* Prices may differ from that shown
Thanks to running my own pub business for many years I had been spoilt by having permanent access to large fridge/freezers for my personal groceries and so when I sold the business eighteen months ago the family moved into a suburban terrace complete with a standard size fridge/freezer I had to make an awful lot of adjustment to my shopping habbits which came as a shock!
During winter months over stocking the old fridge/freezer was not a problem due to a glass "lean to" adjoining the house that acted as a rather primitive cold room which did a really effective job of keeping milk and other groceries fresh but alas, come summer it had the oposite effect and so after months of diliberation I finally brought my new American style fridge/freezer about six weeks ago and it has proved to be one of the best electrical items I have purchased in the past couple of years and now I don't know where I would be without it or how I even coped before!
The model I chose was the Daewoo FRSU20IAI in silver. There were variations in black (which although was shiny and sleek was too dark for our kitchen) and stainless steel (it was clear that with small children constantly handling the unit their prints would would mark easily and I would be constantly cleaning to keep it looking smart. I have heard that if you wipe a stainless steel unit in a light coating of baby oil it helps to prevent dirt and keep shiny - I have yet to try this!) The unit itself measures 179cm high x 90cm wide x 73cm deep (which also includes an allowance for the handles). We had plenty of room to bring through our front door and hallway through to the kitchen however, all packaging had to be removed first other wise it would not have fitted so a thorough measurement is strongly advised before you commit to a purchase.
The auto defrosting fridge/freezer is basically two upright sections (the larger being the fridge on the right hand side) weighing in at 113kg and it takes at least two strong persons to move. The unit has a combined gross capacity of 618 litres (21.8 cubic feet) and all shelves are made with spill proof safety glass and can be height adjusted. Temperatures for the fridge and freezer can be individually controlled using a very easy electronic push button located in the top right hand side of the fridge.
Energy rated catagory "A" with an annual consumption of 520kwh which in terms of cold hard cash will cost me around £69.00 (520kwh x 13.45-the cost I pay per unit) per year to run which is actually slightly cheaper than my old fridge/freezer! Noise levels are rated "A" at 44decibels (you here it cut in and out at times but general running is hardly noticeable). The unit is CFC free (relatively small molecule of carbon, chlorine and fluorine atoms which without going into too much detail contribute to damage of the ozone layer)
There are other models available in the range with an energy efficiency rating of "A+" however I worked out that at most I would save around £10.00 per year (making them around the £59.00 a year mark to run) and they were well over £200.00 extra so the maths didnt work out there for me personally!
The Fridge Interior:
The fridge has a 360 litre (12.7 cubic feet) capacity. Two clear draws for salad and veg (the lowest being slightly smaller) are located at the bottom of the fridge. Three internal shelves and one plastic pull out draw for meat, fish or poultry. Four bottle shelves and one dairy shelf that has a plastic see through cover are located on the door. An internal light and Antibiotic Deodoriser are built into the unit and an egg tray is included (actually more of a just a rectangular plastic container but it still does the job!)
The Freezer interior:
Frost free with a 201 litre (7.1 cubic feet) capacity. Four internal shelves are included one of which has two pull out ice trays. Five bottle/storage shelves in the door are handy but less practical, in hind sight I would have preferred they were not there as you do lose shelf space but this is really something you find out after you start using. Two draws at the bottom of the unit with clear fronts are perfect for open bags etc and and internal light.
Other Daewoo models are available with ice and water dispensers which ranged at the time upwards from £150.00 over the price for this unit but when viewing in store I realised that in order to utililise we would have to get the unit plummed into the mains water something which seems quite obvious now but is not mentioned in the product over view online (I actually thought that you could just fill up a canister inside!). We will also be getting a new kitchen soon and relocating the fridge/freezer so the extra money for the upgraded unit and plumming costs just did not for me, make these extra facilities worth while. With these facilities you also lose a considerable amount of space in the freezer as well.
Considering the size of the unit it is not bulky or obtrusive in the kitchen and blends in quite well. This unit has allowed me to have more freedom with my weekly shop. The space in both the fridge and freezer is colossal and incredibly deceptive (especially the draws that hold an awful lot more than I gave them credit for!). The temperature control is so easy to use and because you can individually control the fridge and freezer it gives greater control over the temperatures (previously with my old unit if I wanted to turn the fridge temp down I would also alter the freezer). I really could not recommend this model enough. It is quiet to run and cost effective with a capacity to hold months of food supplies! The price that I paid was incredibly competitive and I just wish I had made the purchase eighteen months ago! Slightly heavier doors mean that my children (both under 5) are unable to continually keep opening the doors (which is an area that broke on my last unit). Easy to clean and all internal shelves and bottle holders feel really strong and durable.
The downside for me is the bottle holders in the freezer door which I personaly would prefer they were not there but it is just a niggle that I can live with and certainly is not enough to put me off buying a simular model again. These American Style fridge/freezers are not going to be suitable for everyone abviously the main reason being their size but for families I think they are great value for money, especially when compared to "standard" sized units which are also around the same price but with less storage.
Where I Purchased:
Due to the size the fridge/freezer is home delivery only. I purchased mine online through Currys via Quidco who offered at the time 3% cash back which totalled just under £15.00 as the unit was in the sale at £499.00 (currently now £699.00) . I also got free home delivery within 4 days. Interestingly if I had ordered the same unit in store I would have been charged £30.00 delivery. I was provided with an estimated time slot by Currys which was honoured. The whole delivery took about twenty minutes. Currys delivery drivers took all packaging and rubbish away to dispose and I was offered the removal of my old fridge/freezer free of charge as well. The service I recieved was exceptionally good from start to finish.
The unit needs to stand for eight hours to allow internal gasses to settle before use
The unit needs to have room for air ventalation at the back and so can not be placed flush against a wall
Models with water dispensers will need water filters replacing approximately every twelve months. Prices range upwards of £14.99 depending on model and where you buy
Fresh Food Volume / Short name: Daewoo FRSU20IAI