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I don't know anything about appliances so when it comes for shopping for a new kitchen appliance I rely on my husband to pick the best one and just hope that he knows what he's talking about! Whenever we look at them in the shops I think they all look pretty much the same and are just so boring! I much prefer shopping for clothes and make up! When the time came for us to buy a new fridge and freezer I had to trail around the shops with my husband pretending to find them really interesting and we eventually chose this one because my husband thought it was the best. Now we have had it for about a couple of years I think it is a good one but I can see some negatives in it too and reviewing it is making me feel very grown up (and slightly boring too!!)
Choosing the fridge freezer
We had always had a fridge and freezer that were separate but we decided that buying a combined one may work out cheaper and would at least take up less space in our kitchen. When we were looking at the various appliances I did notice that some fridge/freezers were smaller in area than the separate ones and this was a concern to me because I always have a really full freezer and didn't want to miss out on important space. Some of the ones we looked at had such thick drawers that the majority of the space in the freezer section was taken up by plastic but one of the reasons why we liked this one was that the drawers were quite thin in comparrison to others so this meant that there was more space for food so this was surely a good thing! My husband liked it because he thought it was a good height which was a good point- some of the others were very tall so I wouldn't have been able to reach the top shelf which would have been no good so we opted for this one. There really were so many different ones to look at and my husband had dragged me round various shops and by the time it came to choosing one I would quite happily have had anything just to put a stop to being dragged around shops!
This fridge/freezer combination holds in total 314 litres. I don't really know what this means in reality- I guess if you were to fill it full of water then it would hold this amount... The fridge section is larger than the freezer with the fridge holding 204 litres. It is 180cm tall and 62cm in depth. The width is 60cm. This is a pretty standard size as it fits into the area we have for it in the kitchen perfectly leaving a few centimetres on both sides so it has room to 'breathe'. It is rated an A in terms of energy efficiency which at the time was the best but now I think (although I may be wrong) you can get AA and even AAA but at the time t his was seen as being very energy efficient. The freezer section has three drawers in which are different sizes, the top one is the smallest, the middle the deepest and the bottom one is in between. I think I would rather have the deepest at the bottom as it would look better... The fridge has two separate drawers at the bottom for vegetables and it has three shelves above that that you can position where you like. Within the door itself you have an egg tray, two little shelves that can be taken out for cleaning purposes and a shelf at the top with a clear plastic lid that you can put down. When we first got this we could choose which side we wanted the fridge to open so you can put the doors on either side depending upon which is most practical.
Looking at specifications don't really mean anything to me, I need to actually use something to see how well it works for what I need it for. This appliance is great in some ways but not so great in others but we wouldn't have noticed this without having used it.
I really like that all of the shelves and drawers within this can be removed because it means I can clean them easily and also rearrange everything if I need to like when I try to fit the turkey in the fridge at Christmas- all the other shelves come out then! So keeping this fridge and freezer clean is really easy. I find that it builds up condensation really easily if you push items to the back of the fridge and this drips down the back and seems to gather in the area beneath the vegetable tray. If this isn't cleaned out regularly it goes slimy so it is really important that it is cleaned out a lot so it's a good job that it's easy to get everything out. The fridge section I think is the best, the temperature on it is practical, we tend to keep at at 3, anything colder than that then it tends to freeze things- especially those at the back. We always keep vegetables in the drawers as this seems to keep them fresh, if we put them in the area above and they end up being moved towards the back they can get too cold but the drawers give them more protection. The section in the door with a little clear plastic covering on it is a bit annoying, it won't always close and if you put too much in there it leaps out at you when you open the fridge- watch your feet!
The freezer section is really quite poor. We chose this design because we liked that the drawers didn't take up too much space because the plastic was thinner but this has meant that we pay for that! The quality of the plastic is terrible! it's so thin that we've managed to break each one in turn and this was even when they were not completely full so it's not as if we had over packed them! now we have a few bits of the drawers that are really sharp so we have to be careful when using them. You can buy replacement drawers on Amazon- and now I can see why! We should really get some I suppose. Another negative about the freezer is it just looks a bit weird having the drawers in random size order, it doesn't look amazing having the middle drawer being the deepest, you would expect that one to be at the bottom. It also gathers loads of ice too, we have to defrost this regularly, within 6 months it can build up so much that you have very little space for food! I really dislike having to defrost a freezer it's cold and boring to do but it has to be done for this model. Sometimes the door doesn't close properly either, in the 3 years we 've had this it has defrosted by mistake about 5 times so now we double check it every time!
I do seem to have criticised it quite a lot in the above paragraphs but I do actually quite like this fridge freezer! Honestly! I think the fridge is great because it holds lots and it's so practical. I really like how easy it is to clean and to be able to rearrange it when you need to. You do just have to be careful not to turn the dial down as the colder settings seem to work more like a freezer so are not suitable for a fridge with food in! Also you have to be careful to not push items to the back as they get very wet and can freeze, this is not always easy, things easily get pushed back so we just have to be on top of cleaning it afterwards. The drawers at the bottom for the vegetables are really good quality and work well. The freezer lets this down quite a bit, it's definitely poor quality in terms of the drawers and it doesn't look very appealing. The top drawer is only thin and doesn't really hold very much we tend to just put ice lollies and ice cubes in it it doesn't hold much more.
I am giving this fridge/freezer 4 stars because I do believe that it is a decent model but there are just some improvements that could be made. If they made it taller so the freezer had more space that would be great but then I would struggle to reach the top shelf of the fridge so I can see why it is the size it is and one of the reasons this appealed was that it wasn't too tall for me so I cannot really complain about the actual size of the freezer.
It is really easy to clean and I like that you can swap the side of the hinge if you need to. This is a good idea .You just have to be really careful that you close the door properly after you have used it else you could end up with a freezer that's defrosting!
We paid £400 for this and it was a good price to pay at the time. I would make a few changes to it to make it perfect but I am fairly happy with it as a whole.
Short name: Hotpoint RFA08