Refrigerators are a long-term purchase yet, unlike many other major home appliances, often the decision is one that consumers make without fully comparing the benefits between the available options. RAJAN GUNGIAH highlights a few need to know tips when buying a fridge.
According to Rajan Gungiah, Business Leader for Digital Appliances at Samsung Electronics SA, the modern refrigerator should address a family’s unique needs.
In recent years, the traditional refrigerator has been reinvented and is now far more than a convenient home appliance pushed into a corner,” he says. “These now make a home d√©cor statement, incorporating a wide variety of smart features and trendy designs.
Which particular model works best often comes down to size, style, budget and energy efficiency. Start by assessing what is needed before committing to a purchase. Don’t base the decision solely on the exterior design of a refrigerator. Instead, consider the family’s shopping, eating and cleaning habits to ensure the best choice.
He highlights the following “need to know” tips to consider when buying and using a refrigerator:
Choose an intelligent design
Seek out smart design features such as high-efficiency LED lighting, which illuminates everything in your fridge and freezer compartments, in order to easily identify the food you need. It utilises 10 times less heat than regular light bulbs, leaving food unaffected by temperature swings and incorporates power-saving, eco-technology that consumes 20 times less power than conventional light bulbs, while lasting twice as long, saving you money.
If one has small children, a stain- and fingerprint-resistant metallic or stainless finish may be more suitable. It is easy to keep clean and will limit fingerprints.
Samsung’s designs include multitasking features across the range, such as water and ice dispensers, fast auto icemakers, big freezer boxes, wine shelves and even reversible doors. The mega capacity 893-litre model, featuring four doors, is intended for a bigger family or for someone who enjoys entertaining, while the smaller freezer combi model – at just 595mm wide – fits into compact kitchens. Stainless steel finishes appeal to the hi-tech members of the family while qualities like silver nano anti-bacterial coating are appreciated by those a little more health conscious.
Measure the space available for a refrigerator and make sure that full advantage is taken of every millimetre in the kitchen layout. Make maximum use of all dimensions: height, width and even depth. For example, choose a counter-depth model to gain a few more precious millimeters of storage space.
Use the appliance wisely
Most compartments in a fridge are there for a reason. For example, crisper drawers, usually near the bottom of the fridge, work well to preserve vegetables. Store dairy and highly perishable items in the main fridge compartment, as the top of the door is always the warmest place in the refrigerator cavity.
Keeping the frequently used items in front means one can simply open and easily remove what is needed. For example, children often tend to hold the door open while looking for snacks, so to ensure no energy is wasted, keep their favourites near eye level. Always remember to store uncooked meat and fish on the bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination.
Don’t forget the freezer. Flexible storage for frozen items is also important. A convenient slide-out drawer offers an extra-deep storage compartment with adjustable rails to maintain separate compartments for meat and fish.
Spills can lead to bacterial build-up
¬∑ Cleaning a refrigerator in a way that will prolong the life of the appliance and ensure overall health is critical – always use a mild detergent and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
¬∑ Cleaning the interior: Remove the drawers and shelves for a more thorough cleaning. Always dry the accessories thoroughly before replacing them back into the refrigerator.
¬∑ Cleaning the exterior: Do not spray water directly on the surface of the refrigerator. It may cause electric shock. Use as little pressure as possible to prevent physical damage to the finish or display panel.
¬∑ Cleaning the rubber door seals: If the rubber door seals are not clean, the doors may not close properly and the refrigerator will not operate efficiently.
¬∑ Cleaning behind the refrigerator: To keep cords and exposed parts free of dust and dirt accumulation, vacuum behind the appliance at least once or twice a year.
Keep a few basic rules in mind
¬∑ Always select the best location for the refrigerator without direct exposure to sunlight and with enough space for the refrigerator doors to open easily.
¬∑ A fridge which is filled to capacity is more energy efficient, because there is less of a temperature fluctuation. Always leave just enough space for the cold air to circulate.
¬∑ Keep at least 100mm of air space behind and at the sides of your refrigerator and 150mm above it. If the refrigerator does not have enough space, the internal cooling system may not work.
¬∑ A refrigerator should not be stored unplugged for extended periods of time. Some units require continuous use to ensure proper lubrication of the compressor. If possible, plug in the refrigerator once every few months and let it run for a couple hours.
¬∑ Keep your refrigerator upright during moving and storage, turning a refrigerator onto its side because oil from the compressor can run up into the filter and get trapped.
¬∑ During a power outage a fridge will stay cold for about 8 hours and a freezer may stay cold for about 48 hours. Don’t open the door unless absolutely necessary.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA