Freestanding or built-in, space-saving or XXL: today’s refrigerators know how to satisfy every need for space, budget and style
However, there is one model which, more than the others, has enjoyed constant success for some time. And the combined refrigeratorequipped with a refrigerator in the upper part and a freezer in the lower part.
By hosting the two appliances in the same column, the combined refrigerator manages to solve space problemsand can be installed even in the smallest kitchens.
How the combined refrigerator works
Once upon a time, combined refrigerators worked with two motors: one powered the refrigerator, the other the cooler. Today the engine is uniqueand manages the two zones independently: although each has its own temperature, thanks to the presence of two separate thermostatsenergy consumption is therefore lower.
How does a combined refrigerator work? Inside the unit circulates a coolant which, by means of a compressor, heats up and reaches the condenser, where it cools down, releasing heat to the external environment. Further cooled thanks to the expansion valve, which reduces its pressure, the fluid passes inside the unit through the evaporator. It therefore absorbs the heat present in the refrigerator and cooler, and returns to the compressor, thus completing the cycle.
The temperature is monitored constantly by several sensors and thermostats, which regulate the operation of the compressor and guarantee the correct preservation of the food in the two compartments. Both the refrigerator and the freezer are therefore able to keep food at the right temperature, preserving its properties and safety.
The advantages of the combined refrigerator (and the differences with the double door refrigerator)
The main reason why the combined refrigerator is chosen is the subsistence in the same column of refrigerator and freezer. A solution practical and space-savingwhich makes this type of refrigerator an “obligatory” choice in small kitchens.
However, it is essential to consider its difference from the double door refrigerator. While the latter has a large refrigerator compartment in the lower part and a smaller freezer in the upper part, the combined refrigerator has the opposite arrangement: the refrigerator is at the top, the freezer at the bottom, and the dimensions of the compartments are more similar to each other .
More specifically, a combined refrigerator has:
- and higher volumeof about 350 liters (against the 250-300 of the double door refrigerator);
- and larger freezerwhich makes it suitable for families and for those who often freeze food;
- a compartment more accessible refrigeratoras placed in the upper part;
- several space-saving features: pull-out drawers, adjustable shelves, etc.;
- a wide range of colors and finishes;
- low energy consumptiondue to the single engine.
How to choose the perfect combined refrigerator
Even knowing how combined refrigerators work, choosing the perfect model can seem complicated.
To find the most suitable solution, you need to start with yours habits: Do you live alone? You have a family? How many times a week do you eat your meals at home? Do you often freeze ready-made food, or do you prefer to buy fresh food every day? By answering these questions, you will be able to understand which skill to orient yourself on. Next, you’ll need to establish a budget and take exactly the measures of the space where the appliance will be placed.
Another aspect to consider is represented by consume: the fridge stays on all day, all night, and often even when you go on vacation. It goes without saying that he must have one energy rating very high: class A++ or A+++ refrigerators allow you to save 50% of energy in a year, compared to class C or D refrigerators.
Furthermore, it is important to choose a combi refrigerator silent and with technology No Frost. By preventing the formation of frost, not only are consumption reduced, but the temperature and humidity inside the compartments are kept at the correct levels.
For the freezer, however, pay attention to Job shown on the label: they refer to the temperature it can reach to keep your food perfectly frozen. The one-star models reach -6°C, the two-star models reach -12°C, the three-star models reach -18°C. Finally, the models with four stars can freeze up to -18°/-30°C.
Available built-in or free-standing, combined refrigerators are therefore perfect for those who need to save space. Not only that: thanks to the evolution of technology, they are also a practical solution with low energy consumption.