When buying stuff for around the home I always look for something a bit different and I came across this built-in fridge drawer system when I was recently having my small kitchen refitted. It appeared to me to be the ideal solution for saving some space in the kitchen and it finally gave my the opportunity to get rid of my stained and smelly old second-hand stand alone fridge. My new fridge system is just 90cm wide and about 84cm in height. It comprises two separate drawer compartments, which together have a capacity for 190 litres (5.3 cubic feet) of food items. This is plenty of grub room to meet the weekly food supply needs of two people with a medium sized pet and average sized appetites - it would probably do a small family for that matter. The fridge is white (although I think there is a version with steel doors) and neatly fits in under the kitchen worktop so therefore doesn't look like a fridge at all but just some extra kitchen drawers. In fact I've had hours of fun at playing "Find the Fridge" whenever guests have been round to visit - it makes such a change from playing Ludo.
One unexpected advantage I have found when using a drawer style fridge is that it is much easier to get your food in and out. In an upright fridge it can sometimes be awkward bending down and trying to get items out at the back of the fridge. This problem is removed with a fridge drawer system as virtually everything is within sight and within reach. However, one unexpected disadvantage I have found when using a drawer style fridge is that you can't hide things at the back like you can in an upright fridge such as bars of chocolate or the last slice of Rhubarb pie. Of course you can easily put the chocolate at the bottom and pile things on top but it always looks obvious and the last slice of rhubarb pie would just get squashed. So in this sense I suppose the fridge forces its owners to share things more and be less selfish and greedy. No matter how much grub you stuff into your drawers though, they always seem easy to open and to this extent the fridge is ergonomically well designed.
An important factor for me whenever I purchase an electrical appliance is the energy rating, in fact it's probably the first thing I look for and this fridge is A+ energy rated so it completely satisfied my requirements. A+ is the top energy rating and typically saves 25% more energy compared to A rated appliances. The fridge actually consumes 120.45 kWh of energy per year - I'm not sure how that compares with my old fridge. It certainly doesn't sound like it's using much energy, as compared to my old fridge it hardly makes a noise.
Useful features include a dairy compartment that is specifically designed to hold butter or cheese separate from other foods which I find very useful. There is a handy bottle rack for storing all types of bottles and a useful meat box for keeping your meat fresh and separate from other foods. This is a recommended feature for greater hygiene efficiency, although being a vegetarian I'm still undecided as to what I can fill my meat box. Another added feature with this model is built-in antibacterial protection. This is actually built into the fridge liners and is supposed to offer protection for the life of the product. This doesn't save you the task of having to get down on your knees and give it a good clean once in a while. It just means that the antibacterial protection will work between your normal cleaning sessions and inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria as well as reducing odours. Oh by the way, the fridge automatically defrosts itself.
At a price of around £600 I suppose it is on the expensive side, especially when you take in to consideration that this is just a fridge without a freezer. However, on the whole I would still recommend this fridge because, although I now have to always share my toblerone and Cadbury flakes, I've not had any problems with it at all since I had it fitted.
Summary of Features
Easily installed under work top
Additional accessories included
Actual height can be 837.5 to 867.5mm
Stainless Steel Panels EDR36 (Optional)
Height: 837mm Width: 896mm Depth: 547mm
Exterior Color / Short name: Hotpoint HDR190i