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The Buyers Guide to Built in Fridges, Freezers and Fridge Freezers
Avoid common ordering and installation errors.
- Check that the furniture housing you order is compatible with the appliance.
- Do you need built in or built under?
- Make sure you fit an integrated freezer carefully following the instructions with regard to ventilation, especially when the units are fitted to the ceiling.
- Be sure you understand the difference between “frost safe” “frost free”
- Biosafe means keeping food fresher for longer
- Not all fridge and freezer doors are reversible – please check.
“Built in” or “built under”?
There is often confusion about the terms “built in” and “built under”.
Fridges and Freezers are either “freestanding”, “built under” or “built in”. Unfortunately though, a “built under” fridge (or freezer) can also be described as “built in”! This is because it is designed to fit under a worktop, but people think of it as being “built in” to their kitchen. It is confusing to say the least!
Shown below are both types of installation.
Do I need to “vent” my appliance?
The only appliances that normally need ventilation are refrigeration products.
Below are 2 examples showing the ventilation requirements for a freezer and a fridge freezer.
If the furniture is being fitted to the ceiling (i.e. with ceiling scribes), then extra care will need to be taken. A vent in the ceiling scribe AND the plinth will be necessary to allow for the correct air flow.
Please ask if you are unsure about any of the points mentioned above.
There are 5 types of “built in” refrigeration:
- Fridge Freezer
- Wine/drinks Cooler
- American side by side fridge freezers
Fridges can be “built under” or “built in”, and may or may not have a small freezer compartment or icebox. These products are always fully integrated. “Built under” fridges are fairly straightforward, and would normally be adjustable in height from 820-870mm. A fridge without an icebox is called a “Larder Fridge”, and one with an icebox is normally just called a “Fridge” or “Refrigerator”. A fridge that is designed for a tall housing can vary in height between 875mm and 1400mm. The 875mm versions will normally be offered with a matching freezer. This enables the end user to “make up” a 50/50 fridge freezer using separate machines. All integrated fridges have an “automatic defrost” feature, which helps keep the interior of the fridge free from frost.
There are two ways of fixing the furniture door to a fridge.
- Door on door
Door on door means that the furniture door is attached to the fridge by a bracket. The only hinges in use are those, which are part of the fridge door itself. This system is generally considered to be better and is slightly more expensive.
Slider fixings use hinges to attach the furniture door to the housing. The door is then attached by a sliding bracket to the fridge door. This method often uses two sets of hinges. One set for the furniture door, and another for the actual fridge door.
These two methods of fixing are also available on freezers and fridge freezers.
If the above explanation is a bit confusing, you will normally find that our showrooms have both types on display and the difference will become apparent once you have seen them.
The variety of sizes available is the same as mentioned previously with regard to fridges. Freezers are also offered with “door on door” or “slider” fixings. There are no “frost free” integrated freezers offered at present, most modern machines will only need defrosting once a year. Freezers normally have drawers to store the food in, but some are made with a mixture of pull out drawers and a drop down flap (normally situated at the top). The drawers in a freezer will be either solid white plastic, clear plastic or opaque/frosted. The clear and opaque/frosted versions are sometimes made out of a tinted plastic, depending on the manufacturer.
Integrated Fridge Freezers
Fridge freezers are offered in a variety of sizes. The most common height available is around 1770-1780mm high, but there are smaller versions available. The “split” between fridge and freezer could be 50/50, 60/40 or 70/30. These percentages are not always adhered to, but can be used to describe the majority of machines available. A 50/50 fridge freezer would normally have 4 drawers in the freezer part. The bottom drawer of a fridge freezer is not normally full depth as the “workings” are contained in the bottom of the appliance immediately behind this drawer.
These machines are sometimes offered in a “frost free” option. A “frost free” fridge freezer should never need defrosting, as there is a function that prevents the freezer from frosting up. This type of machine is normally more expensive and can be a bit noisier than a standard fridge freezer.
Fridge freezers are also offered with “door on door” or “slider fixings” as described previously.
Please be aware that although built in fridge freezers can be installed as right or left hand hinged, this is not always the case with freestanding models. Please check the handing options before ordering.
The Kitchen Appliance Store is a certified member of the Energy Efficiency Endorsement Scheme and pays particular attention to recommending energy efficient products. We display energy efficiency rating whenever they are available. Please call our helpline for the latest information and energy efficient models.
The majority of “built in” appliances have energy efficiency ratings. The only ones that do not are: hobs, hoods and microwaves. The ratings are in alphabetical form. The best is A (sometimes even A+) and the poorest is G. Double ovens will have two ratings, one for the top oven and one for the bottom oven.
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