Officially, the first refrigerator for the house saw the light in 1911. Then the enterprising American company General Electric bought a patent for the design of the unit from the French physicist M. Odifren. And immediately launched into production. Needless to say, innovative devices that allow for a long time to keep food fresh, instantly gained popularity in all corners of the country?
A whole century has passed since then. Generations have changed, technical progress has stepped into a new era, and the refrigerator is still there at the head of the kitchen. Of course, it already doesn’t resemble a unit of a century ago - there are hundreds of different models from dozens of manufacturers for every taste and wallet on the market. But the problems have changed: now it is not enough just to buy and buy a refrigerator, it is important to make the right choice.
What is the difference between refrigerators?
What is normal, that in the online store most often you will receive the same list of information about the refrigeration unit. Here he is:
- category: built-in or free-standing (the doors are located one above the other or Side-by-Side in the manner of a wardrobe);
- the number of chambers and their purpose (freezing and refrigeration);
- energy class: B, A, A +, A ++, A +++ (the earlier the letter in the alphabet, the more advantages, the less power consumption);
- overall volume;
- the size;
- type of defrosting: manual or automatic (drip system or No Frost). Drip system - a generator of "wet" cold. Condensate flows through the walls of the refrigerator in a special tank, where it evaporates and settles again. No Frost - the built-in fans allowing cold dry air to circulate on a chamber.
Often at the very end of the annotation is the mention of the presence of special characteristics, such as:
- antibacterial coating
- availability of an emergency temperature maintenance system.
The first is designed to replace all sorts of additional accessories used to neutralize the smell in the refrigerator. The second will save products in the event of a short power outage.
And that's all. There are not too many points plus the information that the absolute majority of home refrigerators are of the compressor type. In fact, this is logical, since a comparative analysis shows that despite the variety of brands, the technical characteristics of refrigerators are not very different from each other within their class.
What brand of refrigerator pay attention?
Many refrigerators (for example, Bosch), presented in the stores of our country, are assembled in Russia or the near abroad. Spare parts imported - domestic assembly, so you can only argue about the quality of components, trust in one or another brand - and then with certain reservations. How do refrigerators choose today? Most often - correlating financial capabilities with aesthetic preferences.
Speaking of finances. Domestic brands "Biryusa", "ZIL", "Saratov", "Smolensk" traditionally occupy the lower price segment (up to 15,000 rubles). The leader in the segment of low-cost refrigerators is the Belarusian Atlas.
American Viking, German Liebherr, Gaggenau, Siemens and Miele firmly secured a place in the premium class (most of their models cost from 45,000 rubles).
The rest of the brands - Bosch (Germany), LG and Samsung (Korea), Electrolux (Sweden), Panasonic and Sharp (Japan), Whirlpool (USA), Beko and Blomberg (Turkey) and others - were evenly distributed along the price scale, trying to cover as much as possible consumer categories.
It is not hard to guess that the largest selection of refrigerators is in the middle price segment. And here to whom the soul lies more - to the “Japanese”, “Swedes”, “Germans”, “Koreans”, “Americans” ...
The main problems of choosing a refrigerator
Until now, the picture was quite rosy: the buyer studies a small list of parameters, selects the brand, guided by personal preferences, relates the chosen model to the free space under the refrigerator and pays for the delivery. But troubles happen, and they are connected not so much with the quality of the purchased goods, as with the attentiveness of the buyer.
So, the main factors that should come to the attention of the consumer when choosing a refrigerator:
Leading and newly arrived companies for the production of refrigerators compete with each other in the technical characteristics of the proposed product, looking for new design solutions, add accessories and additional buttons to the control panel. The buyer is keen on, compares, looking for a modern model, beautifully combined with kitchen furniture. He also forgets to check with the consultant about the availability and parameters of the special protection of the refrigerator against overloads in the electrical network. And it would be worth it. Happy owners of these appliances often return from vacation to spoiled food in the freezer and the smell of decay in the apartment.
Even in new buildings, not to mention well-worn buildings, sometimes failures occur: jumps or voltage drops. And if such a jump coincides with the moment of turning on the defenseless compressor - that's all, write it was gone.
How to avoid this? First of all, check with the consultant whether there is a voltage regulator in this particular model. If the protective node is present in the refrigerator, ask a question about its parameters. European differ from the Russian range of possible voltage deviations in the network. Namely: imported refrigerators are designed for trouble-free operation in the range of 198 ÷ 242 V, domestic refrigerators - 187 ÷ 253 V.
If you look at the reviews on Yandex.market, you get the impression that the noise during the operation of the refrigerator for many becomes a huge surprise. Of course, in the sales area, any model behaves quietly (not connected — it does not work), but the value of the Noise level parameter is not at all secret information.
In addition, this important parameter is directly dependent on many other characteristics, for example, on the number of No Frost compressors and fans, their power; refrigerant flow rates and so on. A comparative analysis of these parameters will help to identify the refrigerator with the most acceptable price / noise level.
The lower the number in decibels, the quieter the refrigerator. Normal values are values in the range 25 - 50 dB. At the same time, the category of instruments, characterized by a low noise level, is limited to 34 dB.
- The convenience of use
Household appliances are usually bought for practical reasons, but are chosen in appearance. A good European standard refrigerator ("under the ceiling") looks impressive and modern in the kitchen. Below is a roomy freezer, on top of a deep freezer - everything is as long as you wanted. But that's bad luck - not everyone is comfortable using the technique of their dreams. Though the ladder substitute! And as for children of primary and secondary school age, it is not at all possible.
At first glance, in this aspect, the consequences of a wrong choice are not so significant. But to fill the edge will be daily. And all because, being in the store, the buyer was dreamily looking at the refrigerator, and did not try to get an imaginary pan from the top shelf.
The most acceptable option is a refrigeration unit, the useful volume of which can be used without special tricks.
As the level of technical progress grows, so does human needs. If in the Soviet past, refrigerators with a volume of more than 150 liters were rarely met, today, an aggregate of 250 to 300 liters is considered average. Good food is not forbidden, so the average consumer needs a refrigerator roomy, and therefore wide. Some even want super-wide.
The overall unit from a trusted manufacturer can meet all the requirements of the buyer to the appearance and functionality. But it comes to delivery - and ... And the refrigerator does not go through the doorway.
Blame, of course, not the device. But who thought that it was necessary to measure not only the free space in the kitchen, but also to count on the possibilities of bringing this very refrigerator to the place of deployment?
How to check the refrigerator in the store?
If the buyer has decided on a specific model of the refrigerator, it remains for the small - to order. In this case, even a close inspection of the exhibit will not guarantee that the goods delivered to the house will be of high quality and efficient, and only one look at the image in the online store and even more so.
Large household appliances do not check in the store when the buyer, because it is usually stored in remote warehouses. Therefore, a manufacturing defect can only be identified at home. So do not be in a hurry to let go of the delivery service; first, inspect the refrigerator first. A serviceable should have the following symptoms:
- the front part of the refrigerator is perfectly flat - there are no dents and much less scratches and cracks;
- buttons on the control panel, if any, are easy to press;
- the doors open evenly, when closing they fit snugly to the refrigerator;
- sealing gum on the doors are uniform in color, not deformed and well embedded in the case;
- the inner surface is smooth and clean;
- drawers move well and move in;
- on the shelves there are no chips and other possible damage;
- the complete set of the refrigerator corresponds to the documents.
Any deviation from the above criteria gives the buyer reason to refuse the delivered goods. But pre-signed documents untie the hands of the delivery service. Therefore, even if a marriage is detected, it is possible that you will have to return the refrigerator back to the store on your own.
In which store is better to buy a refrigerator?
The refrigerator is better to buy in a reliable store. And if everything is clear with the small checked shops “near the house”, with the network appliance stores, as well as their Internet incarnations, then with the other Internet portals, sometimes offering refrigerators at a more attractive price, questions remain. And the main one: how to check the seriousness and reliability of the seller?
- Positive reviews
Large search engines have their own rating of online stores, based on an assessment of the buyers themselves. And although you shouldn’t completely trust the results - some of them, most likely, the purchased one - in itself, the presence of a good rating indicates that the project is functioning.
- Full information about the online store on the site
A detailed page on the company - physical, legal address, contact numbers - allows the consumer to check the accuracy of the information provided. No serious company hides this data from potential buyers.
- Quality website
A good site is the face of the company. If the management has regretted 30,000 rubles for the image, then it is likely that it has saved somewhere else - not at all in favor of the buyer.
- Availability of pickup points
Online stores vary in large and small. Those that are larger have long been equipped pickup points, and therefore contain special facilities and personnel for the issue. Another plus in the piggy bank of the seriousness of the organization.
Of course, the compliance of the online store with all the above criteria does not give a 100% guarantee of the seller’s good faith. In any case, it is important to remember that the law is always on the buyer's side. Therefore, if for some reason it is not possible to resolve the disputed issue on its own, a solution will be found by the consumer protection society.
Have a nice shopping!