Does your fridge freezer make your blood boil?

Full fridge freezer

Do you get refrigeration rage? Or is your fridge freezer frustration-free? We’re assessing our ease-of-use testing to find out which refrigeration features are the most important for manufacturers to get right.

My flat is rented, so I don’t have much choice about the appliances that are installed in my kitchen. I just have to live with the top drawer of the freezer icing up so much that once I open it, I can’t close it again without enough brute force to make me worried that I might break the drawer.

But I know I could make life easier for myself if I defrosted the freezer regularly, instead of waiting until I just can’t bear fighting with the top drawer anymore. Some refrigeration bugbears are less avoidable, however.

Wonky shelving woes

A fridge freezer with a minor issue might not wind you up that much at first, but after using that appliance every day for years, the frustration really starts to add up.

That shelf in the fridge door that causes a bottle of ketchup to topple out whenever you open it. That salad crisper drawer that doesn’t slide all the way out, so you struggle to reach the cucumber that’s rolled to the back. That badly positioned light at the top of your fridge that leaves the rest of the compartment in darkness if you are audacious enough to store food on the top shelf.

Checking our checks

We carry out more than 400 checks, measurements and tests when we test each fridge freezer, and 87 of these are used for our ease-of-use rating. We look out for flimsy drawers or shelves, and check to see how tricky it is to store food or clean every nook and cranny.

It’s very important that our testing reflects the way that people actually use their appliances, so we’d like to hear from you if there’s something that really winds you up.

Or is there a feature in your fridge freezer that makes your life easier? Is it important to you to be able to adjust shelves to fit in larger items? Do transparent freezer drawers transform the way you view your frozen food or could you live without them? Share your refrigeration woes and wonders with us.

Comments
Member

The problem we have with fridges is the stuff that gets stored, or pushed, near the back of the shelf – and forgotten. We’d like to see doors with deeper storage and shallower shelves, so the space is shared more equally.

Member

The most annoying shortcoming is a door-left-open alarm that fails to activate if the door is only slightly open. It’s fairly obvious if the door is left wide open, so such an alarm serves its purpose most usefully when the door is less conspicuously only slightly open. Many times my freezer door hasn’t been completely closed, and after several hours the food starts to thaw because the alarm failed to sound and nobody noticed.

Member

For decades we have had kitchen cupboards with hinges that ensure that the door is closed under spring pressure or conspicuously open.

This is an important issue because icing can interfere with the self-defrosting system and even result in breakdown. Obviously this is the fault of the owner but perhaps the manufacturer should give some thought to designing products that are more tolerant to our failings.

Member
Marcus says:
16 June 2014

Yes, I share a flat with others and I’ve lost count of the number of times the freezer has defrosted because the door hasn’t closed properly for whatever reason (e.g. because it was slammed and bounced open, because a drawer wasn’t pushed all the way back in and prevented full closing, etc) so a freezer alarm would be a godsend but it’s only useful if it works in these instances (i.e. of a small gap) rather than only notifying you of the door being left fully open (which never actually happens).

Member
Marcus says:
16 June 2014

It’s also possible that the auto-defrost function is at fault instead of human error but it’s hard/impossible to determine this after the fact, and as it happens once a year or so I don’t see how this could be tested by Which?

Member

The auto-defrost should operate much more frequently than once a year.

Member
AlanPowell says:
9 June 2014

I have little use for a fridge, i would love a fridge/freezer with a large freezer section and small fridge.

Member

I have a feeling there will be a mechanical explanation for why this type of appliance is not readily available but you are not alone in needing just a small chilled larder space and a larger capacity freezer unit.

Member

I wonder if there is a technical reason or simply lack of demand. I recall reading about fridge-freezers with small fridge compartments but cannot remember whether they worked well. It would be interesting to find out.