Choosing a fridge and freezer
Fridge size and capacity
In terms of size and space, the first thing you must do is measure your kitchen space (width, height and depth). Make sure you also include the door dimensions, open and closed. It's important to leave around 25 mm of space around the top, back and sides of the fridge for proper airflow, since heat is produced during refrigeration.
Once you have all that information, consider how much inside fridge space you will need. The recommended capacity per person is around 100 to 150 litres. Whether you have a small or large family to feed or you take up a lot of the freezer space with ready to eat meals, there is an option suitable for you.
Since fridges and freezers are appliances that need to stay constantly switched on, you must check energy consumption before making a purchase. Some factors may influence energy consumption, such as size, capacity, type of fridge and temperature setting. A guide for energy efficiency is the Energy Rating Label, with most products ranging from 1 to 6 stars.
You can work out the estimated annual running cost of an appliance by using the following formula: total energy consumption (kWh) × electricity tariff (dollars per kWh). Make sure you compare similar appliances to find the best match for you.
Probably the most common type of fridge you can find, top mount fridges are single-column refrigerators, ideal for smaller kitchens with limited space. They're also a great choice if you're constantly reaching for the freezer, as you won't have to bend down to get what you need.
This traditional model can be found in various different colours and styles, from retro to modern, and is often the least expensive kind of fridge. Top mount fridges tend to be more economical, being about 10-25% more energy efficient than bottom mount or side to side models.
Bottom mount fridges are also single-column refrigerators with a dedicated freezer compartment, in this case at the bottom of the fridge. This means easier access to the fresh food section.
Although similar to top mount, bottom mount fridges are usually more expensive with fewer models to choose from, but tend to be slightly larger than the top freezer counterpart. Higher end models are now placing the freezer on the bottom with a slide-out drawer, coming in more luxurious finishes and sleek design.
Side by side
With a sleek design, side by side fridges open from the centre, with the freezer on one side and refrigerator on the other. Usually the refrigerator section is bigger.
This type of fridge has slightly more freezer capacity compared to a French door refrigerator, with vertical storage to keep most items at eye level. It’s also got a reduced door swing clearance, being a good option for narrow or tight spaces.
French door or four door fridges feature a pantry-style layout. Doors open from the centre, with bottom drawers being the freezer compartment and upper section, the refrigerator.
This type of fridge is great for functionality and keeping items organised, an ideal option for larger families or for someone who does a lot of meal preps, as it offers more capacity and features. They often come in stainless steel, giving it a modern look.
Freezer & Mini Fridge
With a similar layout to your standard fridge, upright freezers provide the best access to frozen items, with horizontally opening doors. Inside, you will find adjustable drawers and shelves, making it easy to store and organise your food. Most models are frost-free and don’t need defrosting.
Whether you need to store ready meals for the whole week or simply like to keep stock of frozen desserts and treats, this is certainly a convenient option. Make sure this type of storage is right for you, as having a half empty freezer causes it to work harder due to warm air taking up too much room.
Compared to upright, chest freezers usually take up a lot more space, as they have more width than height, although compensating with more internal capacity. They are more economical thanks to their horizontal design, allowing for less cold air to escape when opened.
Without shelves or drawers, this type of freezer will suit someone who is planning to store bulkier items, such as ice bags, meats, etc. Most people choose to place a chest freezer in the garage, so its size won’t be an issue.
A bar fridge is designed to keep your drinks and other small items handy at an ideal temperature. It’s a great option to have if you are frequently hosting parties, barbecues or events.
Bar fridges typically use less electricity than other types of fridges and are cheaper to run. Since they’re compact, they are best suited for small studio apartments, granny flats, small offices, or even a spare corner of your home for ultra convenience.
Wine fridges are equipped with technology that allows for optimum temperatures and high humidity levels to store and preserve wine. They are designed to maintain mild temperatures throughout the seasons, years on end. This helps prevent premature aging, ensuring quality and taste remain ideal while maturing over time.
It’s important to consider the specs when buying a wine fridge, such as single and multi temperature zones, bottle capacity, tinted and tempered glass, wooden shelving, lighting and safety locks. You will also find that a few models come with extra features such as touchscreen and smart functions.
Technology and features
If you are looking to optimise your home, why not pick a smart fridge? These models are getting more popular by the second, with features that will turn it into the holy grail of appliances. The idea is that, by connecting your fridge to the internet, you can integrate it with an existing smart home system, being able to control it with your phone, for instance.
One of the appeals of a smart fridge, aside from touchscreen, music and voice command, is the fact that it helps you reduce energy consumption. You can track power usage, get alerts for when the door is left open and see what’s on the inside without having to open the door. It can also help reduce waste and check when you need food restocked. Perhaps the coolest feature of all, with a smart fridge you will also be able to connect it with a smart assistant. This means you can create a shopping list, adjust the temperature, check inventory or even ask for a recipe.
Something to consider, however, is the cost of a smart appliance. Smart fridges can cost up to double the price of a traditional top mount. Carefully assess your needs and whether those features are worth investing in and would make a difference for you.
Modern fridges boast a range of temperature control features that ensure your food stays fresh longer and your beverages are chilled to perfection. Most popular functions include adjustable and zoned temperature settings.
With a simple touch of a button you can fine-tune the temperature inside your fridge and freezer compartments. This flexibility allows you to create separate zones, perfect for storing vegetables and greens, soft cheeses and dairy, meats ot frozen treats.
Water and ice dispenser
Water and ice dispensers have become a staple feature in most refrigerators, bringing convenience and luxury right to your kitchen. These built-in systems typically offer both chilled water and ice cubes on demand, with some models also offering crushed ice and water filtration.
Some refrigerators have independent systems, meaning you can have water plumbed straight out to your glass. If that is not an option for you, look for a non-plumbed model with a manual water and ice dispenser so you can fill it up yourself.
Fridges today come equipped with impressive anti-odour features and air deodorisers that go beyond just keeping your food cooled. A common element is the use of carbon filters or other advanced materials that effectively trap and neutralise odour molecules. Some high tech models even have sensors that detect odour levels and adjust them if needed.
This means no more lingering smells from last night’s leftovers or strong scented ingredients such as onions spreading inside your fridge. These types of technology tend to work quietly in the background, preserving the freshness and purity of the food in your fridge.
Present in many refrigerator and freezer models, frost free technology has revolutionised the market. Gone are the days of manual defrosting and chipping away at ice. Frost free fridges and freezers include heating and fan systems that work together to prevent ice and frost building up on the interior walls.
The convenience factor is undeniable, as frost free appliances not only save you time but also ensure that your food items remain in pristine condition without the risk of freezer burn.
Style and finish
Integrated or built-in
Integrated and built-in refrigerators are the epitome of seamless kitchen design. Integrated refrigerators are made to blend perfectly with your kitchen cabinets, often concealed behind custom panels that match your cabinetry’s style. This design approach creates a cohesive and minimal look, giving your space a clean and polished aesthetic. The beauty of integrated fridges lie in their ability to maintain a consistent style, making them a popular choice for homeowners and interior design enthusiasts alike.
On the other hand, built-in refrigerators are specifically designed to fit flush with your cabinetry or countertops, creating a streamlined kitchen layout. These appliances are engineered to be incorporated seamlessly, whether they are positioned under the counter or integrated into a custom wall niche. Built-in fridges optimise space, offering a practical and elevated solution for modern living.
White fridges, with their timeless and classic style, have long been a staple in many kitchens around the world. These appliances stand the test of time and exude a sense of simplicity and versatility that complement a wide variety of styles and décor. Whether your home is modern or traditional, the clean and crisp look of a white fridge creates a sense of brightness and openness to your space.
Like most other stainless steel appliances, stainless steel fridges have become a symbol of modernity and sophistication in kitchen design. Their polished appearance instantly elevates the aesthetics of any culinary space. Beyond the looks, stainless steel is highly prizes as a durable material, resistant to fingerprints, smudges and stains. They make an excelled for busy households, as they are easy to clean and maintain while also looking good.
Black refrigerators and appliances in general are a bold choice for any household. The matte finish is sure to add a touch of refinement and contemporary flair to your kitchen. Black appliances create a striking contrast against lighter cabinetry and countertops, making them a focal point. They also blend smoothly with dark walls, stones and furniture to create a more dramatic and industrial look.
Additionally, black is known for its versatility in coordinating with different styles, however if your prefer a more cozy and warm feel to your home, this might not be the right option for you.