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BEST FEATURES TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A NEW FRIDGE

Fridge buying guide: the best features to consider when buying a new fridge

The fridge is the mainstay of any kitchen, and picking the right one to fit your needs is essential. Whether you cook a lot and store fresh ingredients, or use it as a storage for snacks and leftovers, or simply for drinks and goodies during parties, the fridge is the most important appliance for any kitchen. But with so many options for fridges today, how does one find the perfect fridge? It’s easy to be overwhelmed wandering around the show floor peering into tens of fridges, but the decision can be easily condensed into these things to consider: freezer location, size, price and other features. 

Fridge Types: Top freezer or bottom freezer? 

One main consideration for any fridge is the location of the freezer. Traditionally, most fridges here have freezers taking up the top section of the fridge. This is because cool air sinks, and fridges can utilise this property to be more energy efficient by having vents in the freezer enabling freezing air to trickle into the regular section of the fridge. 

Yet that might sometimes pose a problem, as that means strong odours, such as that from durian,  might circulate all around the fridge. The newest bunch of top freezer fridges, however, have stuck with the traditional design while solving this issue of circulating air. The Samsung RT32K503ASL/SS 2 door fridge (RRP $999, now $749) and Samsung RT46K6237BS/SS 2 door fridge (RRP $1,599, now $1,199), for instance, come with the Twin Cooling Plus feature which cools both the freezer and fridge compartments with two separate, independent systems. This way, the smell of my frozen durian doesn’t contaminate the rest of my fridge. Having two systems also means my freezer remains much cooler, allowing me to keep food fresh for longer. Both fridges let you tweak the compartments for your own use. If you don’t have much frozen food, the freezer can be converted into a fridge for more space to store fresh foods.

Samsung Fridges with Twin Cooling Plus SystemSamsung Fridges with Twin Cooling Plus System
The Samsung RT32K503ASL/SS (left) and Samsung RT46K6237BS/SS (right) feature Samsung’s Twin Cooling Plus system to keep food cooler and fresher for longer periods of time.

Another option to consider is a bottom freezer fridge such as the Samsung RL4354RBABS/SS 2 door fridge (RRP $1,499, now $1,299). Such fridges tend to be more convenient for everyday use. More often than not, you will open the main fridge compartment more times  each day than the freezer compartment. A bottom freezer fridge thus puts the fridge section higher up and closer to eye level, making it easier to reach in for a drink or snack.

Not only does the freezer come with cool storage options, but the fridge as well, with a foldable shelf that maximises storage space. If you have a large or thin item, like a cake or a bottle of wine, the top shelf can fold into half to provide you with that extra space. Once that’s done, you can fold the shelf back down and use it as another organising layer.

Samsung RL4354RBABS/SS Fridge with bottom freezerSamsung RL4354RBABS/SS Fridge with bottom freezer
A bottom freezer model like the Samsung RL4354RBABS/SS is an option to consider if you want the convenience of the fridge section closer to your eye level.

Fridge Size 

Another important factor to consider is the size of the fridge, which will vary accordingly to household size. The Samsung RT32K503ASL/SS has a gross storage capacity of 330L, while the larger Samsung RT46K6237BS/SS can store up to 473L. The first fridge is a good all-round size for a couple or a household of three; while those with four or more can opt for the bigger option. 

The medium-sized Samsung RL4354RBABS/SS, with a storage capacity of up to 436L, fits nicely in most kitchens. If you don’t mind bending down to retrieve frozen items and prefer the convenience of the regular fridge portion nearer to your eye level, then it is a fridge for serious consideration. The bottom freezer comes with three shelves to further help you organise your food and make sure you aren’t bending for too long. 

Of course, the larger the fridge, the pricier it is. The bigger Samsung RT46K6237BS/SS does come with slightly more features too, giving you more bang for your buck. It comes with Power Freeze and Power Cool options for the freezer and fridge respectively, which rapidly lowers the temperature for a short period of time in order to chill things faster. This feature is a lifesaver at parties when I need to restock on cold drinks and snacks, or just on really hot days when you need a cool drink immediately. 

The Samsung RT46K6237BS/SS also has the added advantage of Easy Slide shelves, where the fridge shelves are built on rolling hinges allowing them to slide in and out. This is a lifesaver when I am packing my fridge or storing groceries, as I can easily maximise space and utilise the back of the shelves without needing to stretch and reach in deep. 

LG Fridges

 LG, too, carries a good range of top freezer fridges with their own unique functionalities. The LG GTB4387PZ 2 door fridge (RRP $1,499, now $1,199) and LG GTM5097PZ 2 door fridge (RRP $1,699, now $1,399) are pretty similar, with both being top-freezer fridges. The former is smaller than the latter, with a gross storage capacity of 472L compared to the GTM5097PZ’s 547L capacity. 

Both fridges come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing them to connect to the Internet. By using the Smart ThinQ app on my phone, I am able to monitor my fridge’s temperature and performance. It even notifies me if I accidentally leave the fridge door open. And should - heaven forbid - anything go wrong, the app is able to diagnose any potential problems and request help directly from customer service. A touch LED display on the exterior of the fridge provides information such as temperature at a glance with a quick tap.

LG GTM5097PZ 2 door fridgeLG GTM5097PZ 2 door fridge
The large LG GTM5097PZ 2 door fridge comes with a LED touch display and can be wirelessly connected to the Internet

The fridges use LG’s Inverter Linear Compressor, which uses fewer components than conventional compressors. This leads to fewer friction points due to fewer moving parts, resulting in a fridge that makes less noise. The HygieneFresh air filter keeps food smelling fresh and bacteria out of the fridge, which makes storing leftovers and fresh food that much more easy on the mind. 

Both the GTB4387PZ and GTM5097PZ cool their contents in a rather unique way. I noticed two cooling vents by the side of the fridge near where the door closes, and this Door Cooling+ feature on LG’s fridges is able to cool the fridges’ interiors in a faster, more even manner. It maintains temperature more evenly and cools the fridge 35% faster after you close the door, as the vents near the door circulate air more efficiently.

LG GTB4387PZLG GTB4387PZ
The vents on the side of the LG GTB4387PZ help cool the fridge faster after the door has been open and shut thanks to LG’s Door Cooling+ technology.

Summary 

If you are anything like me, the fridge is a happy place - where food, snacks, drinks and treats hang out ready for consumption. A fridge that’s the right size for your kitchen, and which gives  you the greatest convenience and cools your food the best, will greatly help with that. Top freezer fridges are still the most commonplace and provide a great cost-to-space balance, while bottom freezer fridges are for those who use the fridge compartment far more than storing frozen items.

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