The Battle for Style vs the Environment in Modern Kitchens

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The increase in popularity of large kitchen appliances could be seen as at odds with the desire to reduce energy bills and our domestic carbon footprints, reports Northern Irish home appliance retailer, ArmaghElectrical.com.

Most freezers have become around 25%-35% more efficient since 1990

As the size of kitchen appliances increase, particularly from the fashion boom in American Fridge Freezers, there's a growing conflict between style and the environment in the homes of Northern Ireland, reports ArmaghElectrical.com.

Electrical appliances account for one third of a household's energy bill and a quarter of its carbon dioxide emissions. The benefits of owning an American Fridge Freezer, or Side by Side, are that as well as looking good, they offer double the storage space of standard sized fridge freezers. Side-by-Sides also often carry standard features such as ice makers and antimicrobial coatings that reduce the growth of bacteria.

However, as fridges and freezers are on 24x7, they account for a major part of the home's electricity bill. Fridge freezers over 10-years-old simply aren't as efficient as new kitchen appliances and can consume up to double the electricity per litre of storage when compared to the latest models.

“While Energy Saving schemes drive efficiency in the manufacture of modern appliances, the trend in larger kitchen appliances goes someway to offset the efforts of the leading electrical appliance brands,” says Chris Dalzell, ArmaghElectrical.com's Head of Marketing. “We've seen a sales surge from customers looking to buy American style Fridge Freezers.

"Once largely the preserve of rural homeowners, these appliances are increasingly finding their way into Dublin and Belfast kitchens and it's important to ensure these consumers are educated in choosing the right fridge freezer for their needs.”

Most Side-by-Sides and standard sized fridges and freezers have become around 25%-35% more efficient since 1990, which incentivises the replacement of ageing models so consumers can reduce their electricity bill at a time of rising energy costs.

So, while consumers are considering the colour, size and model of their next fridge freezer, ArmaghElectrical.com offers some additional suggestions to keep their appliance purchases eco-friendly:

1. Keep them at their optimum temperature, which for a fridge is between 3 and 5°C while for a freezer it's -18 °C. The Samsung RF62QEPN comes with a Super Freeze function, which reduces the freezer temperature to its lowest level as quickly as possible.

2. Check the EU energy label which grades products from A (best) to G (worst) for energy use. The Siemens KA62DV00GB has an impressive A+ energy rating.

3. Frost can cause a freezer compartment to use more energy, but models such as the Samsung RSH1DBRS feature an Auto-Defrost function.

4. Keep the fridge freezer doors closed as much as possible. Models such as the Hotpoint Quadrio FF4DSB have an alarm which sounds if there is an unclosed door.

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