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8 non-obvious mistakes when buying a refrigerator: how not to overpay and not be disappointed

25.04.2024 15:05

It can be frustrating to purchase a new refrigerator only to find that it doesn't meet your expectations or is difficult to use. You are unlikely to buy a refrigerator of the wrong size, color or type (single-compartment instead of two-compartment, built-in instead of free-standing) — a lot of advice has already been written on this topic, and we will not repeat it. However, it is quite possible to make a mistake with technical specifications, overpay for unnecessary options, or miss important parameters due to ignorance or inattention. But not after reading our little guide.

Wrong choice of place for the refrigerator in the kitchen

Purchasing without comparing the characteristics of the selected refrigerator model with the location where it is planned to be installed can have serious consequences on its performance and longevity. It is important to consider the climate class of the refrigerator. Most models have class N — normal, designed to operate in the temperature range of 16-32 degrees. However, if you plan to install the refrigerator in a cold room, such as a basement, cold extension or veranda, you should pay attention to SN class models, designed for temperatures from 10 to 32 degrees. If the location where the refrigerator is installed is very sunny and hot, the temperature may rise higher in summer, so it is better to choose ST (16-38 degrees) or T (16-43 degrees) class models. An incorrect choice of climate class can lead to early wear of the compressor and a decrease in the efficiency of the refrigerator.

The second important aspect is the convenient location and opening of the refrigerator doors, especially in the context of a specific installation location. Often, before purchasing, they measure the space for the refrigerator, but forget to take into account how convenient it will be to open the door or doors. Sometimes it turns out that it is completely impossible to open the door due to obstacles such as a countertop or furniture, or because the handle rests on something. This inconvenience not only interferes with use, but can also cause the door to break. Although most models have the ability to re-hung the doors, this does not always solve the problem and can create new inconveniences, for example, blocking the passage with an open door.

Choosing a refrigerator only with No Frost

No Frost technology has many advantages, but it also has disadvantages, so it is important to understand how important the first and the second are critical for you. This system eliminates the formation of frost and ice in the chamber where it operates (usually in one of the chambers, although in Full No Frost models it is used in both the refrigerator and freezer). However, it can make the refrigerator noisier and less spacious. This is due to the fan, which accelerates the air inside the chamber and can cause drying out food and dishes. Some models eliminate these shortcomings thanks to good sound insulation and engineering solutions, but they belong to the premium segment.

Buying a refrigerator only with electronic or touch controls

Electronic, touch and remote control provide certain advantages over electro-mechanical temperature control in refrigerator compartments. They allow you to fine-tune the temperature, activate blast or quick freeze functions, select a holiday mode to save energy, and receive notifications about faults or an open door. However, it is important to ask yourself: will you really use it all? If yes, then you need electronic control. If not, then there is no point in overpaying for this functionality.

Choosing a model without taking into account the family’s dietary habits and food purchases

When choosing a refrigerator, it is important to consider not only its useful volume (the recommended volume is about 100-120 liters per person), but also the following factors:

  1. Frequency of large food purchases: If you make large purchases once in a certain period of time (for example, every two weeks, once a week or once a month), then rapid cooling and freezing modes (for example, super freeze, super chill) are necessary. They allow you to quickly reduce the temperature in the chambers for several hours so that warm foods do not affect the overall temperature.
  2. Seasonal freezing: if you have seasonal food purchases (for example, autumn harvest or constant supplies from fishing or hunting), then it is also important to consider the possibility of quick freezing and storing large volumes of food.

When choosing a refrigerator, you should also consider whether semi-finished and frozen foods are used in the diet, or whether preference is given to fresh and chilled foods. If you prefer only fresh and chilled food, then the bottom freezer may be small or even absent, but it is important that the fresh food area is not just a drawer for fruits and vegetables, but a full-fledged freezer with zero temperature. It is preferable to have temperature and humidity control or division into wet and dry zones for convenient storage of different types of products.

Choosing a refrigerator only with an inverter compressor

Inverter compressor control is becoming more common due to improved refrigerator energy efficiency and reduced noise. However, other factors also influence the noise level, such as the presence of No Frost technology and the sound insulation of the device. Although inverter compressors typically use 30 percent less electricity than traditional compressors, the benefits of energy savings may take several years to become apparent. Inverter compressors are also sensitive to voltage surges, so it is recommended to connect the refrigerator through a voltage stabilizer. In addition, replacement of a compressor under warranty can take a long time, and there are currently problems with the supply of compressors from many brands.

Choosing a model with a high noise level

A small but important aspect — especially when you choose a refrigerator for a studio where there is not only a kitchen, but also a sleeping area. Models with a noise level of more than 40 dB can disturb even the most sensitive sleep, so they are only suitable for certain kitchens. The noise level depends on the presence of the No Frost system and the type of compressor (linear ones are considered noisier, and inverter ones are considered quieter), as well as on the sound insulation and location of the unit (the noise from built-in models, completely enclosed by a kitchen unit, is heard less).

Overpaying for extra bells and whistles

For example, an open container of baking soda perfectly serves as a carbon filter in the refrigerator; the benefits of ionization in such devices have not been proven by independent studies, only those commissioned by manufacturers; Antibacterial coatings are useless if the cells are not kept clean. But there are also really important functions: for example, a notification about an open door, self-diagnosis of faults, column lighting, a shelf for freezing (berries, dumplings, dumplings). A big role in the ease of use of the device is played by the correct organization of the internal space of the chambers — especially the refrigerator: here you also need to remember what you usually have a lot in the refrigerator — maybe three-liter jars? Or bottles, juice packs? Or maybe you put a multicooker bowl and a large saucepan there?

Do not take into account the time that the refrigerator retains cold in the event of a power outage

Good indicators for the refrigerator compartment are 18-20 hours, and for the freezer — 10-12 hours. Although the temperature in the chambers gradually increases, the slower this happens, the better. This parameter is especially important for rural areas and regions with unstable weather, where power outages are common. In our refrigerator tests, we always measure this indicator, and sometimes manufacturers overestimate it a little, as is the case with the TCL TRF-347WEXA+ model, and sometimes underestimate it, as is the case with the Lex LCD450XID.

The main secret: you need to choose a refrigerator not only by design, suitable dimensions and fashionable functions. It is better to buy a model specifically for the needs of your family and taking into account the space surrounding the device.