By Mark Eglington
When soggy, wilted and limp are on the menu, it’s time to find out why. Here are a few of my chilling secrets to keep your lettuces crisp, your carrots “clean” and your fresh fruit happily humid.
When it comes to saving your food you want to escape the cold dry air that causes spoilage. Separate airflows in your freezer and fridge are a must, as well as really well-designed, precise temperature control in storage compartments. Look for patented BioCool or BioFresh features that help keep food fresh longer.
Green means clean
Meeting or exceeding Energy Star ratings is normal. But it’s cooling performance that counts when it comes to being green. Well-placed LEDs create a cool and uniform light source that doesn’t introduce heat. Glass shelving in doors ensures the overall temperature isn’t compromised, while use of glass reduces plastic off-gassing. Being environmentally friendly also means considering companies with truly green design and manufacturing processes, and asking whether they label parts for future recycling.
Less is more
Razzle-dazzle won’t take better care of your food. There’s a lot of “good tech” in the pipeline that will make shopping and inventory management as easy as one, two, three, but sister, we aren’t there yet.
Check for easy-to-read LED displays of the actual inside temperature, user-friendly intuitive design that supports temperature settings and an alarm that will sound when the door is left open.
Two compressors are better than one
Perhaps the naughtiest little secret in the fridge biz is the fact that most operate with just one compressor. But when you have two speed-controlled compressors—one in the fridge and another in the freezer—they independently and automatically ensure the exact performance required for low-energy consumption and quiet operation. The best compressors will “gear down” to a low-energy state overnight and “gear up” to increase cooling capacity during peak use.
It’s about “useable space”
Cubic-foot comparison isn’t too useful or accurate. Instead, assess the functional space. Seek out fridges with gallon storage in the door, adjustable split shelves and thin sidewall insulation.
Nasty noises no more
Silence is king. Pay attention to European sleek-flush installations versus freestanding units where the compressors and vents in the front of the unit can be like speakers, noisily broadcasting your fridge’s activity. Ask for systems that are placed at the bottom and the back for a super-quiet, vibration-free experience. Also watch for specially designed hinges for quiet, gentle closing.
This annoying cause of food waste is the result of fluctuations in temperature within the freezer compartment due to cold air rushing out when the door is opened. It does not occur when proper refrigeration technology is able to expel moisture/humidity. There is no need for food to become covered in ice if your fridge keeps a consistent temperature.
Mark Eglington is the son of a South African who taught him how to sell the very best European appliances to Canadians. He grew up in Oakville, got his MBA in Australia and, along the way, interned at the Liebherr factory in Germany.