There are many different types of refrigerators to choose from: Foodcenters (Side by Side), fridge/freezer combinations, devices with a built-in or without a freezer as well as absorbers for mobile use. Furthermore, some refrigerators can be integrated into fitted kitchens, others are freestanding.
If you are looking for an economic and ecologic solution, we recommend looking out for the energy efficiency grade. Energy efficient devices are graded A++ or higher (since 1. January 2013, Switzerland only allows the sale of fridges and freezers that are graded A++ or more). When it comes to refrigerators with a built-in freezer, look out for the climate classification as well as the ambient temperature stated by the manufacturer. If the ambient temperature is too low, for example, the freezer cannot properly perform and the frozen goods will not be chilled at a constant -18°C. Relevant climate classifications are: SN = subnormal (+10°C to +32°C) and N = normal (+16°C to +32°C).
For long-term economic use, professional maintenance and proper defrosting is advisable. For this reason, various manufacturers offer no-frost or self-defrosting systems. The no-frost technology reduces humidity in the freezer, making defrosting of the fridge or freezer obsolete.
To keep energy costs to a minimum, a fridge should also be matched to the size of the household it is used in or to consumption as unused cold storage room consumes power unnecessarily. Consumer magazine “Stiftung Warentest” recommends a fridge volume of 100 to 140 litres for one- to two-person households and an extra 50 litres for every additional person.