Busting The Jargon
Many of the things we see and that people seem to get all bothered about are often not explained very well for all appliances with the vast bulk of them being little more than a marketing spin on stuff that everyone does to try to sell it as a unique feature.
Mostly, they’re not unique at all.
In this article we’ll delve into some of the more common ones we’ve come across for refrigeration products in a bid to allow you to make a better judged decision on what you need or, don’t and also what the same feature gets called in many cases.
If you come across one you don’t see here just let us know by email or use teh comments below and we’ll look into it for you and explain what it is.
Often seen tagged with “inverter” so it become a “Linear Inverter Compressor” and most manufacturers will use or have these in their ranges now, especially so on more expensive, larger units or almost every American style side by side.
The basic reason is for energy efficiency.
What It Is
In reality a linear compressor by it’s nature has to have an inverter as, well it’s linear! That means that unlike refrigeration compressors of old that just switch on full or off these ones will ramp up and down in power so, it needs a control card to do that or, inverter as it’s DC rather than direct AC.
So as glorious as the marketing bumph may make out the wondrous inverter system, it’s standard, all linear compressors are the same deal in general terms of the technology.
They do save energy and they are quieter.
None really other than the energy and noise benefits that you will get from any fridge freezer or whatever that has a linear pot as we call it. They’re all largely the same deal so don’t get swayed by the blurb on this one.
Multiflow, Twin Cooling & Others
Once more this is largely marketing spin on what are fairly standard features in air driven fridge freezers, including American style ones.
Usually you will find this tied to the blurb that it means you can have zones with different temperatures within the cabinet to store different stuff. The most common ones being a fruit/veg one and a meat zone.
People do get confused about though and probably duped into thinking it’s this all powerful and wondrous thing that, really isn't that big a deal.
Some are better than others and the meat zone especially so as that stores things at less than +2˚C is useful and far better for storing meats and fish in, that is true.
Liebherr’s Biofresh is the same sort of thing or, a play on it at least that does seem to be highly rated but we have no real world experience to draw on to offer comment on the performance at this time.
What It Is
You will only see this on air driven machines meaning that, the air is “driven” by a fan or fans in both the fridge and freezer often being directed by flaps or valves to get the temperature selected in the appropriate zone.
Each flap or valve will move and the fan kicks in to direct cold air (usually from the freezer) into the zone to hit the selected temperature. Once it hits the target temperature the flap or valve closes and the fan shuts off.
After this it just cycles to maintain the temperature you set.
This can be of use to some people however most we ever see are set to a temperature and, that’s it. They’re rarely touched again.
The meat storage drawer at +2˚C or less, some go down to 0˚C or even about -1/2˚C can be of use and we do rate those for the ability to keep meats and fish fresher for longer so, if you cook with a lot of fresh foods this can be well worthwhile having.
If you live off ready meals, not so much of a benefit.
The veg and salad zones we’re not so convinced about but, they are a bit colder and great to keep beer and wine in if you like that sort of thing. We do, so ours is stuffed with that.
We get it, people are a bit paranoid about bugs in their fridges and, with good cause as it is a hazard and hence on commercial refrigeration a major concern. You can see it called Hygiene Protection an so on but it’s all the same thing really.
However these are not worth putting too much faith in as, if you don’t clean the machine out regularly then no amount of Anti-bac coating will save you.
Mr Muscle with bleach is your friend!
Our opinion is that it’s not worth paying extra for or looking for as a specific requirement as, it’s probably not going to do you any real favours.
These are not found on too many fridges or fridge freezers but they are out there and often called Micro Filters, Odour Filters and suchlike and, yet again, they’re all pretty much the same thing only different.
Usually they will sit over the air outlet for the fan that circulates air in the fridge or, in the air channelled and the idea is that they filter out smelly things. Results vary but most people really don’t notice much (if any) difference.
Much as with Anti-bac stuff it won’t save you if things get spilled and stink.
They will help cross transfer of odours, to a point but it is to a degree.
Our opinion, not really worth paying extra for or basing a purchase on.
These will usually be the preserve of more expensive cabinets that have glass shelves and, you want these.
However, regardless of what they call them in the brochure, they’re all the same thing really.
What they do is essentially seal the shelf all round with a plastic trim that forms a slight lip so, any spillage stays on/in the shelf making it a whole heap easier to clean. And, we do mean a lot easier as well as stopping stuff from running down the insides of the fridge onto other food. Or, even causing blockages etc.
This one is worth the extra as, it will happen to you at some point and if you take our advice, you’ll be glad you did.
We’ve seen a huge rise in this as people assume it saves money and the manufacturers move this way.
The light’s only on when the door is open. It lets you see inside.
So does a standard bulb.
You won’t save anything you would notice in terms of energy use and so, other than the big light bars these are of little practical use and certainly not worth paying more for.
All Sorts Of Spin
The job of the marketers that write the stuff you see in brochures and on websites is to sell you this and, to do that they will all too often try to make out that they have some funky feature that nobody else has. More often than not, this isn’t quite true.
Most of it is just putting new spin on an existing technology, often one that’s been around for years if not decades.
We’d love to see them work out how to do it though, it could be highly entertaining watching a meeting where these folks try to devise a way to make a fridge compressor exiting and a sales feature.
Now that, we’d pay for!