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 it can be 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 remain upright at all times, which can be difficult if you don’t have access to a large vehicle.
Keeping a refrigerator upright is vital. The compressor has oil in it and resting it 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 take lasting damage. 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.
Keeping a refrigerator upright is vital. The compressor has oil in it and resting it horizontally causes the oil to flow into the cooling pipes.
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. Firstly, you’ll need to wait for everything to settle. Wait at least an hour before plugging it in. If you decided to risk transporting it horizontally, it’s likely that you will 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 critical. That means you should leave a 2 cm gap around the back, top, and sides to let the warm air escape. This advice even applies to integrated designs. Some models will require more space, so it’s always worth checking the product manual.
Once the fridge has been left to settle for the recommended amount of time, 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 level and wait before storing your food.
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 replacing.
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 essential 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.
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 under your kitchen counter, while a tall model is ideal if you have room for one.
INSIDE OR OUT?
It seems strange for a chilled appliance, but some external 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. A fridge marked “N” 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 correctly, 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 advanced technology that allows them to work at temperatures as low as -15°C, but this feature is very unusual for a fridge. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
You could take the fridge to an appropriate recycling centre yourself, but it’s often easier to let professionals deal with it.
AWAY FROM HEAT
Keep your fridge away from heat sources like radiators, ovens, and direct sunlight. Doing so means your appliance won’t need to work as hard to keep your food cold.
Most retailers offer a disposal service for a more straightforward switch from old to new.
Legal restrictions mean you must dispose of a fridge in a way which meets standards set by legislation designed to protect the environment. For example, ozone-depleting substances must be removed before the fridge is thrown away.
You could take the fridge to an appropriate recycling centre yourself, but it’s often easier to let 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.