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How to choose the best fridge freezer features

Lynn Wright / 26 May 2016

We guide you through the most important fridge freezer features to look out for.

Hand opening a fridge freezer door
Fridge freezers come with a whole raft of features from ice dispensers to door alarms

Shopping for a fridge freezer involves a host of decisions. Once you’ve chosen the type, size and capacity of your new fridge freezer, you can move on to consider other factors including the colour, finish and features. Fridge freezers come with a whole raft of features, ranging from adjustable shelves and ice dispensers to door alarms, digital displays and compartments that let you chill or freeze food fast.

For more on choosing the best model, see How to buy the best fridge freezer. 

Best fridge freezer features to look for 

Some features significantly bump up the price of your fridge freezer, so knowing which ones are worth paying extra for can help you choose the perfect one for you. Here’s our guide to useful features.

Frost-free This is one feature definitely worth having as it means never having to defrost your freezer again. An automatic defrost function is also useful as it helps prevent the build-up of ice at the back of the fridge by regulating its temperature so excessive water simply drains away.

Fast chill, fast freeze Fast freeze or fast chill compartments let you cool or freeze food to the correct temperature quickly at the flick of a switch. Helping to preserve maximum freshness and nutrients, they’re handy features for when you’ve just done your weekly shop.

Shelves Glass shelves are easier to clean than wire ones and are more hygienic as spills can’t leak onto food below. Make sure you can remove and organize shelves as needed to store larger items, and look for adjustable door racks too, so you can store tall bottles and cartons in the door.

Freezer drawers Opt for transparent freezer drawers rather than opaque ones as they will save you time when looking for frozen food.

Ice dispenser Many American-style fridge freezers come with ice and chilled water dispensers. This is a handy feature but may not be worth the extra costs involved. Your fridge freezer will need to be plumbed into the mains water supply, increasing the installation charge and limiting where you can position the appliance. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of replacement water filters every six months or so.

Alarms Some fridge freezers come with temperature and open-door alarms that alert you should the door be left ajar or the internal fridge temperature rises risking food spoiling.

Holiday mode Places the fridge in a lower power mode but keeps the freezer running normally to save energy and costs while you’re on holiday or away for a long period of time.

Flexible temperature zones Useful if your budget allows, this special compartment keeps food between 0 and 3°C and at the right humidity so it retains more flavour and nutrients for longer.

Anti-bacterial seals A coating inside the fridge freezer that prevents the transfer and growth of bacteria, helping to reduce odours and keep food fresher for longer.

Digital display Typically found on more expensive models, these help you monitor fridge freezer temperature and other settings.

Ready to buy a new fridge freezer? Read our guide to Five best American-style fridge freezers. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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