Now that we are well into spring – with summer fast approaching –
keeping cool is set to be a bigger priority.
But we’re not just talking about lighter layers and sunscreen.
Keeping your fresh food safely chilled/frozen is a priority all year-round, of course.
But it’s even more important when the weather is warm and food spoils faster.
Many of us tend to use our fridge-freezers to their full capacity in summer, stocking up on salads, cold drinks and ice creams plus all the staples. And this time of year is such a social season, you may find you’re entertaining more, too. All of which means there’s never been a better time to update one of the hardest-working appliances in your kitchen. But, with so many different models to choose from, how do you know which one to splash your cash on? Read on to discover Product Manager Luke Shipway’s expert advice on how to buy the best fridge-freezer.
Broadly speaking, there are two key types of fridge-freezer: freestanding and integrated and both have their merits. For example, a freestanding model could be ideal if you want to fit one into an existing kitchen or you want to make refrigeration a strong style feature. So, a Caple French-door model could be just what you’re looking for. However, I think integrated fridge-freezers could be your best choice if you want to hide your refrigeration from view and you’re looking for a seamless, streamlined kitchen. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from built-under options to in-column models.
The first thing to consider when deciding which model is the best fridge-freezer for you is, of course, available space. Think about where you would like your appliance to fit. If you are replacing an existing model, you could be more constrained by measurements and location. But, if you are remodelling your entire kitchen, there’s far more freedom. Assess what you have already, and what you do and don’t like. Perhaps you feel your current fridge-freezer is too close to your oven or radiator. Are you thinking your existing model may not be close enough to your sink or main worktop space? Then speak to your kitchen designer, who will organise an ergonomic location to suit your individual needs. You will also need to allow enough space around the back, sides and top for ventilation. However, your designer should take this into account as standard.
Many of our fridge-freezers, such as our new integrated Sense Premium Ri7320, feature reversible doors, which offer maximum versatility in terms of installation options. This model also offers door-on-door installation for a more sturdy and sleek finish. This type of fixed installation mounts the kitchen unit directly to the appliance door. This means that additional furniture hinges are not required, only one. Also, the appliance bears the weight of the unit door.
Perfect for larger families, our Sense Premium RiL1800 Larder Fridge offers a generous net capacity of 294 litres. It’s the ideal companion for our RiF1800 freezer and our WC1800 triple zone wine cabinet, which could form a super-stylish cooling bank trio
Size matters, and so does its distribution. So, when you’re trying to pick the best fridge-freezer, be honest about how much you and your family eat! The capacity is expressed in litres so make sure you check this. Fridge-freezers that appear to be the same size in terms of width, height and depth can incorporate different amounts of internal storage space (their net capacity).
The allocation of your fridge-freezer split should also be an important feature. If you eat a lot of fresh food, look for a larger chilling area (70/30). If you prefer to stock up on frozen foods – or are a fan of batch cooking – opt for a model with a 50/50 split, such as our new Sense Premium Ri5520. This appliance incorporates our Caple cool air-flow system, which ensures cold air reaches every level for even chilling. If you want the best of both, then simply choose a larder fridge and independent freezer.
In addition to capacity, it’s also worth paying attention to storage allocation. Check whether the shelves are adjustable, for example. Also, consider whether there are enough freezer drawers and door storage compartments for your personal needs.
Avoiding food waste seems to be a prime priority for most. I think this factor has become more important than ever, as so many of our household bills continue to rise. So, I think the best fridge-freezer should incorporate some form of food preservation feature. Many of our models, including the Sense Premium RiL800 Larder Fridge, offer our signature Caple Fresh technology inside the fruit and vegetable crisper drawer. This system, which makes use of a dedicated preserver, helps to eliminate natural gases found during the ripening and ageing process. Consequently, you’ll find fruit and vegetables stay fresher for longer. You can even regenerate the preserver
– simply expose it to sunlight for one day each year.
Our new Sense Premium Ri5520 offers a perfectly balanced 50/50 fridge-freezer split, touch controls and our innovative Caple Fresh technology to minimise food waste
We have designed our RiL1800 larder fridge and Sense Premium RiF1800 Frost Free Freezer to seamlessly match. So, these appliances can work together brilliantly within a tall bank of units. You could position storage cupboards between them, a luxury Caple wine cabinet or place them side-by-side – the choice is yours. Other useful safety features to look out for include a high temperature warning mechanism and an open door audible alarm. You’ll find both of these are included in
our Sense Premium Ri7320 model.
The best fridge-freezer won’t just cover the basics – it will offer a range of non-essential extras, too. For example, holiday mode, which you’ll find in our Ri5520 fridge-freezer, is a really useful feature, which reduces power usage in the fridge while you’re away. You’ll need to empty that compartment before you leave home, while the freezer continues to run normally.
Other handy extras to look out for include Eco mode and a Super Freeze function. I also particularly like our Auto Defrost, which stops unwanted icy build-ups. The good news is all of these functions feature in our Ri7320.
If you’re a fan of food prep and batch cooking, you’re sure to love our Sense Premium RiF1800. This in-column freezer’s
frost-free system prevents ice build-up and freezes food much
quicker. Its sleek touch controls are precise and easy to navigate – and it even includes a removable
twist ice-cube maker!
Rising energy costs have dominated the news in recent months. So, before you decide on the best fridge-freezer, it makes good sense to get to grips with its energy efficiency ratings. In March 2021, the old system was replaced with new energy classifications. These feature a simpler A to G scale (with no plusses) in a bid to make it
easier for consumers to compare products.
However, this ‘rescale’ has meant that products which were previously classified as A+++ subsequently became D and E, even though they are no less energy efficient than before. So, you can imagine this has caused some confusion. At Caple, many of the changes we have made mean that the appliances now classed as D or E actually use less energy than previous A+++ products. So, this makes them both
an energy- and cost-efficient option.
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