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Posted by Alistair Ward on 20th Jun 2015

Years ago, buying a fridge freezer was a simple task.  You’d measure your space and select a white-fronted appliance and that was that, job done.   These days, it’s a rather more complex task.Not only do you have to consider the size of the space, but there’s also the colour, the internal layout, the ratio of fridge to freezer space, the potential integration of a water chiller or ice maker - the list of considerations goes on.If you are slightly baffled by the choice available, you’re not alone. Here’s our helpful guide to buying the perfect fridge freezer for your home.Where to startThere are two main types of fridge freezer – free-standing and integrated.  Once you know which you need, you can begin to narrow down your choice.Free-standing fridge freezersYou can buy both tall, upright Free-standing fridge freezers as well as smaller, under-the-counter fridge-freezers.If your stand-alone fridge freezer is going to be seen in your kitchen, rather than in a utility room, you’ll want to consider the aesthetic design of the appliance as well as the storage capacity.  Free-standing fridge freezers come in a variety of designs, from white and stainless steel through to a whole host of wonderful colours such as red, orange, purple and even pink. With a bit of imagination it’s possible to make an attractive kitchen feature of your free-standing fridge freezer.Do you need an American-style fridge freezer ?If you’re opting for a free-standing fridge freezer and you need lots of storage space, it’s worth thinking about investing in an American-style fridge freezer.  These are the largest type of domestic fridge freezer available – rather like having two standard fridges joined side-by-side. Many models also incorporate a water cooler and ice maker.Caple American Fridge Freezer - GunmetalThe Caple CAFF45GM American Fridge Freezer is a large french door style fridge freezer. A fabulous choice for those who have the space to house one in their kitchen.It has energy saving features such an alarm to notify you when the door has been left open, eco mode and holiday mode. Features such as these have contributed towards the CAFF45GM being awarded an A+ energy rating. Providing 390 litre fridge capacity and 170 litre freezer capacity this fridge freezer has plenty of space for all your perishable items. The elegant gunmetal doors with grey cabinet make this a stylish choice too.Integrated Fridge-Freezers.Integrated fridge freezers are incorporated into the kitchen units therefore you won’t need to concern yourself so much with aesthetics.  It is more important to consider the layout inside the appliance to ensure it meets your day-to-day needs.Choosing the right size of fridge freezer
 The next step in narrowing down your choice is to measure the space you have available for the fridge freezer in your kitchen.  Standard fridge freezers are 600-700mm wide though you can get slim fridge freezers starting at 470mm wide.  Extra wide fridge freezers usually range between 700mm and 900mm, though American-style fridge freezers can go up to 925mm.When considering the position of your new fridge freezer it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need at least 2 inches on the hinge side to allow the door to open.  You’ll also need a gap of 1 inch at the top of your fridge for ventilation.Fridge space vs freezer spaceNext, think about the ratio you need between fridge and freezer space.  Some fridge freezers have just one small freezer compartment, so are suitable for households where freezing is not a priority and fridge space is, or for homes where there is a separate freezer, so only a few items are required at-hand in the kitchen. Most fridge freezers are available in a 50/50, 60/40 and 70/30 fridge to freezer ratio.Caple Ri7305 70/30 Fridge FreezerThe Caple RI7305 Integrated Fridge Freezer has been created with a 70/30 split. This means the model has a larger fridge than freezer which is ideal for busy households looking for additional fridge space.With 243 litres of total capacity and easily adjustable glass shelves you have sufficient space to suit your needs. This Caple frost free fridge freezer has been awarded an A++ energy rating and a 41db noise rating making it an extremely energy efficient, quiet fridge freezer for your home.Capacity & internal layoutWhen considering the space you require inside your new fridge freezer, look at the litre capacity which is shown on the appliance label.  Even though the exterior size of fridge freezers may be the same, there may be a slight variation in capacity between different makes and models.It’s surprising how many different layouts there are available.  When considering what’s best for you, think about the type of food you and your family like to store.  Do you need lots of shelves in the door?  Do you need lots of drawers for salad and vegetables?  How many internal shelves do you think you’ll need?ARG146 Built Under FridgeThe A + energy rated Whirlpool, ARG146/A+/LA, Built Under Fridge is a great choice for those looking for an energy efficient, fullly integrated, built under fridge only. It features a double crisper compartment that is ideal for storing fruit and vegetables. These compartments allow for extra storage within the cavity helping contribute towards the 146 litre capacity.TechnologyModern fridge freezers are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  When considering which fridge freezer is right for you, it’s worth being aware of all the options available.
  • Ice dispensers
Where once we had to make ice cubes by filling a small tray and placing it in the freezer compartment for several hours, you can now have an ice-dispensing fridge.  While these are great in terms of convenience, especially on a hot summer’s day, it’s worth bearing in mind that ice units do take up a portion of the space you would otherwise have available for food storage within the fridge.  You’ll also need to connect your fridge freezer to your mains water supply, ideally within a couple of metres – further is possible though the installation becomes more complex.
  •  Inverter compressor
A fridge with an inverter compressor will have several power levels so are able to use the lowest power level to keep your     fridge cool, whether you’ve opened the door for a few seconds or have kept it open for a prolonged period.
  •  Frost-free
This means you won’t have to de-frost your freezer, it will automatically stay frost-free.
  • Fast freeze and fast cool
The fast freeze function is helpful if you have bought or prepared food for the freezer and want to maintain optimum flavour.  A fast cool feature can be helpful when chilling drinks or desserts.
  •  Cool zone
The temperature of your fridge will be in the region of 2 - 5°C (the warmest part of the fridge is usually at the top).  However, a cool zone will run close to 0°C which is helpful for storing meat and dairy foods.  You can get fridge freezers with special airflow systems which circulate cold air to maintain an even temperature throughout the fridge.
  • Noise rating
You may have noticed that all fridge freezers contain a noise rating on their label.  A lower decibel rating means the appliance will be quieter, which is more important in an open plan living space.
  •  Energy efficiency
Fridge freezers usually account for around 20% of a household’s annual budget.  If you opt for an American-style fridge freezer, the chances are it will be more expensive to run than a conventional fridge freezer.  That said, all brand new fridge freezers have to have an energy rating of A+ or better, so you might find your new fridge is more energy efficient than your old one.How To Save Money On Refrigeration.Did you know, 20% of your electricity bill could be down to your fridge freezer?  While modern fridge freezers are becoming increasingly economical, it’s worth looking at ways to reduce the cost of running this essential appliance.Here are our top 5 tips to save money on refrigeration. 1.  Keep the freezer stocked. Your fridge will have to work harder to keep an empty freezer cold.2.  Keep your fridge in a room with a temperature that is within the appliance’s so-called ‘climate class’. The kitchen or utility room, for example.  If you keep your fridge in a particularly warm or particularly cold room it will have to work harder due to the temperature fluctuations, and will therefore cost more to run.3.  Turn your fridge freezer to ‘holiday mode’ when you go away which keeps your freezer running but switches off the fridge or maintains a warmer temperature for longer-lasting food such as eggs and butter.4.  Invest in see-through drawers so that you can see the contents of your fridge without having to open the drawer or keep the fridge door open longer than necessary. 5.   Don’t buy an American-style fridge freezer unless you really do need the additional storage space. American-style fridge freezers are great for storing lots of food, but they’re the most expensive to run.If you need further help or advice when choosing your new fridge freezer, please get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0330 022 0229, we’ll be glad to help. 
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