The Best Side by Side Refrigerator Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Top Best Side by Side Refrigerators Based on Reviews and Price
Why Choose a Side by Side Refrigerator?
Buying a small fridge can be a big mistake because it fills up quickly. Depending on the space in the kitchen, it is always better to buy a large one, perhaps a side by side refrigerator-freezer.
Those who have a large family or want to have a large reserve stock of foods and drinks are increasingly opting for this category of refrigerators.
Side by side refrigerator is characterized above all by rather large dimensions and by the presence of two vertical compartments (one dedicated to the fridge section and the other to the freezer) with doors.
These appliances are traditionally very roomy and suitable for containing large quantities of food. Usually, the minimum flow rate is around 300-400 liters. These refrigerators are, therefore, the ideal solution for families or in any case for those who like to have large stocks of fresh and frozen food.
10 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Side by Side Refrigerator
In this guide, we highlight the aspects that we believe are fundamental to guide the user in choosing the best appliance of this type.
1. Dimensions and Capacity
In choosing the kitchen refrigerator, the first elements to be taken into consideration are undoubtedly the capacity and overall dimensions of the appliance. This is obviously important both for evaluating the refrigerator’s ability to hold food and for calculating the space it will occupy in the kitchen.
The measurements of the side by side models usually oscillate between 100 and 170 cm in width of the widest models, while for the height it can be up to 180-190 cm and for the depth around 70 cm. The capacity, however, varies between 350 and 600 liters.
2. Consumption and Energy Class
Today, most of the side by side refrigerators on the market guarantee a good energy-saving capacity. In fact, they almost all start from category A, even reaching A +++. Obviously, the more the appliance belongs to a high energy class, the higher the cost of the purchase.
However, choosing this type of appliance can be considered a sort of investment as buying a refrigerator of a higher energy level guarantees a considerable saving on the electricity bill. Remember that it is an appliance that is kept on day and night.
3. Cooling Mode
The cooling method of refrigerators can be:
- Static: This type maintains the humidity level suitable for storing food;
- Ventilated: This type ensures a homogeneous distribution of temperature and humidity throughout the fridge compartment is guaranteed and rapid recovery of temperature after opening the door.
- No frost: This type does not allow the formation of frost and ensures the ideal temperature in all the compartments of the fridge.
- Dual no frost: The no-frost system in this type is combined with the ventilated one for greater performance.
In general, the side by side models has a no frost or ventilated cooling system.
4. Materials and Design
The quality of the materials is an essential factor to consider while choosing the side by side refrigerator as it is a household appliance for daily use and which generally must last for several years. The most used material for side by side refrigerators is certainly stainless steel which also gives the appliance a Hitech and modern touch.
The interior, on the other hand, is made of plastic materials made specifically to withstand low temperatures and to thermally-insulate the internal compartments. When buying a refrigerator, it is important to check that the cold room is smooth and without imperfections.
As for the design, compared to French door refrigerators, the side by side refrigerators are generally characterized by aesthetic impact and contemporary style. Obviously, there are different variants and colors on the market: from stainless steel to elegant black, even to the original colored models that give the kitchen a touch of liveliness.
5. Accessories and Functionality
Most modern side-by-side refrigerators are equipped with a convenient ice and water dispenser, which is much better than mini-fridges. The appliance must be connected to the domestic water supply. In this way, you can always have fresh water and ice.
Many models are also equipped with an LCD display that, once connected to the smartphone, allows for the remote control of the appliance, for example by checking the status of the food inside.
To protect the health and safety of people, many refrigerators include accessories and technology that facilitate their use and control. These are some of the most prominent examples:
- To start with, Total No Frost (auto defrost) technology, combined with an air recirculation system, ensure that cold air is distributed evenly in both compartments.
- Before choosing your side by side refrigerator, you can also ensure it has a small LED screen. This is usually placed on one of the two doors. It makes temperature programming very simple, which can obviously vary between the fridge and freezer.
- Among the other technological specifications, there’s also the comfortable acoustic signal, designed to remind you when it is time to close the doors if they have been open for too long. In this way, the appliance helps avoid energy waste.
- In addition, depending on the model and the manufacturer, there may be several extra features such as the “vacation mode” one.
- If your family is the type which holidays often, then you may want to consider a model with this feature. In refrigerators with Vacation Mode, when you turn it on, the freezer will continue running normally. However, the temperature of the fridge compartment will be as low as 15°C. This is ideal for when you are away for longer or shorter periods.
Other built-in technologies which you may consider include:
- Door sensors, which serve to regulate the loss of cold air inside the refrigerator, ensuring that the doors close properly.
- Multi-zone cooling which allows moderate control of temperature and humidity.
- The sensors keep the refrigerators running efficiently and at optimum temperature, limiting the electrical consumption.
- Child locks, which prevent young children from reaching and opening the refrigerator.
If you are disturbed by the strange noises that refrigerators usually make, look for one that does not exceed 40 decibels, so it will not wake you up at night.
8. Internal Features
When choosing a refrigerator, you will find different features available in the market, among which the following stand out:
- The antibacterial coating that slows mold growth.
- Filter change indicators, which serve to know when to change it, before the water and ice cease to be fresh.
There are different containers and accessories specially designed to make the most of the space available in a refrigerator. The best known are the following:
- Containers and supports that are very useful for storing everything in an orderly manner, such as drawers for vegetables or fruits, spaces for large or small bottles and containers for eggs.
- Sliding trays that serve to easily insert and remove food, which can be removable, adjustable or retractable.
- Spill-proof glass trays, which with their raised edges allow for better cleaning.
10. Warranty and Support
Always look for a refrigerator with a recognized brand that guarantees its quality for most of the years of use.
6 Tips for Using Side by Side Refrigerator
The refrigerator is one of those appliances that absolutely cannot be missing in a home. It is necessary to avoid food spoiling, especially in summer, and always to have something fresh to drink.
Tip 1 – What Should Not Be Done
It may seem strange, but before knowing what to do with a refrigerator (how to use it), it is important to know what not to do with it.
Pay close attention to what we are going to tell you because, when you do otherwise, there is a risk that you will have to call a technician even before using the fridge. Once the American refrigerator has been delivered to your home, do not turn it on immediately: it is categorical to wait a few hours to allow the gas to settle.
Tip 2 – How to Place the Refrigerator
Before deciding to buy the side by side refrigerator, you evaluated the spaces, took the measurements, and made all your calculations. Perfect, you have just the right corner. Be careful, though, because the fridge must be a few centimeters away from the wall because, at the rear, there must be enough ventilation to avoid condenser problems. And its design should match your design of the kitchen island.
Tip 3 – How to Clean
Some of our readers might think that we are starting from the end, but it is not like this: knowing the rules of maintenance is a preliminary aspect in our opinion. So let’s see how to clean the side by side refrigerator. Remove the idea of using any chemical detergent from your head. For cleaning to be done regularly, you can use warm water with baking soda or vinegar. We prefer the first solution because it is odorless, but both clean thoroughly.
Tip 4 – Don’t Fill It Too Much
If you have chosen to buy a large side by side refrigerator, it is because you are probably used to buying a lot of food. This does not mean that you can fill your appliance as much as possible because otherwise, the cold air will not circulate homogeneously. As a result, you will waste electricity without properly storing food.
Tip 5 – Hot Foods
You have prepared enough lasagna to feed an army, but the problem is that you are only two. Not bad, lasagna is delicious and even eaten the next day. But be careful not to put it in the refrigerator when it is still hot. Wait for it to cool. This rule applies to all hot or lukewarm foods.
Tip 6 – Which Temperature to Set?
The choice of temperature should also depend on the external one but, in broad terms, we can say that 5° can be fine, but it is important also to know how to arrange the food or beverage to make rational use of the cold produced by the fridge. If you use it to store wine, the temperature becomes vitally important. Therefore, you can have vegetables and meat in the lower part, while in the central and upper areas, you can have meats, cheeses, milk, and all those products that normally should be kept in the fridge after opening.
Wrapping It Up
It is difficult to think of being able to live in a house without a refrigerator. It is, in fact, an indispensable appliance, which allows you to store food longer and, in the most technologically advanced versions, to offer a series of useful functions.
Among the various models on the market and made by the best brands, side-by-side refrigerators stands out for their size. They are useful when you need a lot of space in which to store a large quantity of food for the family. We have focused on creating a buying guide specifically for this model. We have seen what features an appliance of this type must have to meet your needs. So make sure you consider them before shelling out your money on them.