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What to look out for when buying a refrigerator

Refrigerators are a big investment, so you should get one that is just right for your household. Not too big, as it will take up unnecessary electricity and space, and not too small, as it may not fit the amount of groceries the family consumes. 

To decide on the capacity you need, use this guide by Electrolux

 

Family Size Fridge Storage Capacity
One to two people 200 to 380 litres
Three to four 350 to 530 litres
Five and more 400 litres and more

(Interior designer: The Association)

Then, decide which type of fridge is most suitable for you.

A two-door fridge. Top or bottom freezer? The main advantage of one with a bottom freezer is that it lets you grab fruits and veggies without having to stoop down. It's also easy to stack and store frozen food. Top-freezer models are the most traditional and offer a wide range of sizes.

A side-by-side fridge. With a chiller and freezer next to one another, this design is good for people who use both sections frequently. Its slim doors are good for narrow kitchens.

A French door fridge. The chiller section has two doors and the freezer is a bottom pull-out compartment. It's generally wider than most fridges, which makes it ideal if you often have platters of food to chill. 

A multi-door fridge. Useful for organising different food, and saves energy when you open just one door – less cool air escapes. But it is generally smaller in volume than a two-door fridge of the same dimension due to its segmented design.

A door-in-door fridge. Another energy-saving option that lets you pick up items like drinks and condiments from an outer door without having to open up the entire chiller. Good for families with kids who raid the fridge every hour for food. 

(image:The Scientist)

When checking out the fridges, also look for: 
● Smooth-to-pull drawers, a veggie bin and easy-to-adjust foldable shelves (if any). 
● Deep shelves for more space, and to accommodate large cake and pizza boxes.
● The chiller compartment for raw food should ideally be at the bottom rather than the top of the fridge so that any accidental leak of juices of raw meat will not contaminate other food.
● For large fridges, make sure that the top shelf of the chiller or freezer is not too high for you to reach into the back of it. 

This article was originally published in Simply Her February 2015. 

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