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Fridge freezer buyer's guide

Aside from your sink, the fridge may be the most important appliance in your kitchen - you could probably last longer without a cooker than you could without somewhere to store fresh food. However, not everyone considers them a feature of the kitchen; a large cabinet fridge may be part of the modern kitchen look, but you may be more inclined to hide your fridge away with a country-style kitchen.

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What is a fridge freezer?

They are a combined unit which compromises of a fridge and a freezer, each separate to ensure they serve their intended purposes! They are typically upright units and are available in many different styles and features can vary greatly. Read on for a further explanation.

Size

Perhaps more than any other appliance you may buy for your kitchen, what type of fridge you choose is about achieving a balance between space and need. You want the space in your fridge to comfortably accommodate plenty of items, so that you can buy in bulk each week to keep your costs down. You also should also allow for a little extra space so that leftovers can be safely stored to avoid wastage.

However, accommodating a large fridge may not be as easy as you think. To add an extra difficulty, you need to think about how your food storage is typically distributed between fridge and freezer. Freezer units are useful for bulk-buying, but this may depend on the type of food you eat.

American style

A large cabinet fridge (often referred to as American style) combines your fridge and freezer in one place but takes up a lot of space - even when using a slightly smaller model that can be placed inside a kitchen unit - and there is typically no room for anything above it.

Integrated

Smaller cabinet units may be a better option for those looking to maximise their space. There are various sizes on offer, and here at Wren we can integrate them into a suitable kitchen unit. If you have a small pantry, storing a small cabinet or chest freezer in here will save you valuable kitchen space.

Measure up

Fridge sizes are typically recorded in litre capacity, but the specific height, width and depth measurements will likely be far more useful to you when designing your kitchen, so look out for these.

Measuring your existing fridge will give you a good benchmark from which to work from, and should help you work out how much extra storage space a large model would provide.

Fridge Freezer

Style

While small cabinet fridges hidden away in the units serve a functional purpose, freestanding larger cabinet units are obviously more conspicuous, so you'll want a style which fits in with your overall aesthetic. A retro coloured plastic fridge with chrome detailing is ideal for a retro kitchen, for example, whereas a sleek stainless steel model - with a built-in ice machine is more in keeping with a modern look.

Ratings

Another thing to look out for is the energy rating. Fridges and freezers are on all the time and consume a large amount of energy to keep things cold.

All fridges and freezers now have an energy rating of A to G, with A++ models being the most efficient. As a general rule, more energy efficient means better technology, which is likely to mean you pay a bit more. However, you will make this back through reduced energy bills throughout the lifetime of the appliance, and you'll be doing your bit for the environment, too.

Freezer units also have ratings - the stars indicate its freezing capacity. One star means the unit is only capable of making ice, whereas four stars means the freezer will go to a temperature of -18C and is thus suitable for freezing fresh food.

Extras

Modern fridge and freezer units come with a variety of added extras. Some act as flexible solutions, having adjustable shelving and door racks so you can comfortably accommodate items of varying size. While others are practical, having LCD displays showing the fridge temperature and alarms which provide an alert tone when the fridge has accidentally been left open. Other extra features include shelves made from antibacterial materials which are easy to wipe clean, making sure conditions in your fridge remain sanitary.

Wren's wide range of fridge and freezer units comes from our selected pattern manufacturers: Matrix, Bosch and Neff. This means that whatever model you choose for your kitchen, you're assured of a top-quality appliance that will remain a key component of your dream kitchen for years to come.