- THE VOLUME: OUR SIZE IS HOW MUCH?
- FREEZER: BOTTOM OR TOP?
- AND EXACTLY HOW MUCH IN DEGREES?
- NO FROST: FREEZING TO THE WIND?
- Good refrigerators cry, too
- Compressor: an old horse does not spoil a groove..
- The freshness zone and a couple of little details
- On the subject of manual control
- My attempt number five
- HOTPOINT ENTMH 18320 VW O3 two-chamber refrigerator with the top arrangement of the freezing chamber
- LG GC-B519 PMCZ two-chamber refrigerator with bottom freezing chamber location
- WHIRLPOOL WTV 4597 NFCIX two-chamber refrigerator with top arrangement of the freezing chamber
- SHARP SJ-58CSL Two-chamber refrigerator with top arrangement of the freezing chamber
- ATLANT XM 6224-180 Two-chamber refrigerator with bottom freezing chamber
Old fridge ZIL finally retired. My father bought this pride of Soviet consumerism a long, long time ago, before Gagarin flew into space. But all good things must come to an end. And now there was a quite prosaic question: where to store products at dacha? Clearly – in the new refrigerator. And which one?? There used to be one problem: where to buy? And now there are a lot of problems: how to choose and what to choose? Of course, we do not choose the husband, but we should think about a lot of important parameters, not only the price.
How the blonde parks, I think many gentlemen are watching with great interest. It’s already the stuff of legends. And you want to know how a blonde who looks like a brunette chooses a fridge? And don’t even think that by the color of your hair. Many defenders of the Fatherland will be surprised at how far-sighted and technically savvy we, their mates, can be.
THE VOLUME: OUR SIZE IS HOW MUCH?
As I began choosing a refrigerator, I remembered my family. How many eaters do we have?? Of course all eight people can come to the country house. But this is a rare force majeure. In the calculation, after all, let’s take no more than five people. If translated into liters, it means that we need a two-compartment appliance with a freezer of no less than 100 liters and a refrigerator compartment for 250-300 liters. The total volume – in the range of 350-400 liters or a little more too will do.
With such a volume, the dimensions are also important. You can take a narrow and tall unit – 60x60x200 cm, and then jump up and down with pots. But you can choose a wide fridge right away, let it be lower – 80x75x185 cm or so. This second option, I think, will be the most roomy and affordable for people of average height – just our case.
FREEZER: BOTTOM OR TOP?
AND EXACTLY HOW MUCH IN DEGREES?
Now let’s define the freezer. It is more convenient to have a deep minus from below or from above? There are both variants on sale, and in great variety: with blind drawers, with transparent, sliding, with curtains and without drawers..
I vote for a top freezer with a separate door but no drawers, just a normal shelf and large compartments on the door. In the open space it is most convenient to put fresh preserves. Open the door and you can see all the berries and mushrooms in the bags. The freezer should open at eye level so that you don’t have to bend over in three bends, digging in the bottom drawers. By the way, it is more convenient to service the big freezer from above, too, at arm’s length.
There is one more obligatory wish: the freezer should have an ice generator, and the simplest one is the best, in the form of plastic molds. In summer it is impossible to drink kvass without instant refrigeration!
It remains to decide with the stars: how many of them to choose for deep freezing? Options:
– One asterisk * – the lowest temperature of -6°C, for storing food for up to 7 days
– Two stars ** – temperature – 12 ° C, storage of products up to 30 days
– three stars *** – temperature -18°C, food storage up to 90 days
– Four stars **** – temperature below -18°C, storing food for 6-12 months.
Perhaps for the country season is quite suitable three stars and -18 ° C for 90 days. But for an apartment I would definitely choose all four – with maximum freezing and a shelf life of up to a year.
So, we are looking for a two-compartment wide refrigerator of about 350-420 liters with an open top freezer with shelves.
NO FROST: FREEZING TO THE WIND?
Moving on to the next item of my “election program”. How to defrost your new fridge better? Of course, manual defrosting with full evacuation would not work. This is yesterday’s day of the legendary ZIL. We will choose from two modern variants: No Frost or drip system.
And ask to be more serious with this question. The type of defrosting depends not only on the purchase price, but also the cost of operation, as well as the duration and quality of food storage.
The most advanced system is No Frost, which is installed in almost all premium models. The frost-free system is based on a simple physical principle: the wind blows, the moisture dries out, and the cold evenly fills the chamber.
A fan built into the back of the freezer is responsible for the wind in the refrigerators-
The freezer should open. It pumps air through the entire open and closed volume, including the evaporator radiator, also hidden behind the back wall, which is sometimes mounted between the two chambers to successfully work for “two floors” at once.
When the compressor is running, the radiator becomes a freezer unit with a clear minus. The blown air passes through it, and the moisture in the form of frost precipitates on the cooled coil. When the compressor automatically turns off, the temperature at the radiator begins to rise. The frost melts quickly, drains into a special tray, fixed near the compressor, and evaporates around the kitchen.
The more expensive models have two No Frost systems at the same time – for the freezing and refrigerating chambers separately, with separate regulation of the temperature. But I will not consider such options because of the too high price, going for 60-70 thousand Dollars.
The advantages of No Frost are obvious. The airflow forced through this system cools the entire storage volume quickly and evenly. Of course it is very convenient when the refrigerator defrosts itself, and the hostess thinks only about how to fill it. However, a closer look at the “frost-free” technology reveals ambiguous nuances. I have identified at least three important points.
Firstly, a compressor that heats and cools the evaporator gets an increased load and consumes more electric energy. The operation of such refrigerators will be more expensive, and the purchase price will be 15-20 percent higher.
Secondly, No Frost dries the air to the limit, especially critical for the refrigerating chamber where fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits often reach in summer. The outdoor crops will dry out very quickly.
Thirdly, the fan increases decibels of the noise and the whole system with the evaporator thickens the back wall, which considerably reduces the usable volume of the fridge by 10-15 per cent.
So, let’s not hurry with the final choice.
Good refrigerators cry, too
Sometimes fridges “cry” because they work well. If you notice such a phenomenon in the fridge compartment, it means that the drip defrost system is in good order.
In physical terms, and this system is very similar to the No Frost, but it is more simple and economical, because here there is no extra fan, or additional evaporator.
There is always a small plus in the refrigerating chamber. Therefore, condensation from humid air naturally forms on the back wall when the cold is applied to it. When the compressor generates cold in sub-zero temperatures, the condensate turns into a frosty layer on the wall. As soon as the compressor shuts off, the frost begins to melt and the back wall begins to cry. The water drips down the drainage system and then evaporates in the pan next to the compressor, just like in the No Frost system.
The advantages of drip system are obvious.
Firstly, there are no winds and drafts blowing in the chamber, the air is not dried out and the humidity is always maintained at a decent level, which is more of a benefit than a drawback.
Secondly, such refrigerators are noticeably cheaper and more economical. The drip system requires no additional equipment, the process of defrosting occurs naturally, without unnecessary costs for the operation of the unit.
Thirdly, weeping refrigerators are more reliable, work more quietly and have more capacity.
On the background of the obvious advantages for the dacha choice over time, there can be an annoying minus: water droplets constantly running down the wall can form a decent puddle inside the chamber and even splash on the floor. Such a flood happens if the drainage system of the refrigerator is clogged, which, however, can be easily fixed with a thin wire.
In my opinion, the drip system has only one global drawback: it cannot maintain a freezer with its “permafrost. That is why there are many inexpensive, but cut-down models on the market: the refrigerating chamber is equipped with drip system, and the freezing chamber is serviced manually, as well as in the legendary ZIL. Is it possible to sign up for such an option??
I’m not sure yet. Consultants unanimously agree that once a year, for example in honor of the end of the holiday season, it is not too difficult to defrost the freezer… Okay, we put a droplet version with manual override in reserve.
Is it possible to exclude manual defrosting in any way? It is possible, but there are only two variants: either No Frost works for two chambers at once, or No Frost serves only the freezer and the drip system “cries” in the refrigerating chamber. This would be the ideal combination! But it’s more expensive. So we will have to make up our minds on the spot.
Compressor: an old horse does not spoil a groove..
It happens! I began to think of the most important thing in the refrigerator when I saw a news item on TV about a new mainline airliner. “What’s the most important thing on an airplane?” the TV asked. “And the refrigerator?” I asked. An airplane has an engine that increases lift. And a refrigerator has a compressor that generates cold. And what kind of compressor do I need, so that the refrigeration unit is not just a white cupboard?
Right now the most affordable and best-selling are the linear compressors. They work on a “whistle”: If the chamber becomes too warm, the compressor switches on and dynamically “pumps” the cold. When the frost gets hard, the compressor at the set point shuts down and won’t run until it gets a signal from the sensors about a new thaw. And so it goes all my life: on, frosty, frosty, off… This rhythm can be clearly heard in the kitchen: the fridge either shudders and rumbles or falls asleep again..
As it was explained to me, linear technology conquered the market about 15 years ago. For a long time, only linear compressors were used in the refrigerators. ♪ All I could see were the brands of the manufacturers ♪. By the way, I was highly recommended to pay attention to the refrigerators with Austrian ACC and Danfoss compressors, they are made in Slovenia. However I delved into such nuances not at once, because I firmly decided not to keep up with the technical progress.
The thing is that the most modern refrigerators use a new type of compressor – the inverter compressor. They say everywhere that they barely make a sound and that they are very economical and durable… I even came up with this comparison for myself: remember how the lights gradually fade out at the movies? The inverter compressor also smoothly increases and decreases power when the chamber needs to be frosted or, on the contrary, to reduce the supply of cold. No peaks, no stresses, and the accuracy of temperature maintenance in an enclosed space – watchmakers will envy!
It’s a pity I’m not yet on the road to technological progress. Do you know how much more expensive the inverter refrigerators are than the usual ones?? Approximately one and a half times more. I’d rather go to the beauty salon regularly for six months..
But the main problem is in another way: inverter compressors are still extremely vulnerable – they can hardly survive at least one unpredictable power surge. And during the summer they run for an electrician ten times, no less. So a personal electrician should have been added to the inverter set ..
The freshness zone and a couple of little details
I think I can live with the fact that the freshness zone in my fridge will be in the form of a separate compartment, but without a separate fan and evaporator. Such a simplified model will obviously be cheaper. The camera with a drip system will keep the greens from the garden beds and berries in the humid environment with a weeping wall, and extra 3-4 degrees above zero during the short-term dacha life will not spoil your dinner.
If I was looking for a fridge for a city apartment, I would approach the choice of the freshness zone with all the arsenal of modern technology. If you keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for more than a week, +5°C is not good for that. Parsley, for example, will quickly begin to fade. You need a special zero chamber with its own sensors and its own cooling device.
Such fridges are available on the market, but they cannot be called “budget” anymore: their price exceeds 40-45 thousand Dollars. Moreover in more expensive models there are two stand-alone cubicles with zero temperature: one has high humidity for fresh fruits and the other has lower humidity for fresh meat and fresh fish which is very convenient because it allows storing each type of food as long as possible in a fresh state. The only disadvantage of dual zero zone is price – it starts with 50 thousand Dollars, and such models besides are more power-consuming.
On the subject of manual control
If our president often switches to manual control of the country, what can we say about us, the cottage housewives? Of course, I choose the fridge for summer without any automatics and electronics, with simple mechanical control via rotary knob. Spun and adjusted. Simple, reliable and inexpensive.
By the way, I would strongly consider whether to buy a refrigerator with the digital control for a city apartment. Of course, it’s beautiful when the touch buttons on the door panel helpfully blink, the temperature is displayed, all the modes are set precisely… But how long will all these electronics last?? The sensors and electronic board are constantly under load: all day long, all year round it is on or off, plus or minus, and the humidity is high or low..
One gray-haired handyman put it this way: electronics are a great reason to repair your refrigerator. Try putting your favorite tablet in the freezer every now and then. The tablet will last a long time?
My attempt number five
I like the way Masha Sharapova plays tennis. It screams on the court, you’ll cheer up right away… So I decided to hold a virtual Grand Slam tournament among the models that suit me. The Olympic elimination system will leave only one refrigerator, which is what I will buy for our summer house.
So, for the final tournament we invite the models satisfying the following conditions: volume – 350-450 l, width – 68-80 cm, two chambers, two doors, control – electromechanical. Still, I decided not to limit my choice strictly to the type of defrosting. It would be better if you objectively assess a wider set of factors.
HOTPOINT ENTMH 18320 VW O3
HOTPOINT ENTMH 18320 VW O3 two-chamber refrigerator with the top arrangement of the freezing chamber
DIMENSIONS: 181x70x70x cm.
VOLUME: total 414 l, refrigerating chamber 332 l, freezing chamber– 82 l.
FROST-FREEZER: manual defrosting, freezing performance up to 2 kg/day, autonomous cold keeping up to 20 h.
WINDOWS AND DEFROST: Drip defrost system, robust glass shelves.
CONSTRUCTION: 1 compressor, R600a isobutane refrigerant, noise level up to 47 dB.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: class A++ 256 kWh/year .
PRICE: 55 990 Dollars.
First of all, I will note its efficiency class A++ is very cool , which is largely achieved due to the simplicity of the drip defrosting system. The enclosure has a high level of thermal insulation as well – a refrigerator can store the food for almost a day independently! The safest and most inert gas R600a is used as a refrigerant. And the shelves are glass, more durable than plastic, better washable and do not absorb unnecessary odors. However, I will not buy this model as it is a bit pricey and I would like the freezer to be larger.
LG GC-B519 PMCZ
LG GC-B519 PMCZ two-chamber refrigerator with bottom freezing chamber location
SIZES: 167h70x72 cm.
VOLUME: total 452 l, refrigerator compartment – 297 l, freezer compartment – 155 l.
FROST-FREEZER: No Frost, freezing power up to 12 kg day, independent cooling up to 18 hours, ice mold with a twist mechanism.
FRIDGE COOLER: No Frost, shelves made of durable glass, separate fresh zone.
CONSTRUCTION: 1 compressor, noise level up to 41 dB.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: class A++ 257 kWh/year .
PRICE: 52 705 Dollars.
As for LG refrigerators, consultants said that this brand has the whole range of reliable and well assembled models. If it says fresh zone, it’s a real fresh zone, with a controlled temperature.
As a rule, LG models have inverter line compressors which are economical and quiet. Therefore, even with double No Frost, this model has the highest energy class A++, and the actual noise level is noticeably less than 41dB.
I really liked this model: the freezer is super capacious and powerful. You’ll be tired to load the fridge compartment too. Top of the line thermal insulation, too – 18 hours of holding power in case of a blackout. By the way, the inverter compressors combined with No Frost deliver very fast freezing and cold to the chambers. I even regret that I still dare not buy such an expensive fridge for country houses.
WHIRLPOOL WTV 4597 NFCIX
WHIRLPOOL WTV 4597 NFCIX two-chamber refrigerator with top arrangement of the freezing chamber
DIMENSIONS: 189.5x71x71.5 cm.
VOLUME: total capacity 450 l, refrigerator compartment 341 l, freezer compartment 109 l.
FROST-FREEZER: No Frost, freezing power up to 14 kg/day, superfreezing, temperature indication, autonomous cold keeping up to 24 h.
COOLING STORAGE: drip system, glass shelves.
CONSTRUCTION: 1 compressor, noise level 42 dB.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: Class A+ 386 kWh/year .
PRICE: 60 990 Dollars.
What can I say? Very good option by volume, roomy, the shelves are conveniently located and niches on the door are also very suitable. Powerful freezing, powerful super-freezing mode. Record-breaking unplugged autonomous operation – exactly one day! Energy consumption will be slightly higher, but on an annual basis the difference will be practically imperceptible. Everything would be fine, but the price is still a bit steep for a countryside appliance. I also did not like the noise made by this appliance: it says the noise level is 42 dB, but in my opinion, it is louder.
SHARP SJ-58CSL Two-chamber refrigerator with top arrangement of the freezing chamber
DIMENSIONS: 167x70x72 cm.
VOLUME: total volume 437 l, refrigerator compartment 329 l, freezer 108 l.
FROZERIZER: No Frost, freezing power up to 6,5 kg/day, independent cold keeping up to 13 h.
REMARKER: No Frost, there is a fresh zone, glass shelves, audible indication of an open door.
CONSTRUCTION: 1 compressor, noise level up to 42 dB.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: class A 474 kWh/year .
PRICE: 49,990 roubles.
For the price, the Sharp SJ line of refrigerators is quite nice. For such a volume of 437 liters, and with double No Frost is a very attractive option. I’m also not embarrassed by energy class A, which is worse than the previous models. But how much extra heat can be burned in a short gardening season?? But how much space it can hold?! All the storage space is well thought out here: the shelves are glass and can be rearranged to different heights, and the door recesses provide room for another half of the refrigerator.
By the way, the compressors in Sharp are native Japanese. They do not like to make noise: when the compressor turns on, the refrigerator shudders and either rumbles or purrs and then you barely hear it. Masters said that the Japanese engines will last 20 years in a single breath, they are replaced very rarely.
ATLANT XM 6224-180
ATLANT XM 6224-180 Two-chamber refrigerator with bottom freezing chamber
SIZES: 195.5 x 69.5 x 62.5 cm.
VOLUME: total volume – 401 l, refrigerator compartment – 280 l, freezer compartment – 121 l.
Freezer: manual defrosting, minimum temperature in freezer compartment -18°C, super freezing, freezing power up to 15 kg/day, autonomous cold keeping up to 20 h.
FROST-DEFROWER: drip defrost system, glass shelves,
CONSTRUCTION: 2 compressors, R600a isobutane refrigerant, noise level up to 40 dB.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: Class A+ 318 kWh/year .
PRICE: 30 200 Dollars.
Perhaps, the obvious leader according to the price-quality ratio: wide, capacious refrigerator, convenient glass shelves and strong. I smelled the inside of the chamber, it smells somehow pleasant, like toys did in my childhood.
It is not often that you meet such a modestly priced model with two compressors serving both the refrigerating and freezing chambers independently. Very convenient, the freezer defrosts and the fridge is on watch. Or vice versa.
I read the reviews – the model is so cold and freezes that everyone is happy And everyone notes its extremely quiet operation. Compressors are switched on seldom and almost inaudible. Wonders! The efficiency of this model is also on a decent level: class A+ for two motors – excellent result!
By the way, these days I read a lot of good reviews about Atlant: reliable refrigerators, they sell a lot, they are the clear leaders in their segment. Besides the company service is widely developed, and at the plant itself the quality control of products is well put.
The only inconvenience, as it seemed to me, was the bottom freezer and the drawers. However, this contrived disadvantage soon turned into an obvious plus. The familiar masters have told all together that all refrigerators with the bottom freezer are successfully repaired if they suddenly stop to freeze.
I think that our fridge tournament ended on this “pitch”. It’s time to go to the store, and then with the new ATLANT to go straight to the cottage!