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What You Should Take Note of Before Buying a New Fridge

Buying a new fridge? Here’s how to choose the right one for you.

Whether you’re a budding masterchef or a casual cook, fridges are a must-have for your kitchen. But what exactly should you keep an eye out for when shopping for one? Let’s take a look at some of the basic considerations of buying a fridge in Singapore.

Fridge configuration

There may be some fridges out there in the market with fancy door configurations, but you only really need to familiarise yourself with these 4 basic types:

1. The top-freezer fridge

Jurong East Street 21 by Anhans Interior Design
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As its name suggests, the top-freezer fridge is a single column appliance where the freezer is located at the top. These fridges tend to be smaller, so if you’re tight on space, this configuration is the one for you. However, the tradeoff for that is limited storage capacity.

  • The most affordable fridge type
  • Larger fridge compartment space
  • More energy-efficient than other fridges types
  • Fridge compartment is below eye level
  • Smaller capacity than other fridge types

Recommended if:

  • You live alone or only with your spouse
  • Your kitchen is small
  • You have a tight budget

2. Bottom-freezer fridge

East Delta @ Canberra by Visionary Interior
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The bottom-freezer is an inverted version of the top-freezer refrigerator. This configuration means that the fridge compartment will be nicely positioned around eye level, ensuring that you’ll be able to take items out with ease.

But the downside is that these fridges tend to be pricier and are less energy efficient. The freezer is also located below eye level, meaning you'll have to regularly bend over to load and unload your items there.

  • Fridge space is at eye level
  • Larger freezer capacity than top-freezer fridges
  • Pricier than top-freezer fridges
  • Generally less energy efficient
  • Freezer compartment is below eye level

Recommended if:

  • You want a more accessible fridge compartment
  • You need more freezer storage space

3. Side-by-side fridge

Havelock Road by Apex Studios
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Double door side-by-side refrigerators have the fridge compartment on one side and the freezer on the other. Apart from having more vertical storage space, such models are more suitable for tighter kitchens since the doors are typically narrower than that of a single-door fridge and take up less space when open.

Such fridges tend to come with nifty features as well, like built-in ice dispensers and touchscreen interface panels. But of course, that usually translates into a higher price tag.

  • Freezer and fridge space are both at eye level
  • Larger freezer capacity
  • Reduced door swing clearance
  • Tends to come with additional features like an ice dispenser
  • Pricey
  • Bulky build
  • Narrower fridge space
  • Less energy-efficient

Recommended if:

  • Your household consists of 3-4 people
  • Your kitchen has limited floor space
  • You prefer having your items within arms’ reach

4. French door fridge

Hougang Street 91 by Builders Plus
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A French door fridge is essentially what you get when you combine a bottom-freezer fridge and a side-by-side one. This modern refrigerator design features two doors that conceal the fridge space, and at least one freezer drawer below or on top.

Like the side-by-side fridge, one of the main advantages of this fridge model is that it’s space-saving. They also prevent too much cold air from escaping, since you only need to open one door to get what you want. However, do note that it’ll still consume more power than top-freezer fridges due to its bigger build.

  • Prevents excessive cold air from spilling out
  • Large fridge and freezer areas
  • Easier access to fridge space
  • Minimal swing door clearance
  • Tends to come with additional features like ice dispensers
  • Pricey
  • Takes up more floor space
  • Higher power consumption
  • Freezer is usually located below eye level

Recommended if:

  • Your household consists of 4 or more people
  • You require a larger fridge or more freezer space
  • You prefer a more modern design

Fridge capacity

Bukit Batok West Avenue 9 by ChengYi Interior Design
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Generally, the more people you have in your home, the bigger your fridge should be – but do keep in mind that larger fridges tend to be more expensive.

Here are the recommended fridge sizes per household:

  • 1-2 pax: 300 to 400 litres
  • 3-4 pax: 400 to 500 litres
  • 5+ pax: 450 litres or more

You should also consider the dimensions of your new fridge (length, wide, and height). As a rule of thumb, be sure to leave around 50mm between the wall and fridge – doing so provides enough space for ventilation and prevents overheating.

Energy efficiency

Buying a new fridge
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Source: Singapore Statutes Online

In Singapore, you can easily find an energy-efficient fridge by keeping an eye out for models with the National Environment Agency (NEA)’s energy label which shows a tick rating – the more ticks there are (up to a maximum of four for fridges), the better your refrigerator is at keeping your home’s electricity bill down.

Additional features (e.g. smart functions, water dispenser)

Bedok Reservoir Road by Jubilee Interior
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Modern-day refrigerators are fitted with all manner of bells and whistles, so you’ll have to decide which ones are useful and which aren’t. Here are some of the additional features you may find:

  • A water and/or ice dispenser
  • Smart functions: allows your fridge to connect to Wi-Fi, which gives you access to features such as an expiration date checker, a virtual bulletin board, and even your favourite music streaming platform while cooking up a storm.
  • Temperature-controlled drawers: lets you control the temperature of the drawer independently from the rest of the refrigerator - great for food like dairy, wine, and even herbs.
  • Dual evaporators: gives you control over the temperature within the freezer and refrigerator separately
  • Crispers: uses air filters to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for much longer

Colour and finish of the fridge

Dawson by Happe Design Atelier
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While stainless steel fridges are classic, they’re not the only option in terms of colour and finish. These days, you can even find fridges with different colours, a black matte finish, and even one made from glass! It all boils down to your preferred home aesthetic.

Have you decided on the right fridge for your home?

Hopefully, this little guide has made the process of choosing a fridge much easier. To summarise, these are the things you should look out for:

  • Configuration
  • Capacity
  • Energy consumption
  • Additional features
  • Design

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