Integrated fridge freezers. What you need to know

What you need to look for when replacing an Integrated Fridge Freezer

Integrated Fridge Freezers are a standard size and fit in a standard cabinet that is 60cm deep by 60cm wide. The cabinets can vary in height, but they are all made to accommodate a 178cm high appliance. But before you rush off and purchase one there are a couple of other things you need to take into consideration. What is the split of the door? 50:50,  60:40 or 70:30 you need to replace like for like otherwise you will not be able to open the doors on the new appliance. One last thing you need to check. What type of hinge has your existing appliance? Fixed – the cupboard door is attached to the fridge freezer doors. Sliding Hinge – The cupboard doors have their own hinges, and a slider connects them to the fridge and freezer door. 

Hinge type
fridge freezer Hinge kits

Are they Easy to install?

If you have never fitted one before and your not a DIY whiz, then we would recommend getting a professional fitter. It can be fiddly to get the doors aligned and the numerous bits they come with can be bewildering to a novice fitter. It is possible for a good fitter to change a sliding hinge appliance to a fixed hinge appliance. We offer a full installation service by a qualified kitchen fitter within a 10 mile radius of one of our shops. This covers Oxford and towns like Bicester, Brackley, Buckingham, Witney, Abingdon, Woodstock and surrounding villages. Outside this area there may be an additional charge for mileage (please call for a qoute).

What’s the best make?

Like everything in life, you get what you pay for and buying the cheapest appliance is not always the best idea considering the cost and hassle of installing an appliance. With this in mind we would recommend the following brands. Blomberg is a midrange brand and comes with a 5 Year Guarantee for peace of mind. Bosch Neff and Siemens are all a step up and have a huge range offering more sophisticated methods of food preservation and things like soft closing hinges to stop the door banging close or being accidently left open. Liebherr who happen to make all of Miele refrigeration is the best make. They make a huge range of integrated refrigeration with excellent build quality, precision temperature control and an array of food preservation technologies.

Built in Fridge Freezer

What’s the difference between Static, Low Frost and NO Frost?

A fridge freezer described as static will need the freezer defrosting on a regular basis. This could be every 6 – 12 months depending on how its used. Basically when the frost layer is greater than 7mm the appliance needs defrosting. Low Frost models are also static, but the cooling elements are built into the freezer walls, this reduces the frost built up considerable and allows for flexible freezer storage. They may only have to be defrosted every 2 – 3 years depending on use. Low Frost appliances normally achieve the highest energy rating of all three types.

Frost Free fridge freezers will never need defrosting as they circulate dry air around the freezer and there are no internal elements for frost to accumulate. A Frost-free appliance will normally have a slightly reduced capacity to its Static equivalent as the compressor and fan mechanism take up more room.

Planning a New Kitchen

If you are planning a new kitchen with built in appliances, we would recommend purchasing an Integrated Fridge Freezer with a Fixed hinge. The chances are the kitchen will last longer than the appliance and there is a wider choice of models to choose from with Fixed hinge than there is sliding hinge. Buying a quality integrated fridge freezer will save you money and hassle in the long run. Your Fridge Freezer will run 24/7 365 days a year so energy consumption matters. Food preservation technology will also mean you throw out less food as it is preserved longer saving even more money over the lifetime of the appliance. With a new kitchen you get to choose the split. Most people opt for a 60:40 or 70:30 to maximise the fresh food storage and back it up with an additional freestanding freezer in the garage. There is another alternative if you have room and that is to have full height 178cm Fridge and Freezer side by side. This will double the cost but you will never be short of storage space.

Why buy a Premium Integrated Fridge Freezer?

In a basic fridge freezer, the fridge maintains the same temperature throughout. You can adjust this temperature up or down but typically it will be between 2 – 7oC. The cheaper fridge freezers just have a twist dial 0 – 5 (5) being the coldest (0) the warmest. The better-quality fridge freezers have a more accurate digital temperature control and allow you to set the fridge temperature in degrees centigrade.  

Different foods have different optimum temperatures to extend their shelf life, but a standard fridge cannot cater for this. So manufacturers have therefore developed a range of premium fridge freezers that allow food to be stored within the fridge at different temperatures and different humidity levels.

Unfortunately, every manufacturer calls these features something different so look out for names like BioFresh, VitaFresh, VitaFresh +, hyperFresh. These appliances will have a separate drawer for storing Meat and Fish at 0°C which will greatly improve its preservation and shelf life. They may also have a sealed humidity control drawers for storing Fruit and Vegetables.

Fruits like apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, blackberries, melons, kiwis and avocados like Low Humidity, high humidity will cause them to go soggy and rotten more quickly. Vegetables however are the opposite and like High humidity therefore they need to be stored in a separate drawer to the fruit.  

Other Premium features include things like soft close hinges which will stop the door banging shut and also ensure that the door is always properly closed



Soft Close Door