What are you getting yourself into?
efrigeration is one the modern marvels of ingenuity. Without it, our food would spoil faster and we would need to be constantly buying or foraging for something to eat. The first residential fridge was made in 1913 and were being commercially manufactured by 1923. They have come along way since then with the invention of built in ice makers and water dispensers, automatic defrosting cycles and energy efficient compressors. Back when refrigeration was first coming out, the Freon used was highly toxic ammonia. Scientists came up with less toxic refrigerants like R-12, but it was shown to be bad for the ozone layer. We eventually ended up with one of the current freons in use, R-134a.
Since this, there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation on the actual cooling side of the product. Instead, we get interior features that don’t necessarily help with the cooling function, but make it more “luxurious” to store your food. This is where we, Sargent’s Maytag, take a step back and evaluate what the benefits of these additions might be. We like our refers to do their intended function, cooling and ice production, and really put all other criteria at the back. If your refrigerator can’t keep your food adequately cool, but it can take a picture of what’s inside of it, we don’t really consider it a plus. A lot of manufacturers “innovate” a lot of interior features, but skimp on the actual cooling part of the unit; using less than ideal parts that may malfunction faster than what you’d expect.
One of our biggest criteria for what makes a good “ice-box” is that it has a good range of temperature. Contrary to popular belief, a refer cannot maintain a constant temp. In fact, it very rarely stays at a constant temp. Instead, you have a temperature swing as the compressor is turning on and off. For instance, a good temperature swing would be 0 degrees F to 5 or 10 degrees F. That would give you an average temp of about 2-5 degrees. A bad temp swing would be 10 F to 20 F. This would cause bad food storage and increased freezer burn. One of the things we look for in a refrigerator is this temp swing. Newer, modern fridges are more energy efficient and they do in fact run a little warmer than older units. Some 10 or 20 year old refrigerators have the ability to get down to -30 F, which is incredibly cold and not so energy efficient. Temperature, in our opinion, is the most important aspect of purchasing a refrigerator, not if it has built in WiFi or a coffee maker. These things only add to the amount of items that can fail, which you don’t want when you just spent $300 at the grocery store.
For more information on what we have to think about refrigerators, or any other appliance, give us a call or come in. We’d love to get technical with you.