Chances are pretty good that the fridge in your kitchen has two components: a refrigerator and a freezer. Your fridge is probably full of things like milk, produce, condiments and leftovers. Your freezer holds ice, frozen dinner, ice cream and waffles.
But have you ever considered purchasing a freezerless fridge? Perhaps your freezer takes up so much space in your fridge that there's no room in there for all that stuff you buy at the farmers market each week. Or, maybe you'd like to design your kitchen so that your refrigerator and your freezer drawers are placed attractively in two separate spots.
Let's delve into the best reasons to buy a freezerless fridge.
Perhaps you live in a tiny apartment or a dorm room. Or maybe you rent a room in a larger house with a shared kitchen. You may not have a need for a full-sized refrigerator. And -- more importantly -- you simply don't have the room. This is one reason to downsize to a half-sized fridge without a freezer. It'll take up only a small amount of space in your living area. You can keep anything you must have frozen in your community freezer, and use your small fridge for personal items like soft drinks, milk, produce and yogurt.
A fridge without a freezer can be cheaper than a regular refrigerator/freezer combination. For example, a Whirlpool fridge/freezer with icemaker is priced from around $899 to $1299, depending on bells and whistles. But a basic Whirlpool freezerless fridge starts at $617. Get a compact refrigerator and this price disparity grows even more. Compact fridges start around $100, according to an online search at Best Buy.
Another specific way you might use a freezerless refrigerator to save money is to use it as an ersatz wine fridge. If you're a real oenophile, you know a wine refrigerator can be quite expensive -- a full-sized wine fridge can run up to $1,000. However, if you just want to store your wine at a constant temp and aren't all that concerned about the utmost perfect temperature, a cheap freezerless fridge can be an inexpensive alternative.
If you'd like a second fridge for all the produce, deli meat and endless cupcakes you keep, you might be in the market for a second fridge. And a freezerless model might save you some money energy-wise.
Home appliances are Energy-Star rated, which means they must meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). An appliance's energy use and efficiency must be displayed on a yellow EnergyGuide label, which estimates the amount of energy the appliance uses as well as approximate annual operation costs.
We looked at the EnergyGuide labels on a standard refrigerator and a freezerless refrigerator from Sears:
- Kenmore 18.2 cubic foot top freezer refrigerator has an estimated yearly electricity use of 479 kWh, and an estimated yearly operating cost of $51.
- Kenmore 16.7 cubic foot freezerless refrigerator has an estimated yearly electricity use of 438 kWh, and an estimated yearly operating cost of $40.
Many people with large households like to save money by buying food in bulk. However, there's no point in buying food in bulk if you have nowhere to store it.
This is where a second fridge comes in handy. A second fridge can be used to store bulk drinks, produce, fresh meats and dairy. Even if you don't have a big family, if you entertain a lot, a second fridge is very convenient. No more playing Tetris with all the food everyone brings for a potluck. The extra space helps you to keep everything organized. Best of all, you can keep an extra fridge anywhere -- even in the garage.
If you're redoing your kitchen and would like more storage for cold and frozen foods, your interior designer may suggest a separate full-size, freezerless refrigerator and a freezer. In a custom-designed kitchen, these appliances can be cleverly disguised to match your cabinetry. That way, they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen without disrupting the look of the room. Refrigerator "drawers," which are basically freezerless fridges, are also an attractive option and can be used for storing snacks and soft drinks in an easy-to-reach place.
HowStuffWorks shows you how to organize your fridge and which food to put on the top, middle and bottom shelves and in the fridge door.
- "Learn More About Energy Guide." EnergyStar.gov. 2011. (Oct. 1, 2011)http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=appliances.pr_energy_guide
- "The History of the Refrigerator." KeepItCool.com. 2002. (Oct. 1, 2011)http://www.keepitcool.com/history_of_the_refrigerator2.htm