After setting up home together it's fair to say that we've tried a lot of different products and appliances over the last year or so. One of our purchases in 2010 was this fridge freezer from Argos which we purchased in a silver finish. The sole reason for spending a little extra was vanity as you can buy this in white also (or an identical model with a different number) but I wanted a fridge freezer to match my black and silver kitchen. Also, as money was tight at the time I was looking around for a good few weeks for the lowest price, yet higher rated, fridge freezer I could find. This was the one that fit the bill and eventually, after a two week wait, it was delivered.
When this was delivered it was provided with polystyrene all over it as well as lots of thick plastic that was designed to protect the finish of the fridge freezer in transit. I must say that the packaging was very effective as the fridge freezer we received was in perfect condition with no marks or scratches at all. It did take me a fair bit of time to remove all the packaging but I'd rather this than have a damaged product. I was able to remove all packaging and put the freezer in place by myself with no problems at all and once I'd removed all the tape holding the trays inside in place it was ready for a quick wipe before I plugged it in and turned it on. I believe it advised in the provided instructions to leave this for 24 hours either before filling it or before turning it on, not quite sure now, but I did neither choosing to plug it in and fill it up almost instantly and saw no problems from doing this at all.
This fridge freezer, naturally, comprises of two parts. I will provide a little more detailed information on each.
The fridge has 2 adjustable glass shelves (top, middle shelves) and then the bottom shelf is also made of glass and also makes up the 'lid' to the salad crisper drawer. The crisper drawer is nice and deep and it's easy to fit lots of fruit and vegetables in this, including melons and big bags of salad. We also sometimes just fill this up with chocolate and sweets when we are having friends over and there is always plenty of room for anything we want to put in there. The glass shelves can be adjusted to different heights meaning it's easy to have the top shelf lower down to ensure large jars and bottles can fit in with ease. The shelves are strong and strudy with a plastic edge on them ensuring you don't smash them if you are clumsy when putting items in the fridge. There is a large bottle rack on the door which holds a four pint of milk, 2 litre bottle of drink, 500ml of water and a 1l carton of juice with no problems at all. I find it difficult to place more bottles of drink on the bottom shelf in the fridge as it's a little like playing tetris if I want to shut the door properly. There are also two more plastic trays clipped inside the door which hold jars of mayonnaise, cans of coke and other things like that. The trays in the door give lots of added space to the fridge without detracting much from the space inside, these trays are very simple to remove to give a clean and I find a wipe with a damp cloth is enough to move most dirt and grim quite easily. Overall the space in this is more than ample for two adults and it's fair to say we've had lots of large items stored in here such as watermelons and large joints of beef for the family gatherings on the occasional Sunday. The space is just right for us and it's nice and simple to keep the fridge clean at all times. The seal on the door is nice and strong and hasn't let me down yet, the only problem occasionally is me ramming too many bottles of Coca-Cola inside and this means the door just springs open after I close it but I normally notice this straight away. The net fresh food capacity of this fridge is 92 litres which seems to be reasonable for a fridge of this size.
The freezer has three drawers, each drawer seems to be an equal size. The freezer section holds 53 litres which is just about sufficient for a couple. I would say if there are any more than two of you in your house or if you do a large amount of batch freezing (as I'd like to) then possibly this is not for you. Each drawer will hold a few packets of potatoes, vegetables of some description but it can be difficult to squeeze things in. For example my bottle shelf could hold a cylinder of soup, a large bag of chips and a 2 litre tub of ice cream but it's difficult to fit much more than that in. It's definitely considerably smaller than the fridge, as it does state that it's 53 litres instead of 92 but it's still tiny in comparison. We find it a little bit of a struggle to have more than a weeks shopping in here and at times we just eat out of the freezer for a whole week to try and free up some space again. This is particularly annoying when I miss out on bargain buys because I know I won't have the freezer space and they will go off in the fridge quickly. This is obviously not the fault of the freezer but more of me being a little cheap and not understanding just how little I'd be able to fit in this. The drawers are nice and deep but a little narrow in places. Also, it can be a little difficult to fit these back in place if they are overfilled (which they usually are due to lack of space!). After six months of use there is not a single icicle or bit of frost within the freezer and I've not had to clean it out once yet.
The fridge is on the top of this and the freezer is on the bottom. This works very well for us as we tend to use the fridge a lot more than the freezer and it saves me constantly bending down. Also, it means that when we are packing away the food shopping my taller other half can be filling up the fridge while I play tetris and fill the freezer to capacity. The door can be reversed but I cannot comment on this as I've never needed to this as if we reserved the door it would just smash in to one of our larder cupboards. There is a manual temperature control which makes it easy to control the temperature of this at all times.
This unit has an energy efficiency rating of A with a storage capacity of 5.12 cubic feet, the star rating is 4. I was very pleased to see that this was an A rated appliance as we live in a very energy efficient property (97/100!) and want to ensure that our appliances use as little power as possible. The energy consumption of this is 252kwh per year based on standard test results for 24 hours and this seemed quite low compared to some of the more expensive fridge freezers I looked at.
The dimensions of this fridge freezer are 145 X 48 X 53cm (H X W X D) which was just perfect and fits, almost flush, between one worktop and my large larder cupboard. The doors have easy handles to make opening them easy and the seals work well. Overall this fridge freezer is fantastic, it has not let us down, it looks nice and it works very well. I cannot think of a single downside to this fridge freezer other than the fact that the freezer is small but that's really my problem as it clearly displays the size on the Argos website.
We paid around £170.00 for this in September last year but this price is now around £189.99 with frequent special offers, however, you can also have the express delivery for another £20-£30 depending on the promotions that Argos are running. The price is very reasonable for the quality of the look and the product itself and we've had no problems with this at all.
If you are in the market for a new fridge freezer and have either limited space or a limited budget then I would firmly recommend this to you. Apart from the freezer compartment being small it's been fantastic value for money. Six months on we've not had a single problem with this fridge freezer and as we have an open plan kitchen/living room it's fair to say that the noise from this fridge freezer is not even noticeable after you've switched it on. I cannot remember how long the flex is on the plug socket but I know it's more than ample for us, although our plug socket is directly behind where the fridge freezer goes.
Energy Efficiency / Short name: Argos AAFF48145