Things to Look Out for When Buying a New Refrigerator.
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- 13 Jan, 2021
Refrigerators have long been thought of as the boxy, boring behemoths of the kitchen, and buying one used to be as simple as choosing between eggshell and off-white. However, options nowadays go far beyond simply getting a glass of ice water without having to open the door.
Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. While it is true that the main reason for your refrigerator is keeping food fresh, you would be amazed by all of the latest styles, features, and storage solutions available.
And because of advancing technology and innovations, you will find an ever-increasing range of color and style options. Cleverly designed refrigerators that disappear into your decoration and a wide variety of new smart features, including ones aimed at transforming your kitchen into an entertainment hub.
One thing you should note is that with proper care and maintenance, a refrigerator becomes a long term investment that can operate for 15 years or more. And while there are so many options to choose from, you will have to consider your family’s current and future needs to determine what is best for your family.
With all the options available, shopping for a refrigerator can be overwhelming.
In this post, we have compiled a list of the most important things to consider when selecting the perfect refrigerator for your family.
1). Refrigerator Door Style.
This is the first step to take as it helps you to figure out what size would fit in your kitchen. While installation constraints and capacity needs often dictate how large a model you should buy, how the refrigerator is designed (style) also matters.
Certain refrigerator door styles can only fit into large spaces, knowing this would ensure that you choose the right door style for your kitchen. There are 4 basic door styles and each comes with its pros and cons. First, we have the Single door style, this is the most common type of refrigerator, this model is for a single person or a family of two.
There is the Double door style which includes the classic top freezer if you are on a budget, then a reverse model which is the bottom freezer. More recently we have the Side by side door style and Multi door style which majorly include the French door style.
Today, most people tend to go for French door refrigerators because they look sleek and have wide shelves and drawers that keep fruits and veggies at eye level. They are however the most expensive of the basic door styles and are often very large.
The side by side door style is perfect for those that love to have bigger freezer space. The left side (1/3) of this model is the freezer compartment and the right side (2/3) is the refrigerator compartment. Although they are wider than the traditional refrigerator, they require less door opening space because of their small doors.
The double door style is very common today and the top Freezer design is one of the most popular refrigerators in Nigeria homes. It is very energy efficient and has a reasonable amount of storage space. The bottom freezer design is also getting popular, with freezer drawers at the bottom you get more space to store your frozen goods.
2). Refrigeration Techniques.
There are two major techniques, namely: Direct cooling and Frost free.
Direct cool Refrigerator.
Here, the refrigerator directly cools the air circulation inside its compartments with its natural process of convection. The circulation of cool air happens organically, without any external aids or technology. Hence, there is no way you can control the temperature distribution. It is bound to be uneven.
With uneven distribution of cool air, the collection of frost in and around the freezer box follows. This is the major con of this refrigerator, as you have to manually defrost the freezer to prevent damage. If you don't mind manually defrosting your refrigerator then this might just be a good option for you, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Because of the type of fans required for convection, Direct Cool units consume lesser electricity than frost-free. The difference in the fans used also makes the direct Cool refrigerator a more economical option. They are by far the cheapest refrigerator models in the Nigerian market.
Direct Cool refrigerators typically come with a single door, hardly would you see a multi-door refrigerator with direct cooling technology. Some of the traditional Top freezer models also come with direct cooling technology. However, this technology is getting outdated and now most people opt for frost-free technology instead.
Cool air is circulated by ‘fans’ in Frost Free Refrigerators and ice on walls is ‘automatically’ defrosted. The automatic defrosting is one of the many advantages of the frost-free refrigerator. They come equipped with defrost systems that do the defrosting for you, without any hassle.
Frost-free Refrigerators use a series of fans and vents to effectively circulate cool air. This produces an optimum cooling effect as the air reaches every corner of the Fridge compartment. Although these appliances can cost quite a bit more than their manual alternative, they are often a much more attractive option for many customers and allow for better user experience.
Frost Free units have a small element placed in them which helps to melt any accumulating ice in their inner surface. Fortunately, this does not interfere with the convection process. And because of the even temperature that the frost-free refrigerator delivers, food remains fresh for a longer duration in frost-free units.
You often get this technology in double-door, triple door, and side-by-side door refrigerators. And they do a better job of keeping your fresh produce fresh for a very long time. Although they are quite expensive, the money is well worth it.
3). Refrigerator Storage (Fresh food and Freezer) Capacity.
This is another very important factor in determining the kind of refrigerator you would get. Bigger families may want to look at "door-in-door" models that have three-compartment options in addition to a bottom freezer for maximum storage, while single buyers could get by with a traditional top-freezer model.
Single door refrigerators are smaller in size and have an average capacity of between 165 and 280 liters.
They are perfect for small apartments, even school dormitories. A double-door refrigerator has more space and is therefore aimed at households with four members. They usually come with a capacity of 235-415 liters.
If you are someone that likes to buy food in bulk and store them in the freezer, then a bottom freezer refrigerator is a very good option for you. The big advantage of the bottom freezer refrigerator is a slightly bigger deep freezer compartment.
Side-by-side refrigerators are spacious and come with numerous adjustable deep shelves and bins.
They are big with enough capacity (531-700 liters) for a household of six or seven. They also have a large freezer space on the left side of the unit. The French door refrigerator also offers ample storage capacity within its triple doors. Wider shelves and larger door bins and a deeper space to store frozen items.
There are also compact fridges that are perfect for a dorm room or small office. They are great for drinks, snacks, and perishable items. They are also very space-saving.
4). Refrigerator Features.
After considering the 3 factors above, you would want to now focus on the features that you would love to have in your dream refrigerator. And thanks to technological innovations, today's refrigerators come with mind-blowing features that make life much easier for us. You ought to focus on those features that matter to you at the end of the day.
Let's take a look at some of them below.
These features allow for easy organization of your refrigerator, they make the interior of your refrigerator clutter-free and make it very easy to access products. There are different shelving options to consider also, there are the sliding shelves that offer free access to items that are further in the fridge. You can simply pull a shelf in and out to retrieve your food, no hassle.
There's also the adjustable shelf that makes it possible to make room for varying sizes of items in your refrigerator. Spill-proof shelves would be ideal, especially if your refrigerator holds a lot of liquids like milk and juice.
Freezer drawers also make it easier to access your frozen items. Full-width drawers provide you with ample storage space. Some of these drawers come with transparent bodies that allows you to see your food items without opening them you save a lot of time as there's no need to rummage through the drawers trying to find where the leafy greens are.
* Ice and water dispenser.
You mostly have this feature in Side by side Refrigerators and multi-door refrigerators, especially the French door refrigerator. This eliminates the need to use ice trays. Some refrigerators feature a water dispenser that can also detect the size of your cup or glass and fills it to the top without spilling. With this feature, you get two important hole appliances for the price of one.
* Door locks and Alarm.
This is one of the most important features of a fridge if you ask a mother, to prevent watching little fingers from upsetting the refrigerator contents. A good refrigerator lock will ensure that your fridge is devoid of spilled drinks and ice-cream.
Some refrigerators have alarm systems that set off when the doors have been open for some time. You can tell when a child is playing with the fridge or if the door is left open. Such an alarm allows the conservation of energy because leaving the door open reduces the internal temperatures.
* Fresh food zones.
Most refrigerators have crisper drawers, with controls to retain optimum humidity levels. As you know that fresh fruits and vegetables spoil and rot more easily than other kinds of food. Fresh food zones come with humidity control that allows you to adjust the level of moisture, therefore prolonging the lifespan of your fresh produce.
* LED lighting.
LED lighting throughout the fridge allows for all areas of the interior to be well lit, including each shelf in the freezer and all refrigerator drawers. LED lighting is not only slimmer but also softer and much more energy efficient. Hence, usable space is increased, temperature swings are avoided, and less power is consumed.
* External condenser.
While the Self-contained refrigerators are appliances that house all of their components, such as the condenser and evaporator, inside the unit itself. The Remote refrigerators are insulated cold food storage areas that are outfitted with an evaporator inside, but the compressor and condenser are located in a remote area away from the refrigerator itself.
External condensers are not built into the refrigerator; they are located away from the refrigerator. With the external condenser, you enjoy a noiseless operation, as it's the condenser that makes the refrigerator noisy. They can also be more energy-efficient, especially if the temperature outside is much cooler than inside.
One disadvantage of internal condensers stems from the fact that once there’s a leakage, it becomes difficult to repair. However, external condensers leakages would warrant that the condenser be changed and that’s easy, seeing as the condenser is located at an easily accessible area.
5). Refrigerator Finish.
Stainless steel is still the most popular home appliances finish, and for very good reasons. But newer options, including black stainless and bronze, are growing in appeal. A few fridges come in a range of bright colors and finishes, even a few hand-painted models!
Models with glossy glass surfaces in brilliant white or obsidian black are also an upcoming trend for high-end kitchens, although they are expensive. The lower-priced classic white and black finishes are still available and still complement many kitchens today.
The clean, metallic look of a stainless steel refrigerator is timeless and very easy to clean. While black stainless steel resists fingerprints, making it easier to maintain. But you know also know that black stainless steel scratches easily.
You are certainly going to spend a lot of days staring at your refrigerator, if so I suggest that you choose a finish that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
6). Your Budget.
The price of Refrigerators ranges from as low as N50,000 to as high as over N1,000,000. The Brand, door style, features all contribute to how cheap or expensive a refrigerator would be. A basic, quality top freezer will cost as little as N, while French-door refrigerators start closer to N and go up from there.
So your budget is also an important factor to be considered in your search for the perfect refrigerator.
The consolation here is that there's a perfect Refrigerator for every budget.
Now, are you ready to purchase your dream refrigerator?
Visit Zit Electronic Online Store to get the best Refrigerator prices in Nigeria.
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