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How to choose the right refrigerator and freezer?

Last updated on 28 December 2018

Fridges and freezers operate 24/7 throughout the year. They therefore represent 20-30% or more of a household's average electricity consumption. By choosing an efficient fridge and/or freezer that meets your needs, you can easily reduce your electricity bill.

Make the right choice 

1. Learn to read the energy label

Energy labels on electrical appliances are mandatory in Europe and tell you:

  • the volume (in litres) of all the storage compartments;
  • the volume (in litres) of the freezer compartment (if you choose a fridge freezer);
  • the noise level (in decibels);
  • the annual consumption (in kWh). A little trick is to divide this figure by four to get an idea of the annual cost of the appliance's consumption in euros;
  • the energy class, indicated with a letter: from A (the most efficient) to E for fridges from 2019, from A+++ (the most efficient) to A+ for freezers.

2. Choose a fridge or freezer that meets your needs

To make sure that you do not use too much electricity, choose an appliance that suits your needs and the size of your household. For a person living alone, the recommended size is 100 litres, with an extra 50 litres per additional person.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What space do I really need to store my food? Basic products that always take up space and fresh products that are constantly being replaced.
  • How many meals do you eat at home each week? Do you do one weekly shop or do you stock up more regularly?

3. Fridge, freezer or a fridge freezer?

A combined fridge and freezer (fridge freezer) is the ideal solution for people with limited space, but such appliances do have some downsides:

  • The 'freezer' compartment in a fridge is not a real freezer. It is only suitable for making ice cubes or storing frozen food for a short period of time.
  • This compartment tends to double the appliance's energy consumption.

If you do go for this option, choose a model with two compressors. The two compartments therefore function independently and regulate temperature better, thus consuming less electricity.

Chest freezers are generally better insulated than tall or under the counter freezers and consume 15-25% less electricity.

4. Compare the energy consumption of different models

You can find a table comparing fridges and freezers on the site Topten.be.

Think about the grants you could receive!

The city of Brussels grants bonuses to anyone buying a new A+++ fridge (A from 2019). But be aware, you need to send the grant application form to the Eco Advice Service (cellule Éco-conseil/Milieuraadgeving) within 4 months of buying your appliance.

Class A++ fridges and freezers may be bought using eco vouchers.

Important: using it well

Made your choice? Now you need to start using your new appliance properly. Discover a few simple rules for using your appliance efficiently and with an eye to consumption by reading the question 'How to reduce the power consumption of my refrigerator and freezer?'

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