How to select a fridge?

One thing about this whole reno process… so many decisions to make… starting from the place you decided to buy, to the materials and fixtures and furniture, plants, appliances, colours…

Anyway, back to fridge, my IDs tasked us to let them know which fridge we’ve selected so that they can cater for the space in the kitchen.

After a week of looking at dozens of fridge models, we are not much wiser on which one to buy.  Some considerations we/I had:

1. Side-by-side, top freezer or bottom freezer?

I generally don’t like bottom freezers cos it’s just one big drawer.  So that means the meat, ice and ice cream gets all mixed up and… yucky.  Tho there are a few bottom freezers with separate compartments, those models (that also fit our other requirements) are hard to find.

Side-by-sides…  For the longest time, I was fairly resistant to the idea cos of the ‘cake factor’.  What’s a ‘cake factor’?  Well, imagine a big cake and then imagine if you can slot that into the fridge shelves… so most side-by-sides can’t fit big cakes right?  Plus all the extra large freezer capacity seems to come at the expense of the fridge space.

So that leaves the traditional top freezer which is my fav config, tho I won’t rule out the other configs.


2. Energy efficiency

Some of the salesmen I’ve encountered actually scoffed (yeah, so totally pissed me off from buying anything from them) when I say I want a ‘4 ticks’ fridge, but it’s actually quite a critical consideration for me.  I think using energy efficient appliances is a fairly effortless way to do a little bit for the environment.

For those who never really paid attention (like me!) until you had to buy appliances, the  ‘ticks’ refers to the energy labels.   “Since 1 January 08, registrable goods must carry energy labels under the Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA).

The energy labels look something like this: (you can find out how to read the label from HERE)

You can also check whether the model of fridge/dryer/aircon you were eyeing is energy efficient or not by using NEA’s online database HERE.


3. Fridge technology

I’m not so sure about this, but I think inverter or not makes a diff… something like inverter vs non-inverter aircon.  I’m not really into the technical stuff, so I’ll skip the tech stuff and move on to…


4. Capacity

For some strange reason, I settled on the ‘magic’ number of 500 litres fairly early on… I think it’s cos I’ve seen too many people who bought dinky little fridges when they were couples, only to regret the lack of storage later when the family expands.  500L seems to be a good size.  For a couple, it’s rather big, but then we can fill it up with all sorts of drinks so I think it’s ok… 🙂

Anyway, deciding on the capacity helps to narrow the field of potentials a lot. +/- 500L it is then…


5. Frills and gimmicks

You know what I mean right?  Those terminology like ‘nano’ something or other, easy adjustable shelves… problem is… it gets too technical for me to compare and try to understand what it means, so I generally ignore them. 😛

There’s also auto ice makers and chilled water dispensers… but since I think those (i) break down more easily & (ii) are not hygenic cos I’ve no idea how to clean the water tubes/pipes in the fridge, they become a ‘turn-off’ rather than an attraction.

Anti-mould seals seems to be a good feature tho.


6. Fridge interior design

Mostly about the number and types of compartments… sliding drawers or not…  again, I’m not bothered except that I prefer those fridge with fewer compartments.   Otherwise it becomes a treasure hunt wondering where I’ve kept that last can of coke right? 😛


7. Fridge exterior design

Ok, so this is one of those stuff I get hung up over.  Colours are usually fairly routine… silver, stainless steel, white, red, black or some faux wood.  Anyway our IDs told us silver or white is ok, tho we are keeping an eye out for white if we can.

My major bugbear being… HANDLES!  Gosh, why do some brands have such ugly handles??? Don’t the designers realise that it’s the part that gets seen and handled the most?  Anyway, so I find a fridge that more or less fits all criteria, and then it’s got ugly handles? Sigh, what a let down. 😦


8. Reliability

It’s important, but I don’t know how to find out about reliability since there are no stats on repairs.  In lieu of that, I fall back on the usual… German or Japanese brands if possible. 😛


9. Price

Hmm… I tend to forgot the $-factor in the excitement of shopping, but yeah, the reality is that price does play a part else I’ll just go n get one of those ridiculously expensive German fridges… hopefully <$1K.


Ok, so finally, what are the options after whittling thru the models?  Well, having a ‘4 ticks’ criteria has certainly reduced the models we can pick…

1. LG GR-B208BVQ

Features: White, inverter compressor, side-by-side, LED light, anti-mould door seals, R600A refrigerant with natural gas, net capacity = 528 (Freezer = 180, Refrigerator = 348), dimensions = W894xH1753xD725

Pros: Colour (white), energy saving, inverter, 10 year warranty on compressor & it even comes with a little plastic rack for wine.

Cons: Price, width, brand (Korean)


2. Hitachi R-Z582EMS/ R-Z582EMSX

Features: S/S or silver, anti-mould door seals, net capacity = 475 (Freezer = 134, Refrigerator = 341), dimensions = W740 x H1,795 x D710

Pros: Price, brand (Japanese), width (takes up less valuable counter space)

Cons: Handles (really ugly ones), colour (white not available)


There are a few others that we are still considering, but either the price point or energy efficiency is keeping them from the shortlist for now.

2 thoughts on “How to select a fridge?

  1. Hello! Strikingreality here. 🙂 Love reading through your blog! Just a thought on fridge capacity – it also depends on how frequently you go marketing… if you’re the kind who shops on a daily basis, then you don’t need too big a fridge as you won’t be stocking up that much, as compared to someone who shops a week.

    My mom somehow manages with a 375L fridge for a family of 4-5, even though she shops only 2 times a week.

    • @SR: Hiya, thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your fridge experience. 🙂
      We will use the fridge as a ‘drinks’ fridge I guess since we don’t really cook much – may entertain more at our new place tho since we got more space and it’s pretty centrally located. And we are the seldom shop type so just periodic (monthly?) stock-ups on drinks and other rubbish. Anyways we got the Hitachi. Still hate the handle, but it fits all other criteria other than aesthetics. Energy efficient, spacious shelves & top freezer compartment. 🙂

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