The refrigerator is one of the most important household appliances and choosing it should be approached with great care.
When considering the purchase of a refrigerator, the first and most important characteristic you must consider is its size. Pay special attention to this if you have a small kitchen. Once you’re familiar with the rest of the functions and features of refrigerators, you can decide which of them will meet your requirements.
Volume of the refrigerator.
A refrigerator with a total volume of 55 gallons is enough for 2 people. Sizes greater than 80 gallons can be used by 3 or more people. The size and features of a refrigerator is largely determined by the number of their compartments, so they are an important element in choosing a refrigerator as well.
Types of refrigerators, depending on their compartments:
- Number of compartments:
The number of compartments with different functions are determined by the design of the refrigerator. Modern refrigerators can be equipped with a freezer, a mini bar, areas for fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. The total number of compartments can reach up to 5 for a normal, family-sized refrigerator.
- Refrigerators with one door
These refrigerators have a built-in freezer. They can be short and narrow, with a small freezer chamber, which is usually located at the top. The size of the refrigerator can vary: height 33-63 inches, width 22 inches, the depth is usually standard 24 inches. The advantage of this type of refrigerator is the low price, due to the simplified design and features.
- Refrigerators with an upper freezing chamber
In this type of refrigerators the access to the freezing chamber is via a separate door. It is usually located at the top of the refrigerator. It is used for storage of products that do not require refrigeration. The temperature range is about 36 to 50°F. Usually, they have a larger volume than refrigerators with built-in freezing chamber.
- Refrigerators with freezers
These are the most popular refrigerators. In their case, the freezer is located in the lower part of the refrigerator. The ratio of the refrigerator to the freezer compartment is 3:1. They offer a larger group of features in comparison with the above types, and are therefore preferred over them.
- Refrigerators Side-by-Side
These refrigerators have two doors that open in opposite directions. Their height can be about 70 inches, depth – 24-32 inches, and width – 40 inches. They are equipped with a large number of compartments. The location of said compartments may differ, for example the freezer may be located to the side and occupy half the width of the door, or down the entire width of the door. These refrigerators have high capacity and a lot of features. They are designed primarily for restaurants and large households.
Other compartments a refrigerator can have:
- Water dispenser
- Ice generator
- Fresh Zone compartment
- 0°C / 32°F compartment
- Wine chamber
- Mechanical control
The most common type. The control of the temperature is done by a thermostat. It doesn’t have any extra temperature-control features, but it’s simple and easy to use.
- Electrical control
Allows the user to set a precise temperature. This type of refrigerators has much more extra features like humidity control, supplementary convention for optimum performance, and more.
The compressor is a key component of the cooling system. Modern refrigerators have one or two compressors. When there are two that means that the refrigerator has two independent cooling systems – one providing cooling in the refrigerator and one – in the freezer.
The Inverter Compressor:
These compressors have an additional module called an inverter. Its function is to regulate the power of the compressor at any time and to ensure optimum power without the expense of extra energy.
Different ways of defrosting the refrigerator:
When the refrigerator is opened, air which contains vapors enters. Inside the refrigerator, the vapors condense and turn into frost. To prevent this problem, manufacturers use different systems to defrost the refrigerator:
- NO FROST – It’s a system that uses a fan inside the refrigerator. Keep in mind that this creates humidity and some of the produce in the refrigerator will need to be packaged.
- Drop-defrosting – This type has a cooler at the back of the refrigerator. From time to time the refrigerator will stop working, the cooler will defrost the walls of the refrigerator and the water will exit via a simple tube.
When choosing a refrigerator you should pay special attention to its energy efficiency. Energy classes can range from A to G, where class A meets the best energy efficiency indicators, and class G – the worst. Refrigerators, which have efficiency class A to C have a low power consumption. Currently produced models that have energy consumption lower than that of class A and are designated as A+ or A++. Refrigerators, which have higher energy class are more expensive.
This is the approximate quantity of food the temperature of which for 24 hours can be reduced from about room temperature to the minimum temperature of the freezer. For household refrigerators capacity of up to 22 pounds is enough.
This is the average noise level of a refrigerator. Noise level of 40 dB corresponds to normal human speech.
The climate class determines the temperature of the environment in which the refrigerator can work properly. The working temperatures are analogous to the temperature zones, and depending on them the climate classes:
- C N 60-90°F
- SN 50-90°F
- In ST 65-100°F
- T 65-110°F
Currently the majority of refrigerators are offered with climate class N and SN. Sometimes however, the temperature in the summer may be higher than 90°F. For this reason, manufacturers have started to produce refrigerators with a wider temperature range – N-ST or SN-ST.
And that sums up most of the things you need to know before purchasing a refrigerator. We hope it was helpful!