Hurricane Survival

Keeping it Cool

Matthew Gerardo from Joshua Bates talks all things cold
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Fridges and freezers are vital appliances for your home, but they vary hugely. Not just in price, but in size, design, style and functionality. How do you know which ones are good value for money? How can you extend the life of your appliance and, what questions should you ask before choosing the best refrigeration for your home? Matthew Gerardo, vice president of sales at Joshua Bates answered our questions.

What size and style will physically work in your kitchen is the first decision.

“Dimension is always the main premise”, answered Mr Gerardo. “A lot of people will know the cubic capacity of their fridge, [but] cubic capacity could look like a lot of different things. It could be 36 inches wide and standard depth. It could be 42 inches wide and counter depth.”

Positioning also matters, such as a wall or countertop restricting one side, for example. Mr Gerardo offers a free measuring service for customers concerned about spacing and dimensions.

How will you use your fridge freezer?

Do you want a freezer draw below, or a freezer section on the side?

“I’ve noticed elderly people or people with back issues want to go with a bottom freezer drawer,” he explained. “That way everything in the fridge is at a high level. They don’t have to bend down as much because most cases, people are going into their fridge section as opposed to their freezer.”

A side freezer can be more organised, but you are limited by the width. If you are a frozen pizza eater and want a side-by-side fridge and freezer, you will need to pay attention to the internal width. In terms of overall capacity, however, they are very similar.

Many fridge freezers come with ice makers and water dispensers and if this is what you want, you need to think about where you want it. In the door, and you have reduced capacity in the fridge section. An ice maker in the freezer section however, reduces capacity there, but frees up the fridge.

Lifespan of appliances

Refrigerators, unfortunately, do have a life span. For traditional, middle end refrigerators such as those made by GE, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Frigidaire or Kenmore, for example, the average lifespan is 8 – 10 years. For higher end brands such as Monogram, Sub-Zero and Hestan, they could range from 17 – 30 years, depending on how they are used.

In terms of serviceability, reliability and value for money, he recommended GE brands, which include Monogram and Profile. Another good brand he discovered recently, is Fisher and Paykel.

To extend the life of their refrigerators, Mr Gerardo recommended owners instal a surge protector to safeguard against power surges and brown outs, as well as changing the water filter every six months, and vacuuming or dusting the compressor.

He also recommended fridges which have air filters, as these can prolong the lifespan of their contents.

Wine Fridges

Are they worth it? “Definitely, especially if you fancy yourself a wine connoisseur,” he said. This is because wine, (even white wine) needs to be stored at a temperature warmer than the average fridge. White wine should be stored at between 45-55℉. The average fridge is 37-40℉.

Good quality wine fridges also have “anti-vibration” technology and soft-close racks. “Wine is supposed to be kept out of any area with vibrations because they can destroy the sediment,” he explained. Some models also feature UV protection and different temperature zones for different wines.

Brands including Sub-Zero, Monogram and Heston are well known for their excellent wine fridges. One that Mr Gerardo believes is good value for money, however is Elica.

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