How to buy a Refrigerator in Nigeria

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Buying a refrigerator in any family is a major household expense that requires some thought and consideration before committing money to it.

The following is what you should consider before buying a refrigerator:

Size

Ensure that whatever type of refrigerator you buy fits into the space you have reserved for it. This means measuring the height, depth and width of the space before making the purchase. Also, be sure that the new unit fits through halls and doors on its way to the kitchen.

Brand

There are many brands of refrigerators in the Nigerian market today. They include Haier Thermocool, Samsung, LG, Ocean, Newclime, etc.

Type

There are several types of refrigerators to consider.

Top-Freezer Refrigerators:

This is the most popular of all the refrigerator types. The freezer compartment usually takes up a third of the unit and sits on top of the fresh food compartment.

Benefits: They typically offer the most storage for their size. Because of the wide shelves, it is easy to reach to the back. They are also cheaper than other styles in the market.

Draw backs: Items in the back of the freezer might be difficult to reach for shorter people or for small children in the family. For taller people, you have to bend to reach bottom shelves and drawers. Also, the wide swinging doors require sufficient clearance.

Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators:

This is the opposite of the more traditional top freezer model, placing the fresh food compartment at eye level. The freezer compartment is either a drawer or a swinging door compartment.

Benefits: Cheaper than other styles except top freezer. Also offers easier access to fresh foods since foods are at eye level.

Draw backs: Access to frozen foods may be awkward or less convenient especially with a swinging door. It also requires wide deep space to allow doors to swing fully open.

Side-By-Side Refrigerators:

These are vertical, full length split where the freezer is on one side and the fresh food compartment is on the other. They typically come with through-the-door ice and water dispensers, temperature controlled bins, and rapid ice making cycles. Some even have gadgets like TV screens.

Benefits: Convenient access to fresh and frozen foods, abundant freezer capacity, ideal for narrow or galley style kitchens because less space is required for door swings than your traditional full-width door models.

Draw backs: Narrower compartments may not easily accommodate larger platters. It has less overall fresh-food space than your traditional top and bottom freezers. It is also more expensive than your top and bottom freezer models.

French-Door Refrigerators:

This type brings together the popular side-by-side model with the bottom freezer model. The side-by-side fresh food compartment sits on top of the freezer compartments. Sometimes, the freezer compartment comes as a double-decker drawer.

Benefits: Elegant, versatile to hold different types of food items in different compartments.  They are energy efficient. You open a small portion of the fridge to take what you want.

Draw backs: The aesthetics come at a price.

Freezer-less Refrigerators:

This type of refrigerator uses the entire volume space for refrigeration, not freezing. They are ideal for storing drinks or to use for commercial purpose (food, ice cream, etc).

Compact Refrigerators:

These are small refrigerators ideal for rooms, dorm rooms, office or kitchenette. They hold one-fourth as much as a regular refrigerator. Prices can vary from a fraction of a regular refrigerator to more than a regular refrigerator.

Benefits: They can be used to store beverages or temporary storage of snacks.

Draw Backs: May not cool perishables well. It is important that you monitor the temperature inside with thermometer, especially when you have perishables to avoid harmful bacteria sipping in.

Capacity

How much capacity you will need in a refrigerator depends on a number of factors.

Lifestyle – If you are a single person that likes to eat out, you are probably not going to need as much space as someone who likes to cook regularly at home. So the more people that live in a household, the higher the capacity you are going to need.

As a rule of thumb, excluding freezer, estimate about 8 – 10 Cu ft for a household of two. Add another 1.5 Cu ft for each additional member.

Features

Another thing to consider when buying a refrigerator is the features. Gone are the days when the only feature you found in a refrigerator is the ice cube maker and egg holder. Today’s refrigerators are packed with many features such as:

–         Shelving and storage options
–         Spill-proof glass shelves
–         Gallon or gallon plus door bins
–         A full-width deli tray
–         Chill and climate control options
–         LED lighting
–         Wine rack

External features

–         Child locks
–         Temperature/door alarms
–         Filtered ice and water dispensers
–         Refreshment center compartments

Price

The price of a refrigerator is determined by its capacity and the features that come with it. The more the capacity and features you have, the higher the price. You need to visit different authorized dealers of the brand you wish to buy to determine what capacity and features you want.

Once you have settled on your choice, ensure that the seller is an authorized dealer, who will give you one to three years warranty. The warranty typically covers repairs or replacement if the product should break. Also, make sure you understand the terms of the warranty.

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