Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2014 Contents www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
The year 2014 ushered a new decade of fridge
fashion with refrigerators in a wide array of
colours, shapes and sizes designed to accentuate
your décor, provide greater functionality and built
If you are planning on purchasing a refrigerator this
Christmas, here are five must-have features and ca-
pabilities of modern fridges.
If you are looking for a simple refrigerator, without
any feature-rich characteristics, then a top- freezer
model is probably for you.
The top freezer is a very popular model in most
households and offers a freezer unit at the top and
fresh-food storage at the bottom.
Side-by-side units vertically split your fridge down
the middle, making them ideal for narrow kitchens as
they require much less clearance to open doors.
If you are looking for a feature-rich fridge, these
units offer frozen foods on the left and fresh foods
on the right and tend to showcase more features
than their horizontal counterparts.
If you do not mind bending over to get into the
freezer unit, then this refrigerator is best suited for
A bottom freezer is a simple refrigerator that is
similar to the top-freezer unit except its location of
the freezer unit.
However, the bottom units tend to be a little bigger
than top freezers, and there's not much variety of
models to choose from.
4. French door
This popular type of refrigerator has the most ad-
vanced features available that combine the drawer-
style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low
clearance doors of a side-by-side unit. This means
that you have lots of storage space since your refrig-
erator door is split in two.
There is a huge variety of these French door refrig-
erators available, including models with top-of-the-
line smart features that you wont find with other
What features should I look for?
Cabinet- depth refrigerators
This simply refers to refrigerators that are de-
signed to align perfectly with the edges of your cabi-
nets, with only the fridge door sticking out.
This purpose of this is to give the illusion that the
fridge is built directly into your cabinetry- without
anything actually being custom- built.
Although they do not offer extra storage capacity,
they are a popular option because of its fashionable
Smart energy efficiency
Yes, a refrigerator can be energy efficient.
Smart technology gives refrigerators a cool factor
and the idea that we use our fridges daily only makes
this option seem like a feasible investment.
Some models of these types of refrigerators can
track your energy and usage consumption levels. Fea-
tures like these not only significantly lower your elec-
tric bill but they have a huge positive impact on your
everyday kitchen experience.
Some refrigerator models are equipped with tech-
nology that shares information to its user.
For instance, if you are running low on an item in
your refrigerator, you can receive a text alerting you.
Other models are equipped with intuitive interfaces
that kick in whenever something is not working to
help you identify the problem and troubleshoot a so-
Don't know what to make for dinner? Speak to
your refrigerator and it can list the ingredients inside
of it, to help you plan your menu.
Times have changed; and today's refrigerators are
now being designed with the focus on entertainment.
Wi-Fi, integrated speakers, and LCD touch screen
built right into the door have all been incorporated
into high-end refrigerator models.
You can even check the weather, news and browse
on social networks just by using an entertainment-
minded smart refrigerator.
Other extras to look for
• Quieting systems to drown out humming and
• LED Lighting
• Steel- reinforced hinges to support door storage
• Spill proof shelving to deter messes and drippings
throughout the entire fridge.
Written with information courtesy cnet.com
Most freezers aren't about style. They look similar to
models we tested decades ago, but they use less en-
ergy. And Energy Star models must be even more effi-
Before you go shopping for a freezer, decide
whether a chest freezer or an upright freezer would
better meet your needs. Then choose a model based on
size, capacity, and energy efficiency.
If you plan to keep the freezer in a living area, con-
sider how noisy it is. Most manufacturers say that their
freezers can operate in a room where the temperature
is from 32 degree to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, though
they also indicate that spaces colder than 32 degrees F
will not affect freezer operation. If you plan to house the
freezer in an unheated area, such as a garage, adhere to
the manufacturer's specified operating range.
Sizing your model
Freezers, whether chest or upright, come in four basic
sizes: compact (5 cubic feet), small (6 to 9 cubic feet),
medium (12 to 18 cubic feet), and large (more than 18
cubic feet). Your choice should depend on available
space and family needs.
Weigh blackout performance
Most manufacturers say that their freezers can keep
food adequately frozen for 24 hours with the power off
as long as the freezer remains unopened. But our tests
simulating a prolonged power failure revealed signifi-
cant differences. Some uprights allowed a relatively
large increase in temperature after only nine hours.
Manual vs. self
Most of the freezers in our tests maintained a consistent
temperature. Manual-defrost uprights were the exception.
Without fans to circulate cold air, tempera-
tures of on-door shelves were between 9
and 19 degrees higher than in the rest of the
freezer. Most self-defrosting uprights excelled in
temperature performance. Their shelves and bins
make it easier to organize and find food, but they re-
duce usable space. Manual-defrost freezers are gener-
ally more energy efficient and quieter than
self-defrosting models. But defrosting can take
hours.Keeping food from spoiling
Most of the chests and self-de-
frosting uprights we tested delivered
impressive temperature perform-
ance, maintaining 0 degrees F quite
evenly throughout their interior. But
all of the manual-defrost upright mod-
els had trouble keeping their door
shelves as cool as the rest of the inte-
Any frozen food that has reached
temperatures above 40 degrees for
more than two hours should be dis-
carded. For guidelines on frozen-food
safety, read the freezing and food safety
guidelines from the Department of Agriculture.
Don't expect your new freezer to be quite as energy
efficient as its yellow EnergyGuide label implies. On average,
our latest tested models used 17 percent more energy. That's
because our tests are tougher and, we believe, more like real-
world conditions than those specified by the U.S. Department
of Energy. We fill the freezers to capacity, whereas they're
only 75 percent full in the DOE test. And we test for energy
use with the center of the freezer actually at 0 degrees, the
optimum temperature for storing frozen food, while manu-
facturers are allowed to extrapolate energy use at 0 degrees
from test results above and below zero. Except for Energy
Star products, the information on the labels relies on manu-
facturers' test data.
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