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Choosing The Best Fridge For Your Home: Buyer’s Guide

Whirlpool W Collection Fridge Freezer, WQ9I FO1BX

Whether you are a bachelor or living in a joint family, a refrigerator is one of those most expensive important items to have in your home. But zeroing in on the right one for you is not easy. There are many aspects to consider from the size to door style, energy efficiency, brand, technology (your fridge should last you upwards of 10 years) and price. Today, refrigerators feature a wide variety of new smart features, including the ones that are aimed to give your kitchen a complete makeover by acting as a refrigerator and an entertainment hub.

What size of fridge do I need?

1-2 Members : 250-380L ( We usually recommend larger fridges as they tend to be more energy efficient and cost less in the long run)

3-5 Members : 350-530L

5+ Members : 440L+ ( Add 29L or more for each additional family member, plus freezer space)

Different types of fridges

1. Top mount freezer

They are a great option if price, range, efficiency and value are your biggest concerns. Their downside is that you have to bend down to access the fridge which is the most used compartment.

Positives
  • Low initial cost
  • Low running cost
  • Wide variety on the market
Negatives
  • You have to bend down to access the fridge, which is the most used compartment

2. Bottom mount freezer

They are designed with the freezer on the bottom to bring about convenience and saving you from back pain but they are usually more expensive.

Positives
  • Logical fridge design – what you use most is at eye level
  • The freezer often has handy slide-out baskets
  • Range and variety of bottom mount fridges is growing
Negatives
  • More expensive to buy than top mount fridges
  • Marginally more expensive to run than top mount fridges
  • Can be slower to chill, especially in the freezer

3. Side-by-side (fridge next to freezer)

They come with plenty of space and extra features making them great for entertainers or large families.

Positives
  • Lots of features available, such as ice and water dispensers
  • Good for galley kitchens, thoroughfares or areas where you can’t have a large swinging door
  • Good storage capacity
  • Best access for people in wheelchairs
Negatives
  • Ice makers and water chillers can take up a lot of freezer space
  • Internal space is quite narrow and won’t always fit a pizza box or frozen turkey
  • Large physical form takes up a lot of space and can’t fit in a tight corner
  • Temperatures can be inconsistent between the top and bottom of the fridge

4. French door (bottom mount freezer with a two door fridge)

French door fridges combine the convenience of a bottom mount fridge with good capacity and extra features.

Positives
  • Lots of features available like ice and water dispensers
  • Good storage capacity
  • Both fridge and freezer are wide enough for large platters and bulk foods
  • All the benefits of a bottom mount fridge
Negatives
  • Ice makers and water chillers can take up a lot of fridge space
  • Large physical form takes up a lot of space and can’t fit in a tight corner

5. Pigeon pair (separate, but matching upright fridge and freezer)

A pigeon pair combines plenty of storage capacity with more flexibility when it comes to placement.

Positives
  • Can be kept separate (with the freezer in another part of house like the laundry or garage) which is great for small kitchens
  • Good storage capacity
Negatives
  • Takes up more space overall

What finish should I choose for my fridge?

1. Stainless steel

Stainless steel fridges bring that sleek, professional look to your kitchen but can be prone to showing fingerprints and other marks. Look for matte or ‘fingerprint-resistant’ finishes if you don’t want to be forever buffing away smudges, and expect to pay a little more if you like the stainless look.

Many high end stainless steel fridges offer a completely flat front, whereas most fridge doors are slightly curved. Many of them also aren’t magnetic, which means no more fridge magnets – but then again why would you want to cover up such a beautiful appliance anyway?

2. Classic white

White fridges are easier to keep clean than their stainless steel counterparts, and tend to be a little cheaper to buy, saving you money as well as time spent buffing fingerprints from the finish, and despite the popularity of stainless steel fridges there’s plenty of options available if you want a white one.

3. Bright colours

Retro styled fridges in bright colours are increasingly popular as a statement appliance and combine a vintage look with modern fridge internals, but remember that your fridge is a long-term investment that will probably see several trends come and go. Consider how you’ll feel about it in 10 years’ time, and how it will suit a new kitchen if you move house.

4. Black

Black appliances are back, with several manufacturers offering black, charcoal or dark finish fridges. A black fridge is a modern alternative to a plain white appliance but without the fingerprint showing tendencies of stainless steel, but they can be a little imposing and may make your kitchen itself seem darker.

5. Glass

The latest development in fridge design means eschewing metal altogether and using glass. No, this doesn’t mean a clear window into your fridge, but you will often get a wide range of colours to choose from. Aside from aesthetics, glass won’t show fingerprints quite as readily as a shiny stainless steel fridge, and you may have discreet controls which light up through the glass when in use but are all but invisible when dormant. Glass means the front of your fridge will be perfectly flat, not curved, and your favourite fridge magnets may not stick, but why would you want to cover up such a beautiful appliance anyway?

What does it cost to run a fridge?

More energy stars, more savings

Your fridge contributes up to 8% of your energy bill so choosing an efficient one will save you money. While larger fridges will use more energy overall than smaller ones, the energy star ratings help you compare relative energy efficiency.

The star rating will let you know how your fridge performs based on its size, but the number on the energy rating label gives you the raw figures, which you can use to calculate how much your fridge will cost to run by multiplying it by your current energy cost per Kilowatt hour.

What fridge features do I need?

1. Water and ice dispenser

  • A dispenser located on the outside of the door saves you constantly opening and closing the fridge for cold drinks.
  • Some water and ice dispensers need to be connected to a tap – an additional plumbing installation expense.
  • With others, water can be dispensed from a container inside the door. This convenience has a trade-off though, and dispensers can take up almost 30% of your freezer space.
  • Some water and ice dispensers also require replacement water filters – an additional periodic expense.

2. Crisper

  • A good crisper saves you having to put your fruit and veg in plastic bags. The compartment should be well sealed to keep vegetables fresh.
  • It should also be easy to remove for cleaning.
  • Check that the fridge’s air outlets don’t blow onto it, as this will dry your food out faster.
  • If you store large volumes of fruit and veg, look for a fridge with more than one crisper.
  • Your crisper should be at least 45cm wide to fit celery, leeks and other long vegetables.

3. Door

  • Make sure the handles aren’t too high or too low and that the door opens in the right direction for your kitchen. Some models have reversible doors.
  • Also make sure you can open the fridge doors easily and comfortably. Remember, a display fridge in store that’s not plugged in will be easier to open than a fridge that’s turned on.
  • If you or someone in your household find fridges frustrating then check out our guide to choosing an accessible fridge for people with disabilities, vision impairment or cognitive impairment.

4. Temperature controls

  • Look for two separate temperature controls. A single control sets both the freezer and the fresh food compartment, so you can’t adjust one without affecting the other. Some electronic fridges have better independent controls.
  • Some fridges have a 24-hour memory that monitors door openings and pre-cools the fridge before a period of heavy use – such as when the kids get home from school or you’re preparing dinner.
  • Some fridges automatically manage defrosting to suit conditions.
  • Some fridges let out a warning beep if you leave the door open too long, or forget to close it properly.

5. Shelves

  • Shelves ought to be easy to remove and replace for cleaning or adjustment. Does the range of shelf positions suit your needs? For example, can you stand soft drink or wine bottles in the door shelves? Split shelves can be handy for this.
  • Shelves may be made from moulded plastic or safety glass. Some shelves feature raised lips or other features to help stop spilt milk or other liquids spreading throughout your whole fridge.

6. Rollers and adjustable feet

  • Rollers with brakes or adjustable feet to secure the fridge and stop it from escaping.
  • Adjustable feet to ensure your fridge is level from left to right. The front being slightly elevated from the rear means your door will close more easily, or possibly even on its own if you leave it open.

7. Dairy compartment

  • A slightly warmer area of the fridge, convenient for keeping butter and hard cheeses slightly soft.
  • Lockable storage compartment, great if you need to keep medicines refrigerated but safely out of reach of small children.

8. Chiller (meat compartment)

  • This compartment stores meat, fish and poultry (fresh or cooked) at a safe temperature, keeping it fresher for longer. Chiller temperature should be close to zero and ideally it should have a separate temperature control.

9. Quick-chill zone

  • Located close to the cold-air outlets, this feature is handy for cooling drinks quickly. However, food left there too long may freeze.

10. Child proofing

Choose a child-friendly fridge with safety features such as:

  • water and ice dispensers with child-proof settings
  • a lockable medicine compartment
  • temperature controls with a child lock.

11. Noise

  • Whether or not fridge noise is an issue depends on your kitchen layout, whether it’s open plan, and its proximity to living and sleeping areas.

12. Cleaning

  • Look for smooth, easy to clean surfaces with no awkward corners or dirt-trapping areas.
  • Check how easy it is to remove and replace crisper drawers and shelves for when they require cleaning.

13. Where to put different foods in my new fridge?

An important consideration when setting up a new fridge is where to put things in it. Contrary to what you might think, the temperature will vary across different areas of your fridge, and will be cooler in some parts and warmer in others. You should give consideration to these areas and store different foods in the most appropriate locations, for example, meat goes in the chiller or the coldest part of the fridge, butter goes in the warmer dairy compartment (so it’s easier to spread), and veggies should be stored in the crisper.

Which fridge brand is the most reliable?

Most people expect their new fridge to last at least 10 years, but not all of them do. And with a typical manufacturer’s warranty lasting only about two years, dealing with a faulty fridge can be a serious annoyance.

Whirlpool W Collection Fridge Freezer, WQ9I FO1BX

Below are some of the most reliable refrigerator brands on the Ugandan market

  1. WHIRLPOOL

    Whirlpool W Collection Fridge Freezer, WQ9I FO1BX

    Whirlpool is known for manufacturing energy-efficient, low-maintenance, reliable refrigerators at a broad range of price points. If you’re shopping for a sturdy and dependable fridge that’ll keep your food fresh without any hassles, Whirlpool is a solid choice.

  2. LG

    668L Side by Side Fridge, GC-J247SLUV

    LG is known for having some of the most high-tech features built into their moderns designs, like WiFi-enabled screens. In addition to state-of-the-art fridges, LG also makes basic, reasonably priced refrigerators.

  3. SAMSUNG

    Samsung 210Ltrs Single Door Fridge, RR21J3146S8

    Samsung manufactures a variety of household appliances, including refrigerators which come in varying styles and prices. The brand is certainly one of the best in terms of durability, which is essential since you typically invest a lot of money in a refrigerator.

  4. BOSCH

    If you prioritize dependability and spaciousness, a Bosch fridge may be the way to go. The brand’s refrigerators have massive doors, adjustable storage, and lots of capacity, making them ideal for large families or households that entertain and cook often.

  5. ELECTROLUX

    When it comes to fridges, Electrolux provides a selection of models with and without a dispenser. The brand also makes striking refrigerators with standard configurations like French doors, side-by-side, top freezer, and bottom freezer.

  6. HISENSE

    Hisense Top Mount Refrigerator 488 Ltr3

    For budget-friendly refrigerators that offer plenty of functionality and sought-after features, Hisense is the brand you want to shop. This manufacturer sells a variety of specialty appliances including air purifiers, dishwashers, microwaves, and air conditioners.

What’s in store!

Q&A

What is the best fridge brand in Uganda?

Our pick for best fridge brand is Whirlpool followed closely by LG, Samsung, and Bosch.

Where to buy a good fridge in Uganda?

Shop for on-sale refrigerators at Abanista.com. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up.

What is the most durable refrigerator brand?

From our research, the refregerator brands that are the most reliable are LG, Whirlpool, Samsung and Panasonic.