The best refrigerators 2016 / Refrigerator Test • comparison 2016 – All EU characteristics

Refrigerator Test • comparison 2016 – All EU characteristics

A refrigerator is indispensable for the storage of food in the household.

When choosing an appropriate model in addition to the size of the playing energy efficiency an important role, because ultimately to the device cool 24 hours a day.


A rough subdivision of refrigerators is obtained first by their site: there are devices that can be installed into an existing kitchen or a closet and those obtained as a standalone unit sets up anywhere in the room. For floor models are also frequently findsDescription Freestanding fridge unlike built-in refrigerator .

Regardless of the site itself refrigerators but differ in a further, important feature, namely the ability to foods in a special freezer compartment kept for longer storage times. So there is:

  • Refrigerators without freezer, the store in the cooling compartments food only at temperatures between 2 ° C and 8 ° C, and
  • Fridges with freezer, often referred to as a fridge-freezer, where long-term storage of food can be made. Here temperatures get below 0 ° C for use (for details, refer to the section freezers ).

Freezer cabinets and freezers are against apparatus exclusively used for freezing and do not have a separate refrigerator with a normal cooling temperature (2 ° C to 8 ° C). The difference between the two is the type of opening: freezer cabinets are at the top of open, hand freezers at the front .

In fridge freezer freezing and cooling section are separated from each other (but in the same device) accommodated. The freezer section is then either the cooling area or above, the range can be opened by a separate door in both cases.

This is distinct from the (more classical) fridge freezer and only one door: in this, the freezer is always the top compartment in the series of cooling fans, and to get to this tray zoom only if you have previously opened the refrigerator door.

Refrigerator with freezer

Inside a classic refrigerator with separate freezer of Bauknecht.

A star Labelling for the freezer indicates how long can be stored frozen food is without prejudice.

A special feature is still the Side-by-side model mentioned (also called American fridge), wherein the cooling and freezing area are adjacent. This model is also popular with us in Europe a growing popularity.

Another important differentiator in cooling freezers and freezers pure is their capacity , usually expressed in liters. Here the range of small freezers ranges with 70 liters to large refrigerators with more than 500 liters (devices that are more likely found in gas stations or restaurants). In cooling Freezers distinction is made between the contents of the freezer and the total content of the fresh food compartments. In the product data sheets, these values are always given separately.

To operate a modern refrigerator is not much to say. Because unlike washing machines , dishwashers or dryers with their sometimes very extensive panels there with most devices only one operating element, which must be occasionally adjusted, and that is the thermostat .

This consists of a knob over which the temperature is set , The more expensive refrigerators are equipped with a display that shows the current temperature and other data and the entry of other values allowed (temperature, LED lamps, indoor fan, etc.).

In addition to the temperature controller, there are some other elements of equipment that users of a refrigerator can make variable:

The cooling fan

These are caused by the insertion of glass shelves in the spaces provided. Most devices have this over several insertion points, so that the user of the refrigerator can also vary the size of the resulting cooling compartments.

The number of the cooling fan is on all devices at least three. In refrigerators with huge interior space, there are sometimes even 5 or more cooling compartments.

In addition to the storage compartments and the freezer, there are still the door shelves , usually 3 in number, with the higher units of course more. The bottom door storage is often provided with special bottle holders, whereas one finds on the top rather butter and cheese trays and egg trays. For some devices, single door shelves are adjustable in height so that it has sufficient space for a bottle rack, for example.

The vegetable compartment

This is the lowest temperature compartment, which differs from the overlying its seclusion. Fruit and vegetables in this area with about 8 ° C particularly long , also promotes the complete seclusion obtaining vitamins and appearance of the food. The attached above the vegetable compartment temperature compartment is, incidentally, the lowest temperature in the area of open cooling fans, because here the rule applies: heat always rises from bottom to top .

Similar to the normal cooling compartments also exist in the vegetable bins diversity of patterns. Thus one finds for example in newer devices LEDs in the vegetable bins , the flash permanently (also with the door closed) and the vegetables or fruit used as virtual sun. This is the vitamin degradation delaying, which inevitably occurs in many plants in full (and especially permanent) darkness.

The freezer

This tray is used to get food in the frozen state, particularly long. For how long you can store food in this subject, is thestar frozen food storage compartment defined:

  • (0 stars): <0 ° C is not suitable for storage of frozen food (mainly for ice cubes)
  • : <= -6 ° C suitable for short-term storage of frozen food (1 Week)
  • : <= – 12 ° C suitable for storage of frozen food to about 2 weeks
  • : <= -18 ° C suitable for long term storage of frozen food
  • : <= – 18 ° C as 3 stars, but also suitable for freezing without already thawing frozen food.

Another important parameter, the freezer on, is the so-called. ” Freezing capacity “. This term is defined exactly in a DIN standard and indicates the maximum amount of food in kg which can be frozen within 24 hours of +25 ° C to -18 ° C.Who intercalates more than this maximum amount, must therefore be expected that the stored food may be frozen in half-rotten state!

Finally, there are the parameters ” storage time at breakdown “. This is the maximum storage time in the freezer in case of power failure. Both of these parameters as well as the freezing capacity are values based on provisions of the EU is based and are to be found in the relevant EU product data sheets of the respective device.

Nowadays belongs to the standard equipment of the refrigerators, the ” defrosting “. This automatic applies only to the cooling area, not for the freezer. Instead of the laborious manual defrosting a built-in the rear wall small heater is turned on in this technique, after switching off the compressor, which melts the ev. In the interior space formed on the walls ice. The melt water is collected in a funnel-shaped trough and then disappears in a small drain hole.

The only thing you have to pay as a user of the refrigerator with automatic defrost, this drain: it may be blocked under any circumstances . Otherwise, namely, the water runs through and then builds up rapidly under the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator door before.

Not as standard, however, a part of indoor fan for optimal cooling distribution . This prevents the usual temperature gradient “cold below – Warm up” the interior of the refrigerator, so that it is ensured that the same temperature prevails in all food storage compartments.

The audible door alarm is another equipment of the more expensive devices. But he will pay off in any case, since it prevents the refrigerator door remains open too long. Although we have previously discovered that no device on the market, in which the refrigerator door time after a (adjustable) closes automatically , but the technical development will also bring this possibility at some point with him.

The operating principle of a refrigerator you can actually make it clear in one sentence:

A refrigerator removes the heat in its interior and directs it into the environment.

Only: how he does it? To understand this, we pursue once – similar to the dryers with heat pump – the way of the refrigerantwithout our refrigerator can not do:

The refrigerant

The refrigerant is a special fluid whose boiling point at about -30 ° C is. Thus, this boiling point is substantially below the temperature of the food in the refrigerator. The refrigerant is heat exposed in the inner space of the refrigerator, thereby making it evaporates, thereby reducing the heat.

As refrigerant used today isobutane in the field of refrigerators and air conditioners under the name R-600a is used. R-600a has the advantage of a very low greenhouse effect, however, is flammable and is therefore routed in the cooling compartment in the interior rear wall of the refrigerator.

The evaporator

In the cold room (specifically in the back wall of the refrigerator compartment), there is a coil, called evaporator , in which the refrigerant of the heat of the inner space is exposed. Because of its extremely low boiling point evaporates here, the refrigerant and then flows as a gas continues to compressor .

That is really the key point in the chain of effects in the fridge: the heat of vaporization of the refrigerant liquid is exactly the heat that is extracted from the food inside the refrigerator. There has thus become colder, and the vaporized coolant must now to be re-used in any way to its original liquid state are placed.

The compressor and condenser

The re-liquefaction of the refrigerant is achieved with a trick: the compressor , the internal pressure of the now gaseous refrigerant is simply increased, and indeed so far that the condensation and boiling point moves in the vicinity of the normal room temperature. In capacitor (exposed to the normal room temperature) now condenses the gaseous refrigerant, will once again liquid and is at this change of its aggregate state heat to its surroundings (maybe one or two still recalls the conservation of energy from his school days: energy goes never lost, but always turns only in a different form).

The thus recovered coolant can now be routed in the pipe system in the interior of the refrigerator again. But this must be controlled so that the temperature of the interior is not too much closer to -30 degrees of cold liquid. Therefore, the amount of liquid which must be supplied to the evaporator again, by a throttle valve regulated. Only when the temperature sensor to report that it is too warm in the interior, the whole process can be continued.


Analogous to the washing machines , dishwashers and dryers are on sale with the famous all refrigerators EU Energy Labelawarded. This energy label serves as additional information for the buying decision of major domestic appliances and is complemented by the EU data sheet , which fully describes the graphic information of the EU energy label with words.

The energy label and its values are based on a regulation of the EU Commission. Since the technologies of large electrical household appliances constantly evolving, it is also under the prescribed by the Commission Energy values often changes.

The most important value of the energy label is of course the energy rating . Since July 2012, all new devices commercially must at least meet the requirements of energy efficiency class A +. The spectrum ranges then from A + to A +++, so that really only 3 different efficiency classes are devices award available.

EU Energy Label

The figure shows the EU energy label on the example of the Slovenian manufacturer Gorenje a refrigerator.

The unit in question has with A ++ on the second highest energy efficiency class, the net volume of fresh food compartment is 103 liters, the freezing compartment has a volume of 17 liters, the volume is 40 dB (A).


Unlike washing machines , dishwashers or dryers no “standard operation” to measure the energy consumption is necessary for refrigerators because the refrigerator over the whole year in operation. In this respect, the description of the values in the EU Product Data Sheet easier.

The key parameters of this EU data sheet we explain below:

  • Energy Efficiency: at this value resulting from the technological progress constantly changes. Not only the power consumption is decisive for classification, but also the size (ie the net capacity, expressed in liters). So it may well be that a refrigerator with an annual electricity consumption of 120 kWh in a better energy efficiency class is considered one with only 90 kWh. The key is to each other, the ratio of the two values.

    A refrigerator in the residue class A +++ saves against an A + device average 50 percent energy. An A ++ appliance saves nevertheless still 25 percent less energy than an A + device. The higher price for a more efficient device class so profitable after a certain number of operating hours.

  • Annual electricity consumption: this is expressed in kilowatt hours and must always be seen in relation to the size of the device. That this value to the user of the refrigerator has an important role, however, is clear: the refrigerator is in fact the only large electrical appliance in a kitchen, the whole year remains permanently switched on. Since it would be surprising if one would identify the annual electricity consumption is not separately identified in the energy label.
  • Net capacity cooling fan: this is expressed in liters, and is highly dependent on the overall size of the device from. It is expected these days per person in a household with about 50 liters of net capacity in the storage compartments.
  • Net volume of frozen range : well this is expressed in liters and depends heavily on the use of the device from.
  • Climate classes : these indicate, in which temperature around the refrigerator can be placed. No one holds to the authorized air class, so you risk a higher energy consumption or a malfunction. The climate classes are not part of the EU energy label, but are listed in the EU Product Data Sheet. Specifically, there are the following classes:
    • SN (Subnormal) : ambient temperature of +10 ° C to +32 ° C (. Eg unheated basement)
    • N (Normal) : ambient temperature of +16 ° C to +32 ° C (housing temperature range)
    • ST (subtropics) : ambient temperature of +16 ° C to +38 ° C
    • T (tropical) : ambient temperature of +16 ° C to +43 ° C
  • The last important parameter is here the volume mentioned, expressed in dB (A). What ever created in refrigerators noise? It is only the compressor which is at issue here, and is very quiet in the vast majority of devices. There are now but also refrigerators with built-in door TV (and radio), which could increase the noise level in a kitchen not inconsiderable.


Our comparison table for a detailed list and description of the main features of the device.

You will also find the calculated final grade , the Amazon valuation and the best deals for each model. Clicking on the final grade will take you for the detailed calculation of the score, the results from the category ratings and the percentage of the category in the overall result.

If you agree with a device, so you can purchase it via the specified online ordering. We ourselves do not sell products. Our goal is to provide you useful information to make an informed buying decision available.


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