Crowdstorm's fridge-freezer buyers’ guide
If you're looking to buy a new fridge-freezer, Crowdstorm is here to help. As well as letting you compare the best prices from the UK's leading retailers, from John Lewis to Currys to Tesco, we've put together this guide to help you make the best choice.
LIke most kitchen white goods, buying a fridge-freezer is something we only do a few times in our lives so you can't be expected to be an expert! We've broken down the typical fridge-freezer traits (most of which you'll see as filters above) into bite-sized chunks and will run through the basics of each below – before talking you through the simple Crowdstorm buying process.
If your new fridge-freezer will be living in an open plan kitchen, or right next door to a social area, the noise levels emitted could be an important factor in your buying decision.
Fridge freezer noise levels are measured in decibels – anything les than 40 decibels is considered reasonable, while anything more than 42 can be pretty noisy. Leave those noisy fridges for basements or utility rooms!
The type of fridge-freezer you go for is often dependent on the space you have available and how much storage you and your family need. Here’s a rundown of the most common types:
- Integrated: As the name suggests, these are designed to disappear into your kitchen units as part of a fitted kitchen. You can find both sliding and fixed/door-on-door models, so be sure to choose a model that will work with your current/new units. Also sometimes described as 'built-in' fridge-freezers.
- Free-standing: The more common form of fridge-freezer, these are standalone units that will slide into any free space you need.
A combi model will have an equal sized fridge and freezer; while a top mount will have a smaller section on top of a larger section. Have a think about whether you prefer buying and using fresh food or foods that can be frozen as this is a good indication of which size and style to go for.
American style fridge-freezers are a stylish option and brilliant if you have a large family/household and have plenty of space. The fridge and freezer compartments sit side by side, meaning you have a generous amount of storage in both sections and don’t need to compromise. Bear in mind an American fridge-freezer needs to be kept just a metre from a water supply and can be a little on the loud side. If you’re lacking in floor space this is not the best model for you.
To some these will be pointless extras, to others essential add-ons. Whether you're looking for a cheap fridge-freezer or one with all the bells and whistles, these are the features to look out for:
- Ice dispenser and chilled water tap: Great for the summer and not as common as you might think, especially on cheaper models.
- Dynamic cooling system: Cheaper models will suggest you put different types of frozen goods in different levels of the freezer – but if your fridge-freezer has a dynamic cooling system the freezer will be equally cool throughout.
- Frost free: The days of defrosting your freezer are over! Frost-free models heat their evaporators so they don't ice up, saving you a lot of hassle.
- Open door warning: This can be a particularly useful feature if you have kids. We think you can work out what it does without further explanation...
- Rehingable/reversible doors: Reversible doors are a great feature if you need it to open at a particular angle, as they allow you to open the door from either side with minimal fuss.
- Anti-bacterial coating: Bacteria Guard is a system of anti-bacterial enzymes contained within the shelves and walls of certain freezers to destroy bacteria on food. Some fridges also include an antibacterial coating to keep the inside as hygienic as possible (though this shouldn’t replace regular cleaning!).
Storage volume, size and height
Fridge-freezer volume is measured in litres and can be categorized in the following way (these are for fridge and freezer capacity added together):
- 100-250 litres is great for a household of 1-2 people, giving you enough capacity for around a week’s worth of shopping.
- 200-450 litres is ideal for a medium sized family or household of 3 or 4 people.
- 450+ litres will be large enough for a big family or household.
Energy rating and consumption
Second only to central heating, fridge freezers are the biggest energy-consumers in the home. Fridge freezers are given an EU-rated energy efficiency and performance rating by independent retailers, from A-G, with A the most economical and G the least. Trading Standards monitor standardized tests across the industry to regulate ratings.
Most modern-day fridge freezers are A-rated, but some manufacturers have tried to go further than this, with top of the range fridge freezers that are even more efficient, graded A+, A++ and A+++.
- A+ models achieve up to 10% reduction in energy consumption compared with A models.
- A++ models are designed to reduce your energy consumption by up to 20%.
- A+++ models can save you the most money – up to 30%.
Energy consumption looks instead at the kWh used per year, with the most efficient models using less than 200. However bear in mind that this can be raised by some extra features as well as size, capacity etc.
Hopefully this is all you'll need to know about fridge freezers and you can move on to the buying decision.
At Crowdstorm you'll find fridge-freezers from all the leading manufacturers, from LG, Bosch and Beko through to Haier, Liebherr and Sub-Zero – and buying them couldn't be easier.
Once you’ve clicked you’ll be transferred over to the retailer's website of your choice – you don't deal with Crowdstorm, but with the high street names you know and trust.
Once there you will be guided through the buying process and, as it's us, you're guaranteed the best prices so you can find your perfect fridge freezer without breaking the bank.