWh.
6. Noise level
The noise level, like the energy consumption class, is indicated on a special label on the refrigerator door.
- According to GOST, devices with an index of 25 to 34 dB are considered as quiet, medium ones from 35 to 44, and noisy ones from 45.
Presenting the noise level of quiet and noisy refrigerators will help you with these tips:
- 25 dB is the noise level in an apartment building: hours, steps on the stairs, cars outside the window;
- 35 dB can not be heard in the next room if the door is closed;
- 45 dB interferes with the conversation, if you stand side by side.
Of course, the refrigerator does not make noise round the clock, but only during compressor operation. But there is an exception: the No Frost system requires fans that can be buzzed longer and more often. But in any case, all modern models are much quieter than obsolete Soviet counterparts.
- If the noise that emits your new refrigerator seems intolerable to you, check if the shipping bolts are removed from the motor springs, whether the machine is standing smoothly, whether it touches the glass or other vibrating surfaces.
7. Cooling systems: drip and No frost
Существует две системы охлаждения: капельная и ноу фрост. Зачем они нужны и в чем разница? Так как при каждом открытии дверцы холодильника внутрь попадает теплый влажный воздух, то в камере он остывает, превращается в капли воды, а затем и в наледь. For профилактики наледи и нужны капельная система и система No Frost.
- The drip system assumes the presence of a vaporizer on the back wall, which specifically collects all excess moisture. During the operation of the compressor, it cools, and water freezes on it. Then the compressor turns off, the evaporator heats up, water melts, drains through special channels into the pallet and evaporates. In the freezer the system does not work: you need a positive temperature. However, it is opened less often, so the problem of snowy growths is not so relevant. But if it is too much, it will be necessary to unfreeze manually.
- The No Frost system includes fans. The evaporator is in a separate cavity. When the compressor turns on, the fans blow air through this cavity, it cools, and water remains on the evaporator. Cold air is evenly distributed throughout the chamber. As a result, the temperature is the same on all shelves, there is no moisture, and the rear wall does not freeze. Some manufacturers install filters for cleaning and disinfection of air, which reduces the risk of bacteria and mold. The advantages over the drop system are obvious.
However, there are refrigerators No Frost and minuses in comparison with the drop system:
- More noise due to fans;
- Higher consumption of electricity;
- A separate cavity takes up space, i. volume is lower for the same dimensions;
- All the same, it is recommended to defrost once a year;
- The price is higher.
It turns out that the drop system is more profitable and quieter, but No Frost works in the freezer, it allows you not to think about ice at all, and even put uneaten dishes in the chamber (although it is not desirable), and, moreover, maintains a stable temperature at all shelves.
8. The compressor
It used to be that refrigerators with two compressors are much more convenient: you can defrost the freezer separately, not all at once. But modern devices, firstly, are rarely unfrozen at all, and secondly, even with semi-automatic control they allow you to separate the cameras separately (especially programmable ones). Then why do we need two-compressor refrigerators? In very large expensive refrigerators, two compressors are needed in order to quickly cool the mountains of products in both chambers. But in the old economy-class appliances, a couple of compressors are needed to enable / disable each camera separately.
- So, buying a two-compressor refrigerator does not make much sense, but you can look at the novelty - a device with an inverter compressor.
Classic linear compressors operate cyclically: switched on, cooled, switched off. Has the temperature exceeded the norm? He joined again and so on. And although the device actually does not work all the time, the energy costs for intensive cooling are very high. Moreover, the temperature in the cells is not constant, but fluctuates. Inverter-type compressors assume a constant work to maintain the temperature. Depending on the situation (opened the door, put a lot of warm food), it can cool more actively, and then lose steam. In production, such refrigerators are more expensive, but they work quieter, and the temperature is stable. But still, the actual difference can be invisible, so choosing a refrigerator should be guided by other indicators.
9. Additional Features and Features
Here are a few useful and not very advanced features that are most common:
- Защита от детей – в некоторых холодильниках защита от детей заключается лишь в труднодоступности кнопок, а в некоторых - в блокировке панели управления и дверей. For семей с маленькими детьми эта функция – абсолютный мастхэв.
- Antibacterial coating. Sputtering a very thin layer of silver-containing reagent restrains the growth of some bacteria, which can accelerate spoilage and cause unpleasant odors. Unfortunately, such protection does not give an absolute protection, so you still have to regularly wash the refrigerator.
- Super frost. Allows to keep the temperature in the freezer below the standard -18 ° C, because of which the products will freeze faster, more will retain their taste and benefit. Although, of course, household appliances can not approach industrial "shock frost" - still the taste of the defrosted product will differ from fresh.
- Transparent boxes - like a trifle, but with them the search for the right products is much easier.
- Retractable, folding or folding shelves. Retractable shelves facilitate access to the farthest corners. Folding shelves can be adjusted in width, so that on the tier below you can put a high dish. Folding shelves are convenient in that they allow you to put very large pans, without pulling out an extra shelf from the camera (see photo below).
- Ice generator. The ice generator built into the door is a nice addition, but more often it either raises the price of the refrigerator by exactly the cost of an individual generator, or by its effectiveness it does not differ from the freezing in the molds - the ice will also have to wait several hours, just a nice flow.
Refrigerators can be of strict shape or round, with or without handles, with a convex door and absolutely straight, in modern style or in retro version, in matt or glossy finish. By color they are beige, red and even blue.
- But still the choice of design is not so great - mostly refrigerators are white or metallic colors (matte or shiny).
Here are a few tips for choosing a refrigerator design:
- If the kitchen is small, то холодильник стоит выбрать строгих геометрических форм – такие приборы всегда немного компактнее.
- The black refrigerator is very stylish, but keep in mind that even the smallest spots will be very noticeable on it.
- Do you like retro style? Then your choice is a refrigerator from Smeg. By the way, this brand can find a refrigerator of almost any color.
Red Refrigerator Smeg
- For семьи с детьми можно выбрать холодильник от фирмы Miele – c меловой доской, на которой можно рисовать.
However, the original form of the refrigerator is not a verdict! After purchase, the design can be completed independently, following our master classes or ordering the services of a master.
Refrigerator, pasted with vinyl film
Refrigerator, painted with slate paint
If you want a stationary refrigerator, you can even build it yourself without compromising its efficiency and your wallet.