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Fridges: what should you get for your money?

Your refrigerator is one of the home’s key appliances, but deciding on the right one for you can be a tricky task. There are a wide range of fridges on the market today tailored to many different kinds of customers, so it’s important to know exactly what you need from your refrigerator before you invest. Here are some of the essential features to look out for.



Size/capacity

One of the most important considerations is the size of your new fridge. Make sure you think about not only the amount of people it has to cater to – a big family will need a refrigerator with plenty of storage, while a single person or a couple will need less – but also the size of the space it’s going into. However sleek and stylish your new fridge is, it shouldn’t overwhelm your kitchen, so make sure you choose a size that looks proportionate.

Energy efficiency

Although the lower price tag of less economical appliances can appear tempting, stay well away. Energy efficiency labels mark every appliance with a grade based on its rate of consumption, ranging from G to A+++, so spend a little extra and go green; it’ll cost you less in the long run. You won’t find a new refrigerator with anything less than an A+ rating from reputable sellers, and you should still be able to find excellent value for money.

Storage and features

Bottle grips and glass shelves are standard issue for most refrigerators, but other models have specialised storage compartments for various uses – whether it’s a drawer for storing wine at optimum temperature, or even something as simple as an icebox or built-in ice cube maker, you might want to keep an eye out for any unique storage features that suit your specific needs. Most modern refrigerators have adjustable storage, whether to maximise space in the door shelf or to make room for tall bottles in the bottom of the fridge.

Auto-defrost, ice dispensers and anti-bacterial coating are fairly commonplace features, though more upmarket models will have even more advanced versions of these core elements. You’ll need to weigh up the costs of these more expensive refrigerators against the increased convenience you get from them. Certain brands also provide fun and colourful designs that many customers are happy paying more for – from Swan’s retro orange model to Smeg’s stylish black designs, you’d be surprised how much of a statement you can make with an essential appliance.

Reliability and guarantee

While almost all companies that sell refrigerators offer a guarantee with their product, the security of the extended warranty shouldn’t prevent you from shopping around. No showroom can really provide an accurate ‘test drive’ of a refrigerator – you need to know how it holds up after five years, not five minutes – online user reviews offer an invaluable resource that’s also interactive, allowing you to join the discussion yourself. Providing you’ve done your research, the process of buying a new refrigerator can be a relatively stress-free experience, and makes sure you’ll find the best deal possible.

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