You have to start by deciding what type of fridge you really need in order to make a first big sorting by thinking about the question: what is your real need for storage in relation to food?
To detect your needs or your habits, it is necessary to know what you actually store, regularly, in your fridge. From this first analysis, you will be able to deduce the temperature zones you need to have to keep them, and finally the elements you will need in your refrigerator:
Refrigerator zone (1)
This is the main zone of the fridge, the temperature varies between 2°C and 8°C (in the door it can rise above 10°C). It allows you to store what has already been opened and also eggs, yogurts, other dairy products, cold cuts, cakes, etc. If you don’t need this area, you don’t need a refrigerator, but maybe another appliance.
The warmest area (outdoor) is usually upstairs, this is where you can store cooked foods, cheeses, etc. While down, in a cooler area, you can store fresh products, cheeses, yogurts, etc. The rest is in the middle. And in the door, the area which generally has the highest temperature, you can put drinks, tube products, eggs as well as butter.
Cooling zone (2)
Commonly called fruit and vegetable bins, this zone must have a fairly high temperature, up to 10°C, it allows you to store your fresh vegetables and fruit for longer while keeping them looking good. Beyond the temperature, this area also retains a certain level of humidity (up to 90% on some fridges). This humidity level is sometimes adjustable depending on the varieties of fruits or vegetables that you store. Indeed some tropical fruits may need more humidity than other more traditional fruits.
Dry zone (3)
With a temperature close to 0°C (between 0° and 2°C), it is generally used to store fresh fish and fresh meat. It can also be used to store some unfinished cheeses. This area is not always explicitly present. It can be at the top or bottom of the refrigerator, it is usually accessible via a sliding door or a flap. When it is absent, the driest area is the lowest, above the vegetable drawers if they are present.
Freezer zone (4)
This zone is used to store fresh food from -18°C (4-star class ตู้แช่ freezer) for several weeks, or even several months. Also, if you are used to eating frozen prepared meals or storing food that you prepare yourself, the freezer becomes essential. If, on the contrary, you do your shopping regularly, then it is not essential.
Case of the Freezer: this is a name that indicates that the refrigerator is equipped with a low-temperature storage zone ranging from 1 to 2 stars (down to -12°C).
The distinction between the different stars:
0 star: down to -0°C (for making ice cubes)
1 star: down to -6°C – Freezer – up to 2/3 days of conservation
2 stars: down to -12°C – Freezer – up to 1 month of storage
3 stars: down to -18°C – Preservative – up to 12 months of conservation
4 stars: above -18°C – Freezer – up to 12 months of conservation of frozen foods or until the expiry date.
Wine cellar area
The storage conditions and layout of the compartment are specifically adapted to wines. The temperature can be adjusted separately from the other areas depending on the type of wine and the architecture of the shelves makes it possible to secure the bottles. Anti-UV ice and a charcoal filter can also be present in order to preserve the wines as well as possible.
A built-in freezer, yes, but how?
If you don’t already have a separate freezer, then chances are you really need a freezer built into your fridge. If you are used to store frozen food then you have to choose the size of this freezer in the fridge and how you want to access it.
Refrigerators that include a freezer have several names, which are mainly related to the location of the freezer:
Fridge with freezer at the bottom Also known as combined
refrigerators (or inverted combinations). They have at least two main advantages: the freezer part has a larger volume than when the freezer is on top. There are usually at least 2 bins that can be pulled towards either, which makes it easier to store and find food more quickly. You can see frozen food fairly quickly through the bins or from above. This is the version most sought after by the majority of users. It’s a good general compromise.
Fridge with freezer on top
Also known as 2-door or double-door ตู้แช่เย็น refrigerators. Unlike the handset, it leaves more room for the refrigerator part, it is at the top and is a little more accessible at eye level. All food is usually stacked on 2 shelves, which makes access to food at the bottom less easy than with drawers that can be pulled out. It is well suited for normal use of the freezer (2/3 people).
Fridge with freezer on the side
Also called American fridge or side by side. In general, the refrigerator is on the right and the freezer on the left. The volume of the freezer is larger than on a combination or a 2-door, but the appliance itself also becomes larger, so you have to plan for the space to install it. Beyond the separation between the 2 elements, the fact of having the freezer on all the heights makes it possible to better arrange the food on several shelves. It is then easier to store food, easier to find and take it.