Installation, Disposal and Location
Ordering a fridge is only half the story. Once you’ve found the perfect model you’ll need to think about finding a location for it in your home, installing it, and disposing of your old one. Sometimes it’s easiest to do all this yourself, but sometimes it is better to pay a little extra and ask the supplier to sort everything out for you.
It is possible to move your new fridge yourself, but most retailers offer this service to save you the hassle.
During transport it should ideally remain upright at all times, which can be difficult if you don’t have access to a large vehicle.
Keeping a refrigerator upright is important because the compressor has oil in it, and lying horizontally causes the oil to flow into the cooling pipes. If the fridge is switched on before the oil has settled into the compressor, it can damage the fridge. The same rule applies if you are moving house with an older fridge.
Bear in mind that fridges can be heavy, too. You’ll probably need a sack barrow and two people to move it safely.
Navigating doors and hallways with such a large item isn’t easy, but measuring up before making a purchase should mean it isn’t too much of a problem.
Once your fridge is in the right place, getting it up and running is simple. You’ll need to wait for everything to settle, so wait at least an hour before plugging it in. If you decided to risk transporting it horizontally, you’ll need to wait four hours or more.
In the meantime, remove all packaging and clean all of the shelves and compartments with water and a little washing up liquid. The outside will need a quick clean too.
With any fridge, ventilation is important. That means you should leave a 2 cm gap around the back, top and sides to let the warm air escape. This even applies to integrated designs.
Once the fridge has been left to settle, you can switch it on. All of these instructions can vary between models though, so make sure you read the manufacturer’s guidelines too. Often, after plugging in your new fridge you’ll need to set the temperature to a certain number and wait for a period of time before putting your food in.
Integrated or Built-In Models
Integrated fridges are a little more complicated and you’ll probably need help from an engineer. Taking out an old integrated fridge requires the panel door and ventilation plinth to be removed, and unplugging it is tricky too. The new one will then need the cupboard door attaching and the plinth putting back in.
Most people will keep their new fridge in the kitchen, often in the same spot as their old one.
Other times the new appliance will be used for additional storage, and kept in the garage or the basement. The location has a huge impact, so it’s important to pick the right model for the job.
If you’re not sure which fridge will fit your space, take a look at our explanation of styles and types. An undercounter model will slot into a space under your kitchen counter, while a tall model is ideal if you have the room for one.
If you’re not sure which fridge will fit your space, take a look at our explanation of styles and types.
Inside or Out?
It seems strange for a chilled applianc, but some temperatures are just too cold for a fridge.
Most people keep theirs in the kitchen so this isn’t too much of an issue. If it’s going to be a second fridge and you want to keep it in the garage or basement, you’ll need to look at the appliance’s Climate Class rating.
“N” (Normal) and “SN” (Sub Normal) temperatures are the two categories most relevant in the UK. If a fridge is marked “N” it can operate in temperatures ranging from 16°C to 32°C, while “SN” means it is guaranteed to work between 10°C and 32°C.
Anything outside of these temperatures may cause the fridge to stop working properly, damaging your food.
As the lowest external temperature is 10°C, it might not be possible to keep a fridge in an unheated garage where temperatures can reach freezing point. Some fridge freezers and freezers have a special technology to allow them to keep working at temperatures as low as -15°C, but this feature is very unusal for a fridge. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Away from Heat
Keep your fridge away from heat sources like radiators, the oven and direct sunlight. This means your appliance won’t need to work as hard to keep your food cold.
Most retailers offer a disposal service, for an easier switch from old to new.
Legal restrictions mean fridges must be disposed in a way which meets legislation designed to protect the environment. For example, ozone depleting substances must be removed before it’s thrown away.
You could take the fridge to an appropriate recycling centre yourself, but it’s often easier to let the professionals deal with it. The most convenient way is to organise for the people who deliver your new fridge to take the old one. Most councils will collect large items too – either way, there is usually a small fee.
You could take the fridge to an appropriate recycling centre yourself, but it’s often easier to let the professionals deal with it.