FRIDGE FREEZER FEATURES
You might think fridge freezers are all quite similar, but there’s a lot of variety, with a huge range of different features available. Some add a little more convenience, while others completely change the way the appliance functions.
AUTO DEFROST / FROST FREE
Frost build-up is a problem with some fridge freezers as the ice takes up space and makes the appliance less efficient.
However, there are a number of features that can help with this.
Auto defrost is a very common function, available on nearly all fridges. Condensation can form at the back of your fridge and then freeze, potentially ruining your food. Auto defrost works by melting this frost and then draining the liquid.
Frost free is a freezer specific function that circulates air to prevent the build-up of ice in your freezer, so you won’t have to defrost it manually. It works independently from your fridge and maximises the potential freezing space. However, you may have to pay a little extra to buy a fridge with this technology.
Total frost free or no frost appliances have both features.
Auto defrost works by melting this frost and then draining the liquid.
Most fridge sections have a light to help you find the item you need. This lighting needs to be bright, reach its full intensity quickly, and remain cool.
Older models are often fitted with conventional light bulbs. They give out sufficient light, but often get hot, which isn’t efficient when maintaining the fridge freezer’s temperature. This type of bulb is no longer featured with new appliances, since more efficient technology has been developed.
Mid-range fridge freezers are often fitted with halogen lighting, which has a lifespan of 2,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for a conventional bulb. They’re also 36% brighter, 20% more energy efficient, and normally used for display lighting – so are ideal for illuminating your food.
The newest type of lighting is LED, which helps save you money by using 75% less energy. These bulbs achieve their full brightness quicker than others, and have a huge lifespan of 50,000 hours. This style also remains cool to touch, helping to keep your fridge cold.
CONTROLS AND THERMOSTATS
Fridge freezer controls also vary depending on the make, model and price of your appliance.
Standard and older models generally have a basic control panel and single manual thermostat. This thermostat is used to control the power levels in both sections of your fridge freezer, not the exact temperature. As a result, there is a risk that the temperature won’t be perfect in one of the sections. Basic operating buttons and lights will likely be located on the control panel, including an on/off switch and power-on light.
Mid-range models sometimes have electronic control panels, with some including a thermostat control. Lights to indicate what features are enabled may be present, alongside high temperature or door-left-open lights and alarms. You might also find buttons to turn on quick-chill or fast-freeze options.
Top-of-the-range models often have twin thermostats, allowing you to control the temperature in both compartments precisely. Digital LED control displays let you alter other functions easily as well.
Brands such as LG and Samsung have developed models that allow you to change the temperature and humidity levels in different areas of your fridge. Some models even have drawers that can change into a freezer compartment at the push of a button.
For the hygiene-conscious, anti-bacterial finishes in your fridge freezer are a welcome addition.
Specially designed door seals kill germs and stop them entering the fridge. Some shelf linings also prevent bacteria from growing or odours forming, if food should get spilt.
If your new fridge freezer hits a cupboard or another kitchen unit when you open the door, don’t worry. Some appliances can have their doors reversed so that they open the other way.
Some appliances can have their doors reversed so that they open the other way.