Refrigerator Buying Guide: How To Choose The Right Fridge
Is there such a thing as the perfect refrigerator for you? We think so! That’s why we hear from Liam Gawne from leading international appliance manufacturer, Miele, and get his top tips on how to go about selecting the best refrigerator for your household’s needs.
Whether you are a bachelor or a large family, refrigerators are one of your home’s most important appliances. However, not all refrigerators are created equal – there are a number of things that need to be considered – from door style, to energy efficiency, brand and of course size. We speak to refrigerator expert, Liam Gawne, from leading kitchen appliance manufacturer, Miele, for some tips to help you buy the right refrigerator for your individual needs.
Says Liam: “My first point of advice is to choose a trusted brand that has earned a reputation for manufacturing quality and reliable appliances over time, such as Miele for example, which has been involved in manufacturing appliances since 1899. In fact, international awards, Which?, selected Miele as their Large Kitchen Appliance Brand of the Year 2020, thanks to our outstanding long-term commitment to quality, innovation and service.” He says that Investing in a trusted brand will give you peace of mind that you are purchasing a quality refrigerator, and that if the need arises, you will be able to get your appliance serviced and repaired down the line.
“Like all of Miele’s appliances, its range of refrigeration appliances are designed, built and tested to last for a minimum of 20 years. Trusted brands will also be able to offer some kind of guarantee on their products. Miele for example, is the only manufacturer to offer a full warranty of up to 10 years. You will incur no additional cost during this time period for repairs not caused through a fault of your own. You can sign up to the contract anytime during the 2-year manufacturer’s warranty,” Liam explains.
Before you decide on anything, Liam notes that you need to assess what size refrigerator will fit your kitchen space and your needs: “The size of the appliance must not only be adequate for your food storage needs, but it needs to fit into the available space in your kitchen. This is especially important if you are purchasing a refrigerator for an existing kitchen, where the space is already defined. Miele offers a wide variety of sizes – their freestanding refrigerators for example, are available in 55cm, 60cm, 70cm and 75cm wide options.”
Aside from dimensions, the appliance’s holding capacity, which is measured in litres, is also very important to explore, notes Liam: “As a general rule of thumb, 50 -80 litres capacity is adequate for single individuals, 150 – 250 litres is suitable for a family of 3, while 250 – 330 litres and above is ample for a family of 5+. Miele’s smallest unit is a built-under fridge, with a capacity of 137 litres. Thereafter, the units range from 213-litres for a side-by-side integrated unit, right up to a whopping 710-litre capacity featured in its MasterCool range.”
Consider Style and Construction
Now that you know the brand and the size, it is time to narrow down whether you would like a single fridge-freezer, or if you would prefer a side-by-side configuration instead. You also need to consider whether you would prefer a freestanding, integrated or built-under option:
- Freestanding appliances: As well as the design aspect, the advantage of freestanding appliances is that they can be easily taken along when moving and installed in your new kitchen.
- Built-in appliances: If you would like to integrate your refrigeration appliance into the design of your kitchen cabinetry, built-in or integrated appliances are a must-have. Built-in appliances can be fitted with a front panel to match your kitchen cabinetry, or with a Miele stainless steel front so they fit perfectly into your kitchen design.
- Built-under appliances: Built-under appliances can be installed under a worktop and are especially useful in small kitchens, or as extra refrigeration storage in larger kitchen spaces.
Consider Colour and Finish
Colour and finish is another major design consideration, notes Liam: “With the rise in popularity of open-plan living, so is the appearance of our kitchen’s large appliances becoming increasingly more important. This is why integrated appliances are becoming so sought after. However, if you don’t want your refrigerator to blend in with your kitchen cabinetry, then you will need to select which finishes and colours would best complement your kitchen’s décor.”
He says that along with their sleek handleless, linear design, Miele’s refrigeration appliances can integrate into all kinds of kitchen environments thanks to its wide range of high quality materials and colours that are available – these include:
- Brilliant white: For bright kitchens with style, Miele offers freestanding refrigeration appliances with a brilliant white glass front for a sleek and elegant look.
- Obsidian Black: Miele free-standing refrigeration appliances are also available with a high quality glass front in Obsidian Black.
- Stainless steel/CleanSteel: Appliance fronts in CleanSteel stainless steel are characterised by their high-quality appearance and are particularly easy to clean. A special surface finish makes fingerprints virtually invisible on CleanSteel and no special cleaning agents are required.
- Stainless steel look: Miele free-standing refrigeration appliances in stainless steel look are an elegant touch in your kitchen. The lacquered surface works especially well in kitchen designs with matt metal details.
- White: White lacquered refrigeration appliances are the classic option for modern, as well as traditional kitchen designs. They work especially well in light surroundings.
Consider Efficiency and Sustainability
With the ever-rising cost of electricity, investing in an energy efficient refrigerators is essential – not only for your pocket, but seeing that these are one of the only household appliances that runs 24-7-365, it is important for the environment as well. Says Liam: “Only top-quality components, which contribute to low energy consumption as a result of their perfect compatibility are used in Miele refrigeration appliances. These include energy-saving compressors and long-life FlexiLight LEDs, as well as various features such as NoFrost that negates the need to defrost your freezer ever again. As such, most of Miele’s refrigeration appliances boast an A+++ energy rating”
However, he says that it is not just about looking at the appliance’s energy rating: “One should also look at the lifespan of the appliances – Miele’s appliances for example, are designed and tested to last for a minimum of 20 years, which is far longer than the average 7-year lifespan of most appliances. This goes a long way to reducing the overall carbon footprint of the appliance. Also, for more than 10 years now, Miele has been conducting research into complex freshness systems designed to extend the shelf life of our customers’ food products, thus contributing to greater convenience and flexibility while at the same time significantly reducing food waste. Over 70 % of all Miele refrigeration appliances are equipped with a freshness system, including PerfectFresh, PerfectFresh Pro and DailyFresh, offering customers the best way to protect their food and keep it fresh for up to three times longer.”
Consider the added features
Of course, refrigerator appliances come with myriad of interesting added features – aside from the ones that have already been mentioned above, Liam sums up some others that offer best-in-market convenience:
A built-in ice maker: Miele’s fridge-freezer can automatically produce up to 100 fresh ice cubes a day.
Easy cleaning: With Miele’s ComfortClean, door shelves are manufactured from high-quality SAN plastic that is transparent and resistant to scratches, chemicals and extreme temperatures. This also allows them to be easily and hygienically cleaned in the dishwasher.
Gentle closing: With Miele’s SoftClose, if the refrigerator door is at an angle of less than 30°, the door will gently close on its own.
Cleverly networked: Miele’s innovative Miele@home system allows you to network your refrigeration appliances in order to make your everyday life smarter. Operation is simple – whether you use the Miele mobile app, voice control or integration into existing Smart Home Solutions – the appliance can be networked via home Wi-Fi router and the Miele Cloud.
Odourless storage: Food must be stored in an environment that is not only cold, but also odourless. Miele’s Active AirClean Filter boasts a combination of active charcoal and chitosan that eliminates virtually all odours in the refrigeration section.
Dynamic cooling: In addition to temperature, air humidity is also an important factor for perfect storage conditions of food. With Miele’s DynaCool technology, an integrated fan uniformly circulates the air for optimum distribution of temperature and air humidity.
Shop the best brands at one place. Visit Euro Appliances for more.
- Kitchen Designers & Manufacturers