Compact Refrigerator Buying Guide

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When you say compact refrigerators most people simply imagine a small refrigerator that can fit under a counter or in a small space. Actually, compact refrigerators are divided into four different sizes; mid-size, counter-height, two door mini refrigerators and cube size.

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This is a big difference. For instance, of the four types, the cube size is the smallest, and obviously, has the smallest price tag. By contrast, the two door models are the most expensive costing approximately $200.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cube

When you buy a Compact refrigerator you must first decide on why you want you want the refrigerator for. For instance, if you want a portable refrigerator for a dorm then you want something that is easily transported and moved.

In this case a cube refrigerator may be ideal as it weighs about 25 pounds and measures between 18 to 20 inches on each side, meaning it fits in smaller areas and could be perfect for the dorm or the office.

The only disadvantage to using the cube refrigerator lies in the fact that they only have about 1.8 cubic feet of interior space, meaning there isn’t a lot of space.

Added to this, those consumers looking for a small freezer space won’t find many models to fit their needs, as most manufacturers don’t include any freezer space in this size.

Counter-high Refrigerators

These models stand at kitchen counter height, which is about 34 inches high. They may be just a bit wider than the cube models, but still don’t take up a lot of space.

These tend to perform more efficiently than other models, but are a little more expensive. They do, however, have a little more interior storage space as the capacity is about 4.5 cubic feet.

Consumers interested in this model often have more choices in regards to style, colors and can even choose the more expensive two door model, where one size offers a freezer and the other the refrigerator.

Freezer Performance

Whichever size you do choose, it is important that you understand that a compact refrigerator does not offer the cooling and freezing capability of a full sized refrigerator.

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With exception of the two door, model most freezers in compact models offer poor performance, often either not freezing enough or over freezing. This is because the small freezer compartment shares the same cooling air for the refrigerator.

This causes either refrigerated foods to ice over (when the thermostat is turned too high) or for the freezer to be unable to solidly freeze food items (thermostat at a lower temperature).

Energy Consumption

Small compact refrigerators also use more energy as opposed to standard sized refrigerators. The smaller size means less insulation was used in the refrigerator walls, meaning they don’t keep as cool as standard refrigerators without using excess energy.

Bottom Line

Although, compact refrigerators are not as energy efficient as standard-sized ones, they do offer convenience, as they fit in small spaces.

However, the size you choose depends on the convenience you need. If using it in a dorm or office, a cube may be the best solution, as you may only want a refrigerator to maintain beverages and prepared foods cool.

A countertop refrigerator may be the better option for small apartments or homes as an alternate kitchen option.

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