Once you’ve decided on the type and size you’re after, it can be difficult to know what else to look for in a fridge. Features are one of the main factors which set a budget-buy apart from a top-of-the-range model.
When it comes to fridges, the small details make a big difference. Clever features like reversible doors and auto-defrost make life a little easier, while intelligent modes and smart cooling systems ensure your food is always kept at its best.
Auto-defrost is a fantastic time saver, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most sought-after features when buying a fridge.
Fridges naturally produce condensation as part of the cooling process. Unfortunately, this can turn into ice on the back wall of your fridge, preventing the appliance from running as efficiently as it could.
Auto-defrost makes this problem a thing of the past. By heating the cooling element every now and again, frost is melted away, before being drained away through the back of the fridge. You’ll never need to defrost it manually, saving you time and plenty of effort.
Most models have this feature, but not all – it’s worth keeping an eye out for it.
You’ll never need to defrost it manually, saving you time and plenty of effort.
Traditionally, fridges use static cooling systems to keep items cold. The cooled air moves by convection, with warm air rising and cool air sinking to the bottom.
Modern dynamic cooling systems use a fan to encourage better ventilation. Different parts of the fridge stay at the same temperature, and food stays fresher for longer. Dynamic cooling tends to be limited to more high-end models.
Another feature to look out for is a concealed evaporator – this will save space, leaving you more room for food.
CONTROLS AND DISPLAY PANELS
Some fridges have manual controls – usually a dial which you twist to set the temperature. Others offer more precision with a digital thermostat.
You may find basic operating buttons and lights on manual models, such as a power-on light. Digitally controlled fridges tend to have an electronic control panel. Sometimes these include lights to show which modes are in operation, as well as lights or alarms which alert you if the door is left open.
Ever thought about how much you’re paying to run your fridge while you’re away? If you’d like to save on bills while you’re abroad, choose a refrigerator with a holiday mode.
This mode will run the appliance with minimal electricity consumption as you won’t be opening the door and letting in any warm air.
A quick cool function is another handy detail. It’ll chill your items rapidly, preserving nutrients and flavours more effectively.
You may think that all fridge lights are equal, but this is not necessarily the case. In the past, conventional light bulbs were used, which had a tendency to get hot and made it harder for the fridge to maintain an even and cool temperature.
The introduction of halogen lighting meant fridge interiors were brighter, making it easier to find even the smallest items hidden at the back. These bulbs are energy efficient and have a long lifespan of 2,000 to 4,000 hours.
Top-of-the-range fridges benefit from the latest LED lighting. LEDs get bright instantly and remain cool to the touch, keeping the fridge interior cold. Their advertised lifespan is even longer than halogen bulbs – up to a remarkable 50,000 hours.
LEDs get bright instantly and remain cool to the touch, keeping the fridge interior cold.
Many brands are using antibacterial components to help you maintain a healthy storage space.
Special door seals prevent the harmful bacteria outside from getting to your food, while coatings inside make everything more sanitary. Some models even have antibacterial door handles to protect the most-touched part of the fridge.
Clever design features help you integrate your new fridge into your home with ease.
Adjustable feet mean uneven floors are no longer an issue. Likewise, a reversible door means you don’t have to worry about it knocking into your kitchen door or cupboards, and gives you freedom over where you place your appliance.
Some high-end fridges have a water dispenser in the front of the door, for chilled drinks on demand.
You’ll find this feature more often on tall fridges than undercounter models, but even then, it’s relatively rare. If a water and ice dispenser is an essential feature for you, consider a combi fridge freezer instead – you’ll find a wider variety of models with this feature.
Water dispensers come in plumbed and unplumbed varieties. Plumbed variants are connected to your mains water, while no-nplumbed versions have a container you’ll need to keep topped up.
The latest trend in home appliances, smart technology keeps your kitchen connected. Smart fridge features vary depending on the brand and model. They include syncing grocery lists with your smartphone, looking up and reading out recipes whilst you cook, and internal cameras you can view remotely so that you know if you’re low on the essentials.
All of this is very cutting edge, and you can expect to pay more for features like these. However, as smart technology becomes more prevalent over time, prices will likely become more affordable.
Smart fridge features vary depending on the brand and model. They include syncing grocery lists with your
smartphone, looking up and reading out recipes whilst you cook, and internal cameras.