When choosing a refrigerator, you should pay attention to two main aspects: the functional of the model and the aesthetic requirements.
We'll tell you how to choose a built-in refrigerator for the house, taking into account all the necessary parameters, features of your kitchen and requirements - or wishes - of family members.
Step 1. Let's get acquainted with the features of the built-in refrigerator
Built-in models win before stand-alone for a number of parameters: they are distinguished by increased noise and heat insulation, occupy less space in the kitchen and can approach any interior.
If you have the maximum capacity in priority, then it is better to give preference to a separately standing model. The volume of the built-in refrigerator and freezer is almost always smaller than that of a stand-alone refrigerator, but it occupies fewer times the space itself.
- In addition, even visually the kitchen with the built-in appliances seems more spacious than with a stationary one, as the space is not crushed by mismatched surfaces. For small kitchen this is a big bonus.
Built-in refrigerator in a small kitchen in Khrushchev
Built-in refrigerator in the interior of the classic kitchen in the Khrushchev-studio
Appearance and design features
The built-in refrigerators differ from conventional ones and in that there is no external decorative panel in them. Instead, they are equipped with a device for fixing the facade. Thanks to the facades, the built-in refrigerator does not violate the interior stylistics.
By the way, built-in models can be installed not only in the kitchen: they can be equipped with, say, a bar rack, an island, a closet in the living room (see photo below) or embedded in office furniture.
Mini-refrigerator, integrated under the countertop of the island
Wardrobe in living-dining room with built-in fridge
At the same time, even if there are several similar column cabinets to orient in the kitchen and find the right door will be easy in the appearance of the cabinet. In addition, in the lower part of the box with the refrigerator, as a rule, there is a grate for supplying fresh air to the heating elements. In models with electronic control, the panel with temperature indicators and color indicators can also be carried to the outside of the device.
Built-in refrigerators of small size are often located under the kitchen countertop.
A small refrigerator built-in under the countertop
Heat and noise insulation
Such refrigerators usually have an additional thermal insulation and a lower noise level than stand-alone models. In particular, they are quieter detached, because the outer panels of the kitchen cabinet help to achieve greater sound insulation.
Built-in refrigerators are on average more expensive than conventional ones - manufacturers explain this by the complexity of the design and the cost of additional thermal insulation. Prices for single-chamber models without additional functions start from 20,000 rubles, while the cost of models with the maximum number of options and electronic control often exceeds 50,000 rubles.
The cost depends on the number of doors and chambers, the internal structure and the availability of a special coating for better storage of products. Such features are most often found in built-in refrigerators of premium class.
In addition, as in the case of stand-alone models, the price of the embedded model is directly proportional to its size.
- Define your budget and wishes in advance to narrow your search and do not waste time viewing too expensive models with additional features that do not interest you.
- Before you start to choose a built-in refrigerator according to its functionality, always pay attention to its size.
- It is best to choose a refrigerator at the same time as ordering a set of kitchen furniture.
Stage 2. Determined with dimensions and capacity
Already at the stage of planning the kitchen and creating the design of the future furniture set it is worthwhile to think about the dimensions of the refrigerator. Determine the optimal size and volume of equipment, and then order furniture for the selected model.
- If the closet is already there (or already planned), you have to select a refrigerator for it. However, in most cases it is not difficult to do this, because the dimensions of the built-in equipment are standardized.
If you have the opportunity to choose a refrigerator of any size, it's worth starting with this criterion. The optimal volume of the cold store will depend on the number of people living in the apartment. For one or two people, 120 liters are enough (you can consider smaller models). For three - 150 liters. If four people live in the house - 180 liters. And if you really have a big family, from five people - consider a Side by Side model with a volume of about 300 liters.
Choosing a refrigerator should be based on the growth of people who use this technique most often. Assess the height - reach out to any shelf and section should be easy.
If your family has children, it is better to stop at a low refrigerator in 150-160 cm. If the house is inhabited only by adults, you can take the refrigerator higher. But buying equipment under 2 meters costs with caution - it is sometimes uncomfortable to use even tall people.
- However, a narrow, but high refrigerator helps out when the kitchen is extremely small.
Narrow built-in refrigerator в интерьере small kitchen
If you want to buy a small refrigerator and install it higher - consider the option of installing on a pedestal, shelf (see photo below) or a mini-cabinet with drawers.
A small built-in refrigerator can theoretically be installed even above the washing machine as shown in the photo below.
Refrigerator above the washing machine
To save space in a small kitchen, the refrigerator is often built into the kitchen countertop. Cabinet in this case is not needed - its function is performed by the countertop and the side walls of the furniture next to it.
Small and built-in refrigerator and freezer under the counter top
For a large family and a spacious kitchen, a wide and low refrigerator and a separate built-in freezer are suitable.
Fit the dimensions of the kitchen cupboard
Стандартные габариты шкафа под холодильник: глубина 55 см, ширина 60 см. Height может быть любой. Обратите внимание: если холодильник окажется значительно ниже шкафа, после установки останется свободное пространство для дополнительной полки. Возможно, для вас это будет удачным решением.
Picking up a refrigerator under an already prepared wardrobe, remember two things. First, in the passport of each built-in refrigerator, the optimal cabinet dimensions for it are indicated - be guided by these figures. Secondly, there must be clearances between the equipment and the walls of the furniture for ventilation - this is important to foresee. In addition, if the refrigerator is located near the hob or oven, this gap should be at least 7 cm, which greatly complicates the selection of the model in the presence of a finished cabinet. That is why at the stage of choosing the arrangement of objects it is worthwhile to make sure that these types of equipment stand far apart from each other.
- If there are several cameras in your refrigerator, be sure to check that the doors of the cabinets match the doors of the refrigerator.
- Do not install the built-in refrigerator yourself, if you are not sure that you will be able to take into account all the nuances. Better trust the installation specialist.
See also: How to locate the refrigerator in the kitchen
Stage 3. We study the general criteria for choosing refrigerators
Types of control of built-in refrigerators
There are two types of such models: electronic and electromechanical. Electronic control system is a set of buttons and touch fields with a display. The presence of such a system will increase the price of equipment, but it will allow you to adjust the temperature in each compartment, protect settings from accidental changes, activate the operating modes of the refrigerator in your absence, etc.
Electromechanical control is simpler and usually limited by the intensity control (depending on the number of compressor regulators can be one or two). Such models are much cheaper and do not have many functions. Some modes, such as "super-freeze", can be turned on by simply pressing a separate button.
Think about which option is right for you. And, of course, do not forget about the budget.
In the Russian market, models with inverter or conventional compressors are mainly represented. A typical compressor works by the principle of achieving maximum power and subsequent temporary shutdown. This process is going on in a circle. If the refrigerator is equipped with an inverter compressor, it works without pauses and constantly maintains the optimum temperature in the refrigerator. In addition, such a system significantly increases the lifetime of the compressor, it allows you to reduce noise and power consumption, and also to keep the freshness of your products longer. Consider this when choosing a technique.
Typically, refrigerators are equipped with a single compressor, which ensures the operation of all compartments, but you can also find a two-compressor model. In this case, for each camera you can set up individual working conditions, if necessary even completely turn off one of them (for example, a freezer if it does not store products) and save electricity - and hence money.
In refrigerators with one compressor, such options are available only with the electronic control or the function "Vacation". This function allows you to maintain the temperature around 12-15 degrees inside an unused refrigerator. So you will save energy and protect yourself from the appearance of mold and unpleasant odors in the refrigerator while you are away.
Classes of the refrigerator
For the climate of most regions of Russia, SN (subnormal) models are suitable, which operate without interruptions at ambient temperatures from 10 to 35 degrees. Suitable for use and class ST.
The energy efficiency class of built-in refrigerators, as in the case of other household appliances, is denoted by Latin letters from A to G. And represents the lowest consumption of electricity. Models with classes A + (and a few pluses) mean even higher energy efficiency - each plus reduces energy consumption by an average of 10%. The higher the energy efficiency class, the more expensive the refrigerator, but at current electricity prices in Russia, buying a class A +++ refrigerator can be an excellent investment in the long term.
Built-in refrigerators are equipped with a defrosting system, which can be of three types: manual defrosting, drip and automatic (No Frost).
Refrigerators with manual defrosting are usually the cheapest, but also the least convenient to use: once in 3-6 months you will have to defrost the freezer yourself and turn off the refrigerator.
With an automatic No Frost defrosting system, you do not have to do anything yourself: the hoarfrost will form behind the wall of the freezer and melt thanks to the fan provided by the design. The main disadvantages of this system: the high price and the need to carefully monitor the packaging of products in the freezer because of the constant air circulation. The fan also adds a small percentage of noise.
Most modern built-in refrigerators are equipped with a drop defrost system. The evaporator at the rear of the refrigerator generates ice during the operation of the compressor. When the compressor turns off or goes into minimum intensity, ice melts. In the case of droplet thawing, the loss of liquid products occurs very slowly.
For fast freezing or cooling of new products in the refrigerator without temperature changes for the products already stored there, the "super-cooling" and "super-freezing" modes can be provided in the functional. In addition, the device can be represented by the function of multithreading cooling (most often in refrigerators with the No Frost system), which helps to cool the shelves on the refrigerator door as much as possible.
Fresh food zones
Different products require different storage conditions: for meat and fish, average humidity and lower temperatures are suitable, whereas fresh vegetables and fruits are better stored at a humidity of 90% and at higher degrees. Most built-in refrigerators have separate shelves for storing fresh vegetables, chilled meat, fresh sandwiches, etc.
In a certain zone (usually it is called a zone of freshness), you can store any products - it provides moisture control. If the model has two separate zones, they are usually divided into wet and dry. Ideal option will be the presence of a third camera with a separate door and separate freshness areas, but it is rare and greatly increases the price of the refrigerator.
See also: What should be the temperature in the refrigerator?
For a built-in refrigerator, it is very important to have a sound indicator for raising the temperature with the door open. Because of the furniture facade, you can not notice that the door was not closed until the end. In this case, after a while, a special sound signal will alert you and remind you to close the door so that the products do not deteriorate ahead of time.
If the apartment is small, and the kitchen is located next to the bedroom or at all in a single studio, then it is worth paying special attention to the noise figure. The average noise level of a modern refrigerator does not exceed 45 dB (analogue to loudness is a normal conversation), and models with an inverter compressor are even quieter.
If you choose an "intelligent" refrigerator with a large set of functions, be sure to think about moving the electronic panel to the cabinet door. In this case, you can control its functions without opening the refrigerator once more.
Folding and additional shelves
When choosing a built-in refrigerator, pay attention to the availability of additional and folding shelves for modeling the interior space and placing large-sized products, such as 3-liter jars with cucumbers, etc. Some models are equipped with removable shelves for 3-5 segments for storing drinks.
Folding shelf of the refrigerator
- Always pay attention to the classes of the chosen refrigerator and functional.
- Take into account the noise level of the refrigerator depending on the size of your apartment.
- Choose a refrigerator with folding elements for the possibility of modeling the interior space.
Stage 4. Understand the nuances of the installation
It should be noted immediately that the installation of a built-in refrigerator is not difficult, if the furniture was originally designed for a particular model or if the model was chosen for the existing niche. In this case, the installation can be done independently using the wiring diagram attached by the manufacturer. If you want to globally redesign the furniture set, then it's worth taking the help of specialized specialists.
There are also a number of general requirements for installing an embedded refrigerator:
- Next to the oven, or close to the walls of the cabinet, the refrigerator is not mounted. To ensure that the air necessary for cooling can be freely circulated, it remains at least 7 cm from each side of the housing.
- It is necessary to provide a convenient and secure fastening on the doors, because according to statistics the refrigerator opens dozens of times during the day.
- The cabinet into which the installation is to be made must be level, only then the hinges and doors will be installed correctly.
Be sure to pay attention to the system of hanging doors. To completely hide the refrigerator in the kitchen cupboard, use a system of double doors with various ways of fastening the facade to the door. It can be opened by sliding guides, as on rails, but in this case there is a gap between the doors, where dirt can get to, which you will have to clean regularly. This method allows you to open the door at a maximum at a right angle. If you hang the door with hinges, then the furniture facade will be closely adjacent to the refrigerator door, and the door itself will open the refrigerator much wider.
If you basically, in which direction the door will open, then it is best to choose a built-in refrigerator with a relocating door.
Instructions for installing a conventional refrigerator, see the material: How to build a regular refrigerator in the headset