Fridge freezers are some of those essential ‘white goods’ you’ll see in most British kitchens. They are amazingly convenient for storing food both chilled and frozen, and what’s more, they are often cunningly designed to store a lot, but to fit snugly as part of any kitchen design.
Best Integrated Fridge Freezer (October 2020)
Some of the most attractive units around are, of course, integrated fridge freezers. But what should you be looking for if you want to buy one for the first time?
Best Runner-Up: Good Value Option
Integrated Fridge Freezers: A Buyer’s Guide For 2020
In this buyer’s guide, we will be taking a close look at everything you can expect from the wider fridge freezer market, whether you are buying online or going into store. However, for the purpose of this guide, we will be looking largely at integrated models. Unsure what an integrated fridge freezer is? Not too clear on what makes a model worth buying?
Read on for the full lowdown – and we will also answer a few questions at the end of this guide to break things down for you even further.
What is an Integrated Fridge Freezer?
The difference between freestanding and integrated fridge freezers is how they are installed. Integrated systems will be built into your kitchen units, meaning that you can tuck them away behind stylish cupboard doors and panelling – if you wish.
People who want to keep their kitchen designs flush and streamlined will want to look at integrated appliances as a priority. You can integrate other white goods, too, such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers.
Sometimes, fridge freezers can stick out like a sore thumb. That’s why many people prefer to integrate them. If you’re keen to keep your kitchen design looking complete, and without white goods getting in the way, you may want to look at simple integration. However, do bear in mind that this will likely cost you more than non-integration, and you may not have as much choice.
When it comes to buying an integrated fridge freezer, you are going to need to keep your dimensions in mind. Built-in units are designed to fit specific units, usually 60cm wide. This means you should be able to slide a fridge freezer into an empty slot without much hassle. However, do be sure to check the dimensions otherwise, as depth and height really can vary.
You should also look at the balance between the fridge and freezer. Some models will have larger fridges and smaller freezers, while others will be the other way around. Beyond this, you’ll find plenty of choice in more balanced models.
All fridge freezers need some form of ventilation and insulation to make sure that they stay operational. Therefore, many integrated systems will require a certain amount or standard of insulation.
Most of the time, you should be fairly well protected with metal backing, but try not to opt for plastic if you can help it. Plastic backing has shown, in various tests, that it may actually be dangerous – in the sense that it can catch fire.
Therefore, while you will likely find plenty of fridge freezer systems which use plastic backing, they never come recommended. Make sure to opt for a metal solution wherever possible, and that goes for all fridge freezers.
Installing an integrated fridge freezer system should be fairly straightforward; however, you may want to look at service options if you’re unsure how to put everything in place.
Installing and integrated fridge freezer can take time, effort and patience, which means it’s an ideal job for a DIY expert. However, for a little extra, you should be able to pay for someone to come and fit your fridge freezer for you.
As mentioned, most integrated systems should come in standardised sizes. However, in the event that you’re having trouble getting the best width, height or otherwise, make sure to ask a retailer or manufacturer if there are installation services which are supplied alongside.
Paying a few extra pounds for someone to fix your system up for you is probably going to be worth it in the long run. What’s more, if you’re really not sure about tackling the job yourself, it is safer to ask for help than to risk voiding your warranty!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re new to buying or installing integrated fridge freezers, you’ll probably have plenty of questions to ask. Here are just a few of the common queries we can clear up for you right here, right now.
How Much Should I Pay for an Integrated Fridge Freezer?
You can generally expect to pay more for integrated units than you would for freestanding models. This is because they have to be designed to fit very specific spaces! The least expensive will probably cost you anywhere between £250 and £300, though you are more likely to pay much more than this. The top models on the market will retail for as much as £800 or more.
Do I Need an Integrated Fridge Freezer?
Integrated fridge freezers aren’t necessities as such. However, if you already have a kitchen taken up by cupboard space, or you’d like to make sure your kitchen looks flush throughout, it’s a good idea to consider hiding some utilities behind panelling and units.
That being said, if you’re happy enough for a freestanding model to fit alongside your worktops and surfaces, you will probably save a lot of money in the bargain.
Are There Any Major Benefits to Integrated Fridge Freezer Systems?
There are plenty – for one thing, they can be a lot neater to set up and install than everyday freestanding models. Modern integrated systems are also fairly easy to install, though you may still want to ask for support if you feel lost or less than confident. There’s no point worrying – find someone who can help!
Integrated fridge freezers aren’t for everyone; however, for those people who do want their kitchen to look a certain way, they are a huge relief. Do take a look at what’s available and consider your options.