Your fridge is one of the few appliances that runs 24/7, 365 days a year. So if you’re buying a new fridge, or even looking to rent one, you need to make sure you get one that’s practical, reliable and energy efficient.
There are a number of factors you need to consider when shopping for a new fridge such as size, capacity, style and running costs. Choosing the right fridge can end up saving you a lot of money in terms of running, maintenance and repair costs down the road.
So let’s have a look at what you need to consider if you‘re buying a new fridge or even thinking about fridge rental.
What Size Do you Need?
When it comes to choosing the size of fridge, there’s a few factors you need to consider. While it may be tempting to go for the biggest fridge possible, a large fridge will cost more to run. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a properly stocked fridge is more energy efficient than an empty fridge, since it takes more energy to cool a large amount of empty space.
On the flipside, an over-packed fridge may not cool properly, as the airflow can be impeded by the contents of the fridge. So, if you opt for a fridge that’s too small, it may not cool as it should.
In general, an average one- to two-person household wouldn’t need a fridge bigger than 380L. For three to four people, 530L is likely to be the maximum space required. Once you start getting five or more people, you need to really look at how you use your fridge and freezer space. Some households of five or more manage with 440L but others need extra room.
Don’t forget to take into consideration the space you have available in your home for your fridge when picking a size. You may want to make full use of your alcove space by squeezing in the largest possible fridge. However, it’s important to leave some space around the fridge to help with ventilation. Fridge motors generate quite a bit of heat and without proper ventilation space, your fridge will need to work harder to keep everything cool.
What Style Do you Want?
Fridges come in a range of styles. Depending on your requirements, some styles may be better suited to your home than others.
Top-mounted fridges are those where the freezer compartment sits on top. These are generally the cheapest fridges to run and you have a lot of options to choose from. The main disadvantage with this style is the inconvenience of having to bend down every time you want to get something out of the lower half of the fridge.
These fridges have the freezer compartment at the bottom. Since people tend to use the freezer less than the fridge, this design makes sense from a practical point of view. There’s less bending down and more of the fridge is at eye level. However, this style can be more expensive to run than top-mounted fridges.
A side-by-side fridge has the freezer and fridge next to one another. You’re more likely to get additional features with these larger fridges, but storage can be an issue. While they are bigger, the space inside can be narrow. Additionally, internal temperatures can sometimes be inconsistent.
What are its Running Costs?
For the average Australian household, fridges make up around 8% of the power bill. This number can change depending on the appliance’s star rating. Appliances with a high star rating can be more expensive to purchase up front, but they will be more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run. Under the star rating, look for the energy consumption information. Using this, you can calculate the fridge’s yearly running cost.
It’s also worth factoring in maintenance costs. Make sure you read reviews for any models you’re interested in. You not only want a fridge that uses as little energy as possible but one that’s reliable. An unreliable fridge may use more power than needed at times or have to be repaired regularly.
What Features do you Want?
It’s time to start thinking about additional features. There are some that appear in most models, like adjustable shelving, a crisper for fruit and vegetables, a chiller for meats and temperature control. However, there are some luxuries that can come with more expensive models, for instance, a water and ice dispenser or touchscreens and smart software. Think about what you’d like and what you need.
Why Buy when you can Rent?
If you’re worried about buyer’s remorse or you only need temporary additional fridge space, you can look at fridge rental services. This allows you to try before you buy and can even be handy if you like to update your appliances regularly.
Your fridge is one of those appliances that you use every day, so it’s important to get one that suits your needs and won’t break the bank with running costs.