When it comes to the essential furniture items in your home, a fridge is normally at the top of the list. These days, there are all kinds of fridges on the market: top mount, bottom mount, French door, the works. But which is the right fridge for your needs? We asked an expert for help.
The pros and cons of different fridge types
To help us understand the differences between all the available fridge types, Lifehacker Australia consulted with Colin Jones, Category Expert at Appliances Online.
Top Mount Fridges:
When it comes to top-mount fridges, i.e. those with the freezer compartment at the top, Jones said they are generally useful for those who have a smaller household to feed with limited kitchen space. The fridge space on a top mount tends to be more generous, and they are usually available in a range of colours.
On the downside, Jones noted that the freezer compartment is usually smaller on top-mount fridges, and some models require extra ventilation space to prevent overheating (but that this doesn’t apply to all models).
These are usually the most affordable fridges, according to Jones.
Bottom Mount Fridges:
As for bottom mount fridges, which are fridges with the freezer compartment down the bottom, there are a few pros and cons that Jones highlighted. One pro is that the fridge compartment is at eye-level, making it easy for everyday access, however, the con is that you’ll need to stoop to reach the freezer section, which could be a problem for those with mobility issues.
Similar to top mounts, bottom mount fridges come in a variety of colours and sizes to suit different household needs, but certain models may require additional space for ventilation.
Side by Side Fridges:
Side by Side fridges are those that stack their fridge compartments vertically, with an almost equal amount of space for both fridge and freezer compartments.
According to Jones, the large storage space offered by side by side fridges is ideal for for families or big households. Another pro is that some of these designs also come with a built-in water and ice dispenser and they can be useful for those who suffer from back issues as both compartments can be accessible at eye level.
A drawback, however, is that side by side fridges are usually wider than traditional fridges, which can cause problems for those with a small fridge cutout or kitchen space. The freezer space of these types of fridges is also usually smaller than that of bottom or top mount variations, so keep that in mind if you need lots of storage in that area.
French Door Fridges:
French door fridges are the largest of the lot, which can once again be an issue for those with small kitchen spaces. What they do offer, however, is ample space in both fridge and freezer compartments, and they are often equipped with water and ice dispensers for convenience.
How to choose an energy-efficient fridge
Of course, another big factor in choosing a fridge, particularly nowadays when electricity costs are so high, is energy efficiency.
Here are some things Jones suggested you look out for when choosing an energy-efficient fridge:
- Inverter Compressors: These compressors adjust their speed based on cooling demand, which helps maintain a more stable temperature inside the fridge while consuming less energy.
- Size and Configuration: Choose a fridge size and configuration that suits your needs. Larger fridges generally consume more energy than smaller ones, so selecting an appropriately sized fridge for your household can contribute to energy efficiency.
- Energy-Saving Modes: Some fridges come with energy-saving modes or features like vacation mode, which reduces energy consumption when you’re away for an extended period.
- LED Lighting: Fridges with LED lighting are more energy-efficient than those with traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. LED lights produce less heat and use less electricity.
- Temperature Controls: Look for fridges with precise temperature controls, allowing you to set and maintain the desired temperature with accuracy. This helps prevent excessive cooling, which can lead to unnecessary energy consumption.
Don’t forget it’s also important to check that your fridge is at the right temperature, which you can read more about here.
Lead Image Credit: iStock
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