Fridges and freezers come in lots of shapes and sizes, some built in, some free standing and a few semi-integrated. Semi integrated units have a décor panel attached to the front of the appliance while built in appliances have a kitchen door in front of them so that they are completely integrated into the kitchen. Free standing units can be floor standing or table top.

Built In Sizes

All built in refrigeration is the same width and is designed to fit in a 60cm space. Built under units are floor standing and do not need a cabinet, the door attaches straight on to the front of the appliance with the appliance slotting into a 60cm gap, all have standard heights, sizes are 850mm – 870mm adjustable.

Some brands offer a fridge drawer which is a 90cm under counter two drawer built in fridge. Built in appliances are designed to fit into a 60cm cabinet, the main height sizes are 90cm, 120cm and 178cm. Some other sizes are available from specialist manufacturers. Built in refrigeration is normally single door or two doors.

Single door units can be freezers, fridges with small ice boxes or Larder fridges (with no ice box). Freezers also come in chest style free standing options. Double door fridges are usually fridge freezers and are normally 178cm tall, with a 50/50 or 70/30 split between fridge and freezer – occasionally 60/40 splits are offered.

Free Standing Sizes

Free standing refrigeration is available in various widths, usually, 50cm, 55cm, 60cm 70cm and 90cm. As with built in, single and double door options are available. Height varies from table top 45cm to under counter 87cm to a whole variety of taller sizes up to 200cm.

Most of the 90cm options are side by side (USA style) with the freezer one side and the fridge on the other side, usually 2 doors but occasionally 4 doors with two fridges. There are some 90cm freestanding units which have one or two big freezer drawers on the bottom and a two door fridge on the top.

A few very ‘up market’ brands have 120cm units. Remember you can mix and match most 60cm options to make your own set giving you just the right mix of fridge and freezer storage. You can often include a wine cooler within a mix and match set if required.

Frost Free

Frost free freezers replace the traditional cooling pipes which run through the shelves of a freezer with a fan at the top of the cavity which blows a continuous stream of cold air keeping the cavity frozen without allowing any ice to build up, this also stops frozen items sticking together.  Frost free is available on most sizes and styles of freezer.

Active Oxygen Systems

Some brands have developed filtration systems which recirculate the air in the fridge through a filter which removes bacteria and odours.

Anti-bacteria Fridge Lining

Some brands include a special formula incorporating silver particles into the side walls of the fridge, this lasts for the whole life of the fridge and significantly reduced bacteria making food stay fresh longer.

Energy Rating

Refrigeration is ALWAYS ON so energy use can be considerable.  A new built in fridge freezer typically cost about £35 pa to run which is a saving of up to £40 compared to a typical 10 year old energy machine which might cost as much as £75 per year to run.

Every product sold must have a label showing annual energy consumption and EU Directive energy class. All modern fridges and freezers are at least A+ energy rated. This shows the energy ratings set by the European Union Directive.

This means that if you are replacing and old fridge or freezer, your energy costs are likely to be much lower. Other classifications A++ (up to 30% more efficient than A+) , A+++ (up to 50% more efficient than A++)  both indicate even greater energy saving.

As an additional guide to energy saving the Energy saving Trust, a UK government advisory service, endorses products as Energy Saving Trust Approved where they show a ‘better than average’ energy saving.