Fridge Freezer Buying Guide

Fridge Freezer Buying Guide

This fridge freezer buying guide takes you through the key considerations when choosing your new appliance. Starting with the big decisions like type and fridge-freezer split, we�ll look at the options that are open to you in terms of size, useful features, and appearance. Take your time with these choices � your new fridge freezer will be one of the main features of your kitchen for years to come.

Types of fridge freezer

With the option to store chilled and frozen goods, a fridge freezer offers you the convenience and versatility of having both appliances in one place. Once you know that this is what you�re after, the first step is to choose between the three different types of fridge freezer:

  • Integrated fridge freezers
  • Freestanding fridge freezers
  • American fridge freezers

Integrated fridge freezers

Keen to keep your fridge freezer neatly tucked out of the way in your kitchen units? Then an integrated or built-in model is the right choice for you. As the cupboard door conceals the front of these appliances, they blend seamlessly into your kitchen and create a sleek contemporary look. You�ll find a wide range of built-in fridge freezers in our selection.

Integrated fridge freezers

Door hinge mechanisms

Integrated fridge freezers can either use a sliding or fixed door hinge mechanism:

  • Some models have the cupboard door screwed directly onto the bracket (a fixed mechanism).
  • Others use a sliding door mechanism, with the cupboard door and the fridge door on two separate hinges connected by a slider

Both hinge types can be used with any cupboard. That said, if you�re replacing a built-in fridge freezer, it�s easier to replace like with like or swap a sliding for a fixed mechanism.

Freestanding fridge freezers

If you�d prefer to keep your fridge out in the open, choose a freestanding fridge freezer. These appliances stand on their own rather than fitting inside your kitchen cabinets. As a result, you�ll be able to find freestanding models that are taller and wider than built-in ones, offering you more storage space in one appliance. You can also take these with you easily if you move house.

Opting for a freestanding fridge freezer doesn�t mean you have to compromise on style. There�s a huge variety of styles available to pick from, with tonnes of different colours and finishes to suit your kitchen d�cor. There�s lots of choice in terms of functionality, too, with the option to have either the freezer or fridge on the top depending on your preferences:

  • If you�d use the fridge more often than the freezer, look for a model with this part of the appliance on top (the standard arrangement).
  • Likely to get more use out of the freezer? Certain freestanding models have the freezer compartment positioned at the top for ease of access.

Freestanding fridge freezers

American fridge freezers

The third option is an American fridge freezer. These appliances have side-by-side compartments for the fridge and the freezer, with double doors opening from the middle (so they�re sometimes called side-by-side or double-door freezers).

American fridge freezers tend to be quite large, making them ideal for bigger households or those who like to store lots of ingredients. Many come with useful practical features like cold water and ice dispensers. They can either be plumbed or non-plumbed depending on whether you�d like the appliance to draw water from your home�s supply or you�d prefer to fill up the storage tank yourself.

American fridge freezers

Choosing your fridge-freezer split

When it comes to the split between fridge and freezer space in your appliance, that are plenty of options to suit you and your household: Door split option

If you don�t keep a lot of frozen goods in the house and would prefer to have the extra fridge space, then an 80/20 or 70/30 might be the way to go. At the other end of the scale, you could choose a 50/50 fridge freezer for an equal division between the two compartments or a 60/40 for a slightly larger fridge than freezer.

When replacing an existing integrated fridge freezer, make sure to choose the same split so that the appliance lines up with your kitchen cupboards.

Below, we�ve highlighted the full range of fridge-freezer splits that you�ll find on freestanding and integrated appliances. Click on the buttons to explore models with each type of split.



Fridge freezer sizes

Having chosen the right type and fridge-freezer split for your household, the next big decision is the size of the appliance. Fridge freezer sizes vary considerably in terms of height, width, and depth, so you can choose a model that matches your space requirements perfectly.

Whichever size of freestanding or integrated fridge freezer you pick, you�ll need to check the dimensions carefully and make sure that your new appliance fits the space available (see the section below to learn how to measure for a fridge freezer).

Choosing the right height

Freestanding fridge freezers can be as short as 1.18m and can reach up to 2m+, giving you options depending on your preference and the space available:

You�ll tend to find that there�s less variation in height for integrated models because they need to fit neatly into your kitchen cabinets, which come in standardised sizes.

The majority of built-in fridge freezers reach to around 1.77m high. If your cupboards are shorter or taller than this and you�d like the fit to be exact, you can find them in different heights by shopping around.

Choosing the right width

The standard width for a freestanding fridge freezer is around 60cm, but they can vary considerably from around 48cm up to nearly a metre wide: Fridge freezer widths

Use the buttons below to find a fridge freezer in the ideal width for the available space in your kitchen:

Almost all integrated fridge freezers are 54-57cm wide to fit into a standard cupboard. You can find built-in models outside of this range to fit custom-built kitchen cabinets, but they�re much less common.

Choosing the right depth

The final consideration in terms of the size of your new fridge freezer is its depth. Freestanding and American fridge freezers tend to vary between around 54cm and 75cm deep, whilst integrated models tend to be 54-55cm in depth as standard.


How to measure for a fridge freezer

Measuring for a fridge freezer is a fairly quick and straightforward process. If you�re going for a freestanding or American model, first measure the height, width, and depth of the available space. Next, check the dimensions of the product and make sure it�ll fit where you plan to position it.

When measuring up for an integrated fridge freezer, follow the steps below to ensure your new appliance fits neatly into your cabinet:

  1. Check that the split of the fridge freezer matches your kitchen units so that the cabinet doors line up with those of the appliance.
  2. Measure the height of the space inside your cabinet.
  3. Look at the height of each fridge freezer as you shop to make sure it�ll fit into the cabinet space � the heights can sometimes vary, so take your time with this part.
  4. Measure the width of the space inside the kitchen unit.
  5. Check the width of the appliances you�re looking at, ensuring that they�re not too wide or too narrow for the space (most integrated fridge freezers fall into a standardised width range, but it�s still worth checking to make sure you�re not caught out!)
  6. The majority of built-in fridge freezers are 54-55cm deep to fit seamlessly into a standard kitchen cabinet. That said, check the depth of your cupboard space and the appliances you look at just to be sure.

Measuring for a replacement built-in fridge freezer

If you�re replacing an integrated fridge freezer, the easiest option is to check the split, height, width, and depth of your current one and find a model that matches.

In this case, you�ll also want to take a look at the door hinge mechanism to see if it�s sliding or fixed (remember that it�s easier to replace like with like or swap a sliding for a fixed mechanism). Integrated fridge freezer replacement

Features to look out for

When you�re looking to buy a new fridge freezer, you�ll come across a range of useful features that can improve the performance of your appliance and make your life that bit easier. Let�s explore some of the functionalities you might want to look out for.

Smart

Smart technology

Some modern fridge freezers come with smart technology, which uses Wi-Fi connectivity to sync your smartphone and your appliance together (often via an app). Some smart fridge freezers will let you use your phone to check the contents of the fridge. Other useful Wi-Fi features include notifications when food is about to go out of date and alerts if the door is left open.

Ice and water dispenser

Ice and water dispensers

Many American-style fridge freezers come with built-in dispensers, giving you cool, filtered drinking water and ice at the touch of a button. You�ll also find this feature on certain freestanding appliances. All you need to decide is whether you�d like a plumbed or non-plumbed model � would you prefer to draw the water from the mains or refill the storage tank yourself?

Freezer guard

Freezer guard technology

If you�re short on room in your kitchen, a fridge freezer in a garage or utility room can provide you with much-needed overflow space. But without freezer guard technology, the freezer part of your appliance can malfunction when temperatures drop. We offer a range of fridge freezers that can operate in cold environments � some can even work with external temperatures as low as -15�C.

Frost free

Frost-free technology

Ever noticed ice building up inside your freezer? This can be really annoying, particularly when you have to dig through layers of ice to see what frozen food you�ve got in. Frost-free technology addresses this issue by keeping the air inside your fridge freezer moving around with a fan. The constant movement of air helps to prevent moisture from sticking to things and forming ice.

Auto defrost

Auto defrost

Auto defrost performs the same function as frost-free technology but in the fridge compartment of your appliance. Here, a hole towards the bottom of the fridge collects all of the condensation that forms from moisture in the air. This stops droplets of water from sitting on the shelves and food in your fridge compartment, helping to prevent ice from forming.

Quick freeze

Quick freeze

Quick freeze mode is perfect for situations in which you need food frozen fast � the ideal solution for when you come home from the shops with ice cream and other frozen goods that are just starting to thaw out. Once activated, the quick freeze setting works by rapidly lowering the temperature of your freezer compartment to create the right conditions for your food.

Antibacterial lining

Antibacterial lining

Some fridge freezers feature an antibacterial lining inside the fridge compartment. This is specially formulated to stop potentially harmful bacteria from accumulating inside your appliance, which in turn helps to keep unpleasant odours to a minimum. The antibacterial lining isn�t a replacement for cleaning altogether, but will help to keep your fridge freezer smelling fresh in between cleans.

Holiday mode

Holiday mode

Going to be away from home for a while? Some fridge freezers have a holiday mode that�s perfect for a situation like this. Once you�ve emptied out all of your food, simply active this setting and leave the appliance switched on. Whilst you�re away, the temperature inside the fridge freezer will be regulated at an energy-efficient level to ensure you don�t come back to any unpleasant odours.



Fridge freezer energy ratings

If you�re after an environmentally friendly fridge freezer � or one that�ll save you money on running costs � then it�s a good idea to check out the energy ratings of appliances as you shop.

Fridge freezers now use the new energy rating system, which rates the energy efficiency of appliances on a scale of A to G (with A being the most energy efficient). You can learn more about the changes to the energy rating system in our helpful guide to the new energy ratings.


Choosing your brand

Once you know what you�re looking for in your new fridge freezer, you might want to consider which brand you�ll choose. As with most appliance types, there are loads of different makes available when you�re shopping for a fridge freezer. You could either choose from your favourite brand or pick out one that offers all the features you�d like your appliance to have.

Explore the wide selection of fridge freezer brands available at Marks Electrical:



Choosing your colour

When it comes to picking a colour of fridge freezer, your choice will of course impact the look of your kitchen, but there are also practical considerations like how easy it�ll be to clean. For example, if you have young kids and you�re worried about the appliance showing up dirty fingerprints, then a darker colour or matte finish might be the right option for you.

There�s a huge range of different colours to choose from. Whatever the style and theme of our kitchen d�cor, you�re sure to find a fridge freezer in the right shade to complement it.

Use the buttons below to find a fridge freezer in your chosen colour:



Fridge freezer FAQs

Below, we�ve provided answers to some fridge freezer FAQs that customers ask us. If you can�t find the information you�re looking for here, don�t worry � just get in touch.

What is an integrated fridge freezer?

An integrated fridge freezer sits neatly tucked away inside your kitchen cabinets. As the cupboard door conceals the front of these appliances, they blend seamlessly into your kitchen and create a sleek contemporary look. You�ll find a wide range of built-in fridge freezers in our selection.

What is a freestanding fridge freezer?

Freestanding fridge freezers stand on their own rather than fitting inside your kitchen cabinets. As a result, you�ll be able to find freestanding models that are taller and wider than built-in ones. You can also take them with you easily if you move house. Take a look at our range of freestanding fridge freezers.

When should I replace my fridge freezer?

You could reduce your bills and save money in the long-term by replacing an old, inefficient appliance with a new A-rated one. Some people also decide to get a new fridge freezer so they can benefit from useful innovations like smart technology.

If you�re not looking for an upgrade, your fridge freezer can last for as long as 15 to 20 years. Before the 15-year mark, you may notice certain signs that your appliance is failing. These could include:

  • Excessive condensation on the inside or outside of the appliance;
  • Food not lasting as long as it should;
  • The fridge is hot to the touch at the back;
  • Frost is building up in the fridge or freezer compartment;
  • A change in the amount of noise it produces (either it gets much louder or quieter).

If you notice any of these signs, contact a fridge freezer repair specialist. They�ll be able to advise you whether your appliance can be fixed or if it�s time for a new one.

Which fridge-freezer split should I go for?

If you don�t keep a lot of frozen goods in the house and would prefer to have the extra fridge space, then an 80/20 or 70/30 might be the way to go. At the other end of the scale, you could choose a 50/50 fridge freezer for an equal division between the two compartments or a 60/40 for a slightly larger fridge than freezer.

How long should a new fridge freezer stand before turning on?

Your fridge freezer can sometimes get jolted about slightly in transit, so it�s best to give your new appliance some time to settle before plugging it in and turning it on.

Ask your delivery driver whether it was transported upright or on its side. If it came upright, leave it to settle for an hour in an upright position; if your fridge freezer was laid down in transit, stand it up and give it at least four hours before using it.

When can I put food in my new fridge freezer?

Once you�ve allowed your new fridge freezer to settle in an upright position for four hours, you can turn it on and put food in it straight away.

How do I install my integrated fridge freezer?

Unless you feel confident with installing the hinge mechanism on your new built-in fridge freezer, we recommend leaving this to your kitchen fitter. They will know which type of door hinge to use and will have experience in fitting them.

Can I keep my fridge freezer in a garage, utility room, or outbuilding?

Keeping a fridge freezer in one of these locations can provide you with the overflow space you need. That said, if you plan to store your appliance in a place that gets very cold in the winter, it�s important to choose an appliance with freezer guard technology.

We stock a range of appliances that are suitable to keep in a garage, utility room, or outbuilding. Explore our range of fridge freezers with freezer guard technology to find the ideal model for you.

How much does a fridge freezer cost to run?

This depends on how much you pay for electricity as well as the size, type, and energy rating of your fridge freezer. Recent data from Which? shows that freestanding fridge freezers cost an average of �48 per year to run, whilst American-style appliances cost �72 per year on average (around 50% more).

Choosing a fridge freezer with a better energy rating will save you money on energy bills � A-rated appliances are the best option for your budget and the environment.

How long do fridge freezers last?

Fridge freezers can last for as long as 15 to 20 years.

You can improve your appliance�s lifespan by looking out for signs that it�s not performing as it should and getting it fixed if required. Some things to look out for include:

  • Excessive condensation on the inside or outside of the appliance;
  • Food not lasting as long as it should;
  • The fridge is hot to the touch at the back;
  • Frost is building up in the fridge or freezer compartment;
  • A change in the amount of noise it produces (either it gets much louder or quieter).

If you notice any of these signs, contact a fridge freezer repair specialist. They�ll be able to advise you whether your appliance can be fixed or if it�s time for a new one.

How can I dispose of my old fridge freezer?

The insulation and refrigerant in your old fridge freezer can be harmful, so it�s important to dispose of it responsibly. Many people choose to have their old appliance collected by the company that delivers the new one. Other options include contacting your local council to collect it or taking it to a nearby recycling centre.



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