When choosing the right beverage refrigerator, you need to know and consider different factors. These factors are attributes that would help you in decision-making since you’ll be able to determine your storage needs.
How you choose a refrigerator would depend on what specifications and features you’re looking for. For example, if you want a unit where you can easily see the drinks inside, getting a glass-door fridge would be ideal.
For you to decide better and narrow down your choices, here are things you need to know before you make your purchase:
1. Choice of Beverage/s
First of all, you need to decide on what kinds of beverages you will be storing in your refrigerator. Will you be only keeping bottles of wine? Or will you also use the refrigerator to hold beverages in cans like beer and soda? What do you and your family members like to drink?
You need to decide on this first since it will help determine what attributes would be ideal for your storage needs. It may affect what things you should look for in the other factors on the list.
For example, if you plan to keep both wine and beer then you need the type and capacity of refrigerator that can hold both.
2. Type of Beverage Refrigerator
There are two main categories for this and under are different types of refrigerators you can get on the market.
From its name, this means that these are fridges designed for indoor purposes only. They’re designed to blend in with your interior. This is the most common category and it comprises the most common types of refrigerators for your drinks:
- Freestanding Models: These are refrigerators designed to stand alone. You can place them on a countertop or on the floor. They’re designed with rear or side vents to remove the hot air inside. You can place them in your living room, bedroom, office, lounge room, and any other area with enough space and where you usually drink.
Built-in Models: These types are designed to fit between your kitchen cabinets or under your kitchen counters. They have an exhaust grate or vent on the front bottom where the air escapes from the refrigerator.
Outdoor Refrigerators: These refrigerators are specially designed to withstand outdoor conditions. Outdoor refrigerators are constructed to withstand heat, rain, snow, and wind.
If you’re going for this type of fridge, you need to check its food grade. The materials should be durable enough to keep your beverages safe even during harsh weather conditions.
3. Size and Capacity
Determine how big or small your refrigerator should be. Decide on where you’ll place or install the appliance. The space will indicate what size you should get, especially if you want a built-in beverage refrigerator for your home.
If you’re going for a freestanding model, maybe measure or estimate how big the space you’ll dedicate to your new appliance will be. This will help you narrow down your choices.
At the same time, you can’t talk about size without talking about the capacity of the fridge. The size and capacity both affect each other. The storage capacity may rely on what size you’ll get or the size of the unit you’ll get will depend on how many cans and bottles you plan to keep.
Here are some questions you can think about to determine how much capacity and what size you should look for:
- How large is your collection?
- Are you planning to add more to your collection?
- How often do you and your family drink?
- Do you usually have guests over?
Estimate the number of bottles and cans and add an allowance in case you need the space in the future. Now, when choosing a refrigerator, look for one that can support and hold this estimated number of beverages.
To ensure proper storage and preserve the taste of your drinks, you need to set the right temperature in your refrigerator. Keep in mind that different beverages have different ideal temperatures.
Since you’ll be keeping a wide variety of beverages in your fridge, consider a unit that offers a wide range of adjustable temperatures so it can accommodate more types of drinks. In order to serve them at their optimal temperatures, you need to store them at the same temperatures.
Here are the optimal serving temperatures for different beverages that you should know:
The temperature for beers ranges from 35˚F to 60˚F to keep them chilled and cold when served. However, a quick rule of thumb is to keep dark and strong beers on the warmer side of the range and light and weak beers on the colder side.
Aside from alcoholic beverages, you may also want to keep sodas. Although the storage temperature would significantly depend on your preference, the common range is from 38˚F to 42˚F.
Red wines are traditionally served at room temperature. Since today’s room temperature is warmer than it was before, the optimal temperature for red wines ranges from 60˚F to 65˚F.
White wines taste better when served chilled and not too cold. For these, temperatures should be between 50˚F and 60˚F.
These are carbonated wines and are best served as cold as possible. For champagne and other sparklers, a temperature of 40˚F will be enough.
Beverage refrigerators are commonly designed to accommodate both cans and bottles. But, the flexibility of your racks would affect how much you can fit inside. To hold the drinks, you have two shelving options:
Adjustable Metal Racks
Most beverage refrigerators come with adjustable metal racks that you can remove and arrange. These racks give you control over how many kinds of drinks, in different sizes and shapes, your cooler can hold. Moreover, with its durable material, your fridge will be strong enough to function at full capacity.
Rolling Wooden Shelves
Some beverage refrigerators are designed with wooden shelves. Although they can hold any beverage, they’re best to use for wines. The material cradles bottles on their sides and keeps their corks moist even when inside the refrigerator. The rolling or slanting feature keeps the bottles in place and provides easy access to the bottles.
6. Smart Features
Aside from the essentials, you should also consider the special beverage refrigerator features. These features contribute to the safety, convenience, style, and functionality of the fridge. Here are some of the most useful features to look for:
LED Interior Light
Look for good interior lighting so you can easily read and look for the beverage you need. Most refrigerators use low-temperature LED lights in blue or white colors. The light will also make it easy to look at the inside of the unit even with the door closed.
Security Lock and Key
This is an important feature especially if you don’t want minors and small children accessing and drinking your drinks, especially alcoholic beverages. Ultimately, a refrigerator with a lock and key will prevent unauthorized access to your beverages and keep your valuable collection safe from the wrong hands.
Beverage refrigerators with this feature have two cooling zones in different sections or compartments inside. This can either be side-by-side or top and bottom sections. Dual-zone cooling is ideal for storing both bottled and canned beverages since different drinks have different optimal temperatures.
Ensure that your refrigerator’s door is reversible, which means you can open it from the left or right side. This will enable you to save space and ensure that the appliance functions properly like you need it to within its space.
Double-Pane Glass or Solid Stainless-Steel Door
Both of these doors provide excellent insulation for your refrigerator and help keep all the cold air inside. Choosing between the two would largely depend on your personal preference. Ultimately, if you want an easy display of your drinks, go for a glass-door fridge.
Like with any other purchase, always consider your budget when buying a refrigerator. The costs of beverage refrigerators vary and can be inexpensive basic units or expensive high-end units with lots of features.
Your budget will affect your choice and decision-making. You can’t buy something you can’t afford and not within your budget. Determine what storage basic needs you need and check if your options in your budget support these needs.
To summarize, here’s a checklist of things you need to know before making a beverage refrigerator purchase:
- Choice of beverages you’ll keep
- Type of fridge
- Size and capacity
- Temperature range
- Additional features
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