Home Appliances

The Ultimate Guide to Refrigerators

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Refrigerators are a gift to humankind, especially to homeowners. It saves us a lot of money by simply keeping food fresh. This machine, however, has developed into many types as technology advances. But don’t worry! We’re Teko.ph, the largest aircon and appliance services provider in the country, and we’re here to guide you through the world of refrigerators.

Where To Buy Refrigerators

Whether you’re in need of an upgrade or buying your first refrigerator, it’s essential to purchase from trustworthy retailers. To make sure that you get only top-quality products and services, here are three reputable appliance stores where you can buy refrigerators in the Philippines.

1. Concepstore

ConcepStore is an online appliance store in the Philippines and is operated by Concepcion Industries. It is a fully stocked shop with the latest appliances from your favorite brands, including refrigerators. Thanks to its local operations, you can expect to receive your purchase within 24 hours of payment confirmation. In addition to speedy deliveries, they also provide additional protection. If any item proves faulty or breaks during its first year of use, it will be replaced free of charge. 

All Concepstore products are genuine manufacturers’ products that have passed BPS Philippine Standard Safety Certification and SGS Fimko, Ltd. accreditation testing.

2. ShopSM

Choosing SM for your shopping needs is a no-brainer. You’re guaranteed an extensive selection of warranties and servicing options in their stores. We’re sure there’s an SM store near you! On top of all that, they are also incredibly flexible when it comes to payment methods, making them the ideal choice for any shopper.

3. Abenson

Abenson is the leading electronics retailer in the Philippines. It is a well-loved brand not only of its various appliance offerings but also because of the Abenson Viber Community. It is basically like having your personal shopper across more than 140 Abensons stores. They also offer numerous payment methods like credit cards and financing services that’ll fit your budget.

Types of Refrigerator

Before you rush off to order from one of the shops mentioned, it’s wise to do some extra research on exactly what type of refrigerator will be perfect for your family. Don’t just choose based on how a fridge looks or how known the brand is. First things first—know what type you need depending on your needs.

1. Top Freezer Refrigerator

This type of fridge is the classic—a household standard. Its lower-level design may not be ideal for some consumers due to its height, however, many homeowners go for this because of its affordable price range. Plus, it comes in various sizes that may fit small to large kitchens alike.

2. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

If you’re looking for a compact, space-saving design, side-by-side models are a perfect choice. A refrigerator and freezer fit right next to one another in a sleek vertical design. Besides being budget-friendly, this type requires minimal door swing clearance—ideal for kitchens with limited space! Moreover, most come with an external ice maker and water dispenser, adding to its convenience factor.

3. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Many opt for bottom freezer refrigerators because of a number of reasons. First is space, as this type of fridge offers large storage. Second, its eye-level design helps you find your food quickly. The only downside is that it may cost a bit more than the common types.

4. French Door Refrigerator

If you want to update your kitchen with a new look, you can easily do that with a French-door refrigerator. Not only does it provide large storage space thanks to its lower freezer, but you can also conserve energy by opening just one door at a time. You have two options when selecting these refrigerators: a drawer-style freezer or go for both doors in the freezer area. You could go for this type if you lack room space because they require limited swing areas and are adjustable enough to store wide items.

5. Counter-Depth Refrigerator

Counter-depth refrigerators are an excellent method to limit your options if you’re searching for a low-profile fit for your new refrigerator. Refrigerators in this category are typically between 27″ and 30″ deep, making them easier to integrate into your kitchen plan and maximize space. A counter-depth fridge might be the best option for you if you want to save space and create a fully integrated design.

6. Mini Fridge

Now, if perhaps your current living situation doesn’t demand a full-size fridge, then a mini-fridge might be the one for you. These refrigerators offer all of the chilling capability you need in a much smaller form, making them ideal for smaller kitchens, workplaces, recreational rooms, and other spaces. Mini refrigerators come in a wide range of sizes and configurations, with features such as a separate freezer section, double doors, and a glass front. Some types are meant to stand alone, while others are designed to fit cabinets. 

7. The Built-In Refrigerator

For a seamless finish, built-in refrigerators are intended to match your kitchen’s décor and cabinetry. To get the right fit: before installing, verify with your interior designer for the necessary measurements, and don’t forget to provide enough room for air to move freely. A concealed door hinge, safety glass, and LED lighting are included in these refrigerators, transforming your kitchen into a modern and valuable area. Needless to say, these units are the most expensive ones.

We realize that’s a lot of information to process, so don’t freak out. Just take a second to pick one or two that might match your needs. We just want to let you know that there are plenty of options out there that meet every preference and budget.

Important Factors to Consider Before Buying

Refrigerators, like other machinery and technologies, have come a long way. There are a number of features to look for, all of which are meant to give your fridge a whole new level of capability. With the endless array of features the salesman will bombard you with, It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed.

While some of these added functionalities are useful, evaluate them and see which ones matter most. Here are the most crucial ones to think about.

1. Compressor

A refrigerator’s “heart” is the compressor. It distributes the refrigerant throughout the system, increases pressure in the warm circuit, and heats the refrigerant. It’s akin to pumping air into a bicycle tube: when you compress the air, you can feel a heat increase in the pump.

Smaller units are often equipped with general compressors, whereas medium to large units are built with inverter compressors.

A. General Compressors

These compressors begin at high speed and maintain that level throughout their operation. Even when there is no cooling loss, they will continue to operate until the temperature reaches the optimum cold temperature. Refrigerators with this type of compressor require a lot more electricity.

B. Inverter Compressors

Inverter compressors, on the other hand, are adaptive by nature, and their speed differs based on how much cooling the machine requires. They start off slowly and then increase their pace as needed. Units with inverter compressors are more energy-efficient, but they carry a more expensive price tag.

2. Energy Efficiency

This is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial factors to consider. After all, if you’re going to use this appliance for at least a decade, it shouldn’t significantly increase your electricity bill month after month.

The quickest approach to determine whether a model is energy efficient is to look at its energy efficiency factor (EEF.) These details are visibly presented on the unit’s energy advice label, a bright yellow sheet of paper. This will make comparing the energy efficiency of various models in a store much easier.

Other helpful information is displayed on this yellow guide label such as storage capacity, minimum energy performance standard, method of estimating the unit’s running cost, and so on.

Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF)

The Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) is the large number in the middle of a refrigerator’s energy guide label that indicates how well the fridge uses its electricity to chill its rated storage volume.

A high EEF value indicates that the model is more energy-efficient, resulting in reduced running costs. To compare the energy efficiency of identical refrigerator models at a store, use the EEF.

How to Calculate a Model’s Operating Cost

The EEF number will quickly tell you which model is more efficient, but it will not tell you how much it will cost to run that model.

Fortunately, we can use the energy guide label to get the computation we need to estimate a model’s operating costs. The formula is as follows:

Operating Cost per 24 hours = Energy Consumption (kWh/24h) x Energy Cost (Pesos/kWh)

3. Manufacturer’s Warranty

Because most refrigerators have a limited warranty term, it’s a good idea to choose a brand that provides an additional, extended warranty on the appliance, even if it’s not free. Don’t take it for granted; have a long conversation with your dealer about it.

Installing Your New Refrigerator

So you’ve finally made your purchase. Congrats! The next thing to worry about is installing it. Refrigerators, compared to other equipment such as air conditioners and water heaters, are much easier to install. Here’s a simple guide to getting started safely and efficiently, and you’ll be cooling your food in no time.

1. Unpack

If you don’t have enough room inside the house, it’s preferable to open the large cardboard box outside, where there is more space. Remove the cardboard box and any packaging material from the package and put them aside. It’s important not to toss any packaging material away until the fridge has been up – and – running for a few days. You never know if you’ll need said packaging for replacement, repair or if you suddenly need to move.

Remove all shelves, drawers, and other components from the refrigerator and place them somewhere safe. Keeping the plastic cover on the unit at first is usually a good idea, as it will protect the appliance from unwanted dings and scratches when you transport it.

2. Move the Refrigerator

The easiest way to move a refrigerator across flat surfaces is to use a wheelbarrow if it’s small or moderately sized. Consider seeking assistance if it’s one of the larger models.

Tilt the refrigerator to one side to spread the weight throughout the journey. Never place a refrigerator on its side or upside down because the cooling system will be weakened or damaged. If you have to take it up the stairs, maintain it as upright as much as you can and go slowly so you don’t knock it.

3. Pro Tip: Remove the Fridge’s Door

Bigger refrigerators are particularly challenging to transport since they frequently do not fit through standard entrances. However, there is a trick here: all refrigerators are equipped with detachable doors. Bolts at the top and bottom hold the doors in place, and they may be detached by undoing them. 

Nevertheless, check the manual for specific instructions as some may need you to remove the bolts in a specific order or remove other components first. If you’re unsure, skip this step, although it’s a clever technique to get around narrow entrances. Simply bolt the doors back on once you’ve transported the entire unit.

4. Keep the Air Gap in Mind

We’re gonna go ahead and assume that you measured the dedicated space for your fridge. However, it’s never a bad idea to double-check. Measure the depth, height, and width of the refrigerator’s space allocation before moving it inside.

Then compare this to the refrigerator’s specs, making sure to allot an air gap. This information may be found in the unit’s manual. This opening allows air to flow and circulate, eliminating the refrigerator’s heat extracted from within. The needed spacing varies depending on the brand and kind of refrigerator, so double-check and make sure you have enough room.

Safety Precautions For Using Your Refrigerator 

It’s probably not your first time using one of these, so some instruction on how to do so will be an insult to you. However, there might be ill-advised practices that we’re all accustomed to, which might harm your appliance and hurt its longevity. Consider this section a safety guideline when dealing with your machine.

For starters, it is advised that you read your owner’s manual before anything else, as most safety instructions are there, too. And while the precautions we are about to discuss will be of utmost importance, there might be instructions in those manuals that are brand-specific. So, do your due diligence. While this sounds like a lot of work, the return is being able to utilize your appliance for much longer and possibly even pass it down to the next generation.

1. Precautions for general uUse

  • Never switch on the refrigerator right away if it shows any signs of damage. If in doubt, ask your dealer.
  • Upon turning it on for the first time, allow the appliance to stand for 2 hours before putting in food.
  • Unless supervised, keep the appliance away from people with impaired physical, sensory, or mental abilities.
  • Children should be supervised to ensure that they do not play with the appliance, like hanging onto refrigerator doors, for example.
  • If you smell something akin to chemicals or smoke upon using the refrigerator, pull out the power plug immediately and contact your service center.
  • Do not use mechanical devices or other measures to speed up the defrosting process unless specified.
  • Do not store or use any electrical appliances inside the refrigerator/freezer.
  • Touching the internal walls of the freezer or the contents stored in the freezer with damp hands may cause frostbite.
  • Avoid storing items on the top of the fridge as much as possible, as this restricts airflow and forces the refrigerator to work harder.
  • Do not keep combustible items in the refrigerator. Storing benzene, thinner, alcohol, ether, and similar compounds may result in explosions.

2. Power-related precautions 

  • The refrigerator should always be plugged into its own direct socket, which should have the same voltage rating as the rating plate. Do not plug the refrigerator in an extension socket with other appliances plugged in.
  • Check if the power plug is not compressed with the refrigerator’s rear. 
  • Do not overbend the power cable or stack heavy objects on top of it.
  • If the power cable becomes frayed or broken, contact the manufacturer or your service provider to fix or replace it.
  • If the cord has splits or abrasion damage along its length or at either end, do not plug it in.
  • Never insert the power plug with wet hands.
  • If you unplug the refrigerator from the power source, you should wait at least 10 minutes before plugging it back in.
  • The fridge must be grounded to avoid power leaks or electric shocks.
  • Remove the power plug if the refrigerator will not be used for an extended length of time.
  • If you experience a power outage, consider contacting your utility company to determine how long it will last. Most power outages that are restored within an hour or two will not alter the temps in your refrigerator. However, you should keep the number of door openings to a minimum when the electricity is turned off.

3. Installation precautions

  • Install the refrigerator in a dry, well-ventilated area where it will not come into touch with water.
  • This refrigerator should not be placed in direct sunlight or exposed to heat from stoves, room heaters, or other equipment.
  • After installation, the appliance must be positioned so that the plug is easily accessible.
  • Clear any obstructions from the ventilation openings in the appliance casing or mounting structure.
  • Air vent holes should not be covered. During installation, provide clearance to the right, left, rear, and top. 

4. Cleaning precautions

  • Before cleaning, unplug the refrigerator. When cleaning the plug and the rear part, avoid using a moist towel.
  • Do not use dangerous chemicals that the manufacturer does not advise to clean the refrigerator.
  • Remove any foreign debris or dust accumulated on the power plug pins.
  • Clean the back of the refrigerator on a regular basis. Dust increases the usage of energy.

Diagnosis and Repair

As with human ailments, our appliances may exhibit symptoms of underlying issues. While we strongly advise you to contact your appliance service provider as soon as you notice a problem with your refrigerator, there are certain issues that you can actually troubleshoot or at least detect to a certain extent.

Here are the refrigerator issues and their typical causes, as well as troubleshooting tips. Always check your manual for brand-specific issues and solutions.

1. The refrigerator isn’t running, and the light isn’t functioning.

  • Check that the refrigerator is firmly plugged in.
  • Examine the circuit for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
  • Examine the power cable for damage.
  • If it is plugged into an extension cord along with other appliances, remove it and plug it into a direct socket.
  • Examine the outlet voltage.

2. The refrigerator isn’t running, but the light is working.

  • Examine the temperature setting.
  • To allow for air movement, leave a three-inch gap outside the refrigerator between the walls and the back and sides, as well as a one-inch gap above.
  • Clean the condenser coils.
  • Unplug the fridge, wait two hours, then reconnect it. If you hear it running, it means there is an issue that is overheating the compressor.

3. The light in the refrigerator is not working.

  • Examine the door switch.
  • Remove the bulb and buy a replacement from a hardware store.

4. The refrigerator or freezer isn’t cold enough

  • Examine the temperature setting.
  • Check that there is adequate space in the refrigerator or freezer for air passage. If you think it’s overloaded, try removing some of the load.
  • Examine vents for airflow obstructions.
  • Clean the condenser coils.
  • Inspect if the door seals are sufficiently tight. Before shutting the door, place a piece of paper between it and the unit. Take out the paper. There might be an adhesion issue with the seal if there is no tension.
  • Examine the drain tube for obstructions.
  • Examine for refrigerant leaks. If you do discover a leak, contact a professional technician right away.

5. The refrigerator is loud or produces weird noises.

  • On frost-free freezers, hissing and popping are common; the defrost heater most likely causes it.
  • Make sure the refrigerator is level.

6. The Refrigerator runs constantly.

  • It is relatively normal for a refrigerator to run for 24 hours or more before cooling if the temperature control has just been altered, the fridge has been filled with a considerable load, or you are in a humid environment.
  • Defrost the refrigerator.
  • Clean the condenser coils
  • Examine the door seals.

7. The refrigerator has a foul odor.

  • Remove any rotten food.
  • Clean the refrigerator’s interior with a mix of lukewarm water and baking soda.
  • Clear out the door seals.
  • Remove the breaker strips to check moist insulation.

8. There is water on the floor outside the refrigerator.

  • Examine the drain pan.
  • Check the water supply hose flowing into and coming out of the water intake valve if you have an ice maker.

The tips mentioned above are fairly basic and do not provide comprehensive answers to all the fridge issues you may encounter. This is why the wisest course of action is to contact a trained technician when such issues occur. Besides, it might save you time, and even money as a DIY repair might be more costly down the road if not done right. 

Disposal

Is it time to retire the old fridge? Maybe you have done your absolute best and had it checked out for repairs but to no avail. After all, nothing lasts forever.

The question remains, how do you dispose of an appliance as big as a refrigerator safely? 

Tossing your fridge on the side of the road is neither responsible nor environmentally friendly. In fact, depending on where you reside, you may violate various laws or ordinances by doing so.

Here’s a list of choices for getting rid of an old fridge.

1. Think about selling or donating it.

If your present refrigerator is still in good working order and you’re merely disposing of it to upgrade, don’t throw it away! Instead, you can sell it to someone who might need it. 

Alternatively, you may give it to a local charity. Not only will you feel fantastic about giving anything to a worthy cause, but the nonprofit you chose may even pick it up from your home, addressing your refrigerator disposal issue.

2. Recycle

Even if your old fridge is no longer functional, it may still serve as an excellent storage solution for various objects in your house. Consider it for storing cleaning supplies and soaps in the garage, or clean it entirely and use it as a pantry for dry goods. Just don’t put anything perishable in there since it can breed germs and other unpleasant microbes, but canned foods and bags of chips are fine.

3. Request that your appliance dealer take it up.

When you’re ready to buy a new fridge, ask your appliance dealer whether they can provide disposal of your old one. As a courtesy, the dealer may agree to take your old refrigerator as part of your purchase, especially if they are simultaneously delivering your new refrigerator to your home, anyway. If they don’t provide this service, don’t be reluctant to negotiate it as part of the deal.

4. Get in touch with your local junkyard.

If none of the aforementioned choices are viable, call your local junk store to see if they’ll buy it from you. If they’re licensed, these shops would have a protocol in place for disposing of the unit after stripping it of valuable parts.

Conclusion

For most people, owning a refrigerator is no longer a luxury but a necessity. We can all agree that these appliances are some of the best ones ever invented. 

Because refrigerators come in many shapes and sizes, it’s undoubtedly wise to check out the exact type and model that will work for you, your family, and your budget.

While there is certainly value in knowing your way around the machine, it’s still wiser to have a dedicated provider that offers professional service in order to repair, maintain, and even install your appliance.

Teko Solutions Asia, Inc., or teko.ph for short, is a Philippine-based technology startup that offers appliance services to households by our vetted and professional partner technicians. With Teko, you can book a certified technician for repair in three easy steps! Head over to teko.ph to book a service or check our incredible rates.

Owning a refrigerator is an absolute joy, and being able to maintain its excellent working condition for years to come is an incredible feeling as well. After all, if you take care of things, they last. 

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