The Crowdstorm fridges buyer's guide
Fridges are a focal point in most kitchens and a household essential for keeping food fresh and tasty - not to mention keeping those all-important beers and bottles of wine cool, of course!
But online fridge comparison can be a daunting task, as it isn't the kind of purchase we make very often. That's where Crowdstorm can help.
Below you'll find all the basic information you need to make an informed buying decision - while above you'll find all the best deals from your favourite online and high street retailers! So whether you're looking for super cool Smeg fridges or a cheap refrigerator, just pop your feet up, put a drink on to chill and let us do the hard work for you.
Types of refrigerators
Standard fridges: If you have a separate fridge and freezer then a standard-sized fridge may be the best option for you, especially if you have a family or live with multiple people. A standard fridge is around 85cm in height and is a great space-saving solution, fitting nicely under a kitchen worktop or into a tight space.
Tall fridges: A tall fridge, normally around 130cm in height, will give you maximum storage and space. If you have a large family or like to bulk buy food this is probably the best option for you. Make sure that you have plenty of space before buying a tall fridge as it could prove to be quite a squeeze otherwise!
Under-counter fridges: Also called 'compact fridges', these are a great buy if you’re short of space or live in a small household. At up to 60cm in height these mini marvels can squeeze into a tight space or slot nicely under a worktop to leave maximum space.
Integrated refrigerators: If you like to keep your kitchen looking neat and orderly then an integrated fridge was made for you. Integrated fridges have a front panel that matches the rest of your kitchen units, making it completely hidden when the door is closed. Have fun watching new guests trying to find it!
Chest fridges: While stand-up fridges are great for ease of access to all your stored items, sometimes you just want a big space to throw a lot of frozen goods into. That's where chest refrigerators come into their own.
Slimline refrigerator: Once again, slimline models do what they say on the tin. These fridges tend to be just 45-50cm wide, making them perfect for small kitchens.
American fridges: If you're lucky enough to have a home and budget big enough, it's hard to resist the lure of an American-style refrigerator. They're bigger than a standard UK fridge, giving you more space for both fresh and frozen food, while tend to have features such as bottle racks, fast-freeze and cold drink dispensers/ice makers as standard. They also look great!
On the downside though, they're expensive to run and can struggle to keep all that space at a properly chilled level - meaning you could end up with more wasted food if you're not really using its space to its potential.
Storage capacity is measured in litres rather than physical dimensions:
- 100-250 litres is ideal for a household of 1-2 people, giving you enough capacity for a week’s worth of shopping.
- 200-450 litres is perfect for a medium sized family or household of 3 or 4 people.
- 450+ litres will be large enough for a big family or household of more than 5.
Refrigerator energy efficiency
Fridges have an EU-rated energy efficiency/ performance rating, from A-G, with A being the most economical. Trading Standards are responsible for monitoring tests across the industry to regulate manufacturers’ ratings.
Some online retailers also have fridges that are even more efficient than A-rated models. These are A+ and A++.
- A+ models achieve up to 10% reduction in energy consumption compared with A models.
- A++ models can reduce energy consumption by up to 20%.
The higher graded the model the more money you’re likely to save in the long run, using less electricity and reducing the impact of carbon dioxide on the environment.
It may be the case that the more expensive the model of fridge the higher graded it will be and the more energy-saving features there’ll be. This isn’t to say that a cheap fridge won’t be energy efficient, in fact most machines will feature energy-saving specifications to reduce your energy bill, such as alerts when the temperature is getting too high or the door is open.
To get an idea of annual running costs, independent retailers may provide this information for you
Fridge features to look out for
The following features are ones that you may like to look out for when shopping your ideal fridge:
- Auto defrost: Automatically controls the temperature and moisture to avoid build-up of ice
- Adjustable thermostat: Allows you to adjust the temperature inside your fridge.
- Active cooling: Usually using fans, active cooling helps maintain a consistent tempetaure across all your fridge's shelves.
- Temperature warning light: Alerts you when the temperature inside the fridge is too low to keep food fresh.
- Ice box: Allows you to store ice or small frozen goods in a smaller fridge that doesn't have a large freezer section.
- Antibacterial coating: A coating designed to kill germs and keep your fridge more hygienic.
- Chill section: Normally colder than the rest of the fridge, a chill section is designed for keeping meats, fish and poultry fresh.
- Bottle grip: stops bottles from falling over in trays in the fridge door.
- Shelves and fixtures: Look for plenty of compartments and places specifically designed for foodstuffs, such as egg holders and bottle racks. Pull-out drawers and separate areas for different foods are always useful.
- Wipe-clean shelves: Allow for easy cleaning.
What should I do with my old refrigerator?
It is important to dispose of your old fridge in an environmentally friendly way, particularly as old fridges, made before 2000, may contain CFC gases that are harmful to the environment.
Many retailers will dispose of your old fridge when you buy a new one, or alternatively ask your local council for details of how to clear your old model safely.
Once you've decided on your perfect refrigerator by comparing them at Crowdstorm, the difficult part of the process is over. All you need to do next is click on the deal you like to be taken to the appropriate page on the website of the online or high street retailer of your choice. From there you simply complete the buying process with them as usual.
Remember - Crowdstorm isn't a retailer. We just give you access to our database of all the best offers from the UK's leading stores. And the best part is we don't even take any commission from you, as we make our money from advertising. Happy shopping!