As the technology behind fridges evolves, it’s allowing us to get more from our food. Refrigerators now come with touchscreens that will enable you to view your food without opening the door, as well as features that give recommendations, blog notes and recipes.
Smart refrigerators also use a feature called demand response to talk to local utilities and optimize their internal processes. This can save you money on your power bill.
The capacity of your fridge is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your next appliance. Choose a model that provides enough storage space for your cooking habits and the number of people living in your home.
A 150 to 250-litre refrigerator should suffice for a small family, while a larger unit will be needed for families of four or more. You also need to factor in the size of the entryway into your kitchen and the space in front of it so doors and drawers can open without getting dinged.
The best way to measure the actual capacity of your fridge is to do a cubic foot calculation using its length, width and depth. Then add a half inch of space on all sides to allow for ventilation. The best fridges are the ones that fit your space with ease and provide you with all the features you expect. The right model will save you money and make your life easier.
Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)
The energy efficiency rating (EER) of a fridge is a great way to see how efficiently the appliance uses power. The higher the EER, the more energy efficient it is.
In the United States, EER is a measure of cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The coefficient of performance (COP) is a more universal unit-less measure of efficiency, but the SEER rating is still widely used.
ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use at least 15% less energy than required by the federal standard, and are eligible for rebates. These are the most energy-efficient refrigerators on the market.
A good rule of thumb is to look for an ENERGY STAR refrigerator, and check the power savings label on the front to find the model with the lowest energy usage number. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Water and Ice Dispenser
Adding an ice dispenser to your fridge adds convenience, making it easy for you to grab some freshly-made ice right when you need it. This can help you save time by not having to constantly monitor the ice supply and refill ice trays.
Similarly, an ice dispenser can make it easier for you to prepare a refreshing glass of water whenever you need it. This can increase the chances that you’ll drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which is good for you and your business.
Self-contained ice and water dispensers are a great option for office break rooms and hospitals because they can produce between 100-700 lbs of ice a day without having to hire a full-time serving staff. They’re also a great option for cafes, delis and other places that don’t have a lot of space for ice trays.
Most refrigerators with built-in ice and water dispensers will require your home’s kitchen water supply to function properly. You may need to replace or clean the filter to keep it running effectively.
The controls on a fridge are designed to help keep the temperature inside consistent. That helps save energy and avoid unnecessary defrost cycles.
Your fridge’s cooling system has a few different controls that monitor the internal temperature, and control the fan motors that circulate air inside the unit. One is a temperature sensor or thermistor that sits near the air inlet and sends signals to the control board.
Another is an air inlet damper or baffle that prevents hot air from leaking into the food-holding part of your fridge, and keeps cold air in. A damaged or malfunctioning air inlet damper control can lead to a too-cold fridge.
Some refrigerators come with “smart” controls that self-diagnose problems and notify you if there’s a problem, making service repair less time-consuming and costly. These smart controls can also alert you when the door opens unexpectedly and shut off the water if it starts to leak.