What to look for when buying a fridge in Kenya

What to look for when buying a fridge in Kenya

What to look for when buying a fridge in Kenya

What to look for when buying a fridge in Kenya

If you’re fridge shopping in Kenya and need some help on what to look for when buying one, then you’re in the right place.

There’s no doubt about it; having a fridge makes your life way easier than not having one.

Here in Kenya, fridges tend to have a lower priority on the home appliances shopping list.

For many Kenyans starting out life or moving, a gas cooker (meko), utensils and drinkware tend to be the first purchases for the kitchen.

Many of us have survived months and years without a fridge. Once you get one however, you’ll have a much easier time in the kitchen.

You’ll also end up spending considerably less money on food in the long term if you plan your shopping and buy in bulk.

Fridge sizes and designs in Kenya

Let’s first go through the different fridge options available for purchase in the 254. Fridges are classified according to their size and design.

Size:

When it comes to fridge sizes, the two most important measurements are the external dimensions and the capacity (volume).

External dimensions

The external dimensions will guide you in determining whether the fridge you’re considering to buy will fit in a certain space in your house.

It’s calculated by measuring the external length, width and height of the fridge. Manufacturers in Kenya provide these numbers in centimeters.

Capacity/ Volume

The capacity or volume of a fridge is the total internal space available for storage with all the shelves and internal fittings removed.

It includes the freezer compartment as well. It’s measured in litres which is a bit confusing.

To simplify and visualize this measurement, imagine a cube with external dimensions of 10cm by 10cm by 10cm. The volume of this cube is 1000cm3 which is equal to 1 litre.

best fridge in Kenya

If a fridge has a capacity of 90L, this means it can hold 90 of these cubes.

Always remember to deduct a few litres (around 5 litres) from the measurement given by the manufacturer.

This is to ensure you consider the space taken up by shelves and partitions that come with the fridge.

Fridge Design

Fridge design refers to the number of doors a fridge has and the location of the freezer compartment.

Number of Doors

  • For the doors, the different options available on the market are single door, double door, side by side doors and French door models.

Location of the freezer compartment

  • Single door fridges can either have a freezer compartment at the top or come without one completely.
  • Double door fridges can have the freezer compartment at the top or bottom.
  • Side by side fridges have one door for the freezing compartment and another door for the normal fridge space.
  • French door models come with two side by side doors for the normal fridge compartment and a freezer compartment at the bottom.

The video below is a quick guide to the different types of fridges.

Here’s what you should consider when buying a fridge in Kenya;

1. Fridge size

Take a look at your space and identify where your new fridge will go. The external fridge dimensions we discussed above will help you with this step.

The key things to note is to find a location with a power source nearby and extra space for the sides and rear of the fridge (around 5 cm) to allow for airflow and ventilation. 

Also, ensure there’s enough room at the front to open and close the fridge door without any hassle.

Best fridges in Kenya - what to consider

If you have kids or pets, you’ll need to keep an eye on the fridge

For the fridge capacity, this will mostly depend on your use and lifestyle. Larger is always better since you’ll have extra space if the need arises but if you’re living in a small space, a large fridge may simply just not fit. Below is a general guide to fridge capacity and household sizes:

  • 100 – 380 litres – household of one to two people
  • 350 – 530 litres – household of three to four people
  • 440 litres and above – household of over five people

2. Design

Design refers to the number of doors and location of the freezer.

Single door fridges make good use of the internal space thanks to their simple design. Be sure to confirm whether the single door fridge has a freezer compartment and the capacity. 

Top freezer double door fridges are very common and reasonable priced. The partition does tend to take up more space than in single door fridges though. Luckily, the price and efficiency of these fridges makes up for this.

Bottom freezer double door fridges are more expensive and slightly less efficient than top freezer double doors. However, if you want your food at eye level and easy to reach without having to bend over, then this is the design for you.

Side by side door fridges give you easy access to both the freezer and normal fridge compartment. The side by side design allows for some models to have ice makers and water dispensers.

French door fridges are fancier and more expensive versions of bottom freezer fridges. They come with double doors on the main compartment instead. This allows for more storage and easier opening for tighter spaces.

3. Features

It’s not only about keeping your food cold. A good fridge should come with features that make your life easier and more efficient.

Most fridges come with the standard features you’d expect namely temperature control, adjustable and anti-spill shelves as well as interior lighting.

If you want to get more out of your fridge however, look out for the below extra features:

Energy Star Rating: This is a standard way of measuring the amount of energy different fridges use.

The more stars a fridge has, the more energy efficient and cheaper to run it is.

In order for a fridge to have a valid energy star rating in Kenya, it needs to undergo several tests and be registered with the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Don’t focus too much on this feature though. Majority of new fridges sold in Kenya have an energy star rating of one or two. As long as you avoid old second hand fridges, you’ll be okay.

energy star rating kenya

Frost Free (No Frost) cooling over Direct Cooling: Fridges with frost free cooling have no ice build up and don’t require any kind of manual defrosting. This is achieved through an element that heats and melts accumulating ice in the fridge without interrupting the food cooling.

Direct cooling on the other hand relies on natural convection to cool the fridge which leads to ice building up and the need for defrosting.

In terms of electricity, direct cooling fridges tend to be more efficient than frost free units of the same size. Frost free fridges, however, can keep food fresher for longer and are much easier to maintain.

Water dispenser and ice maker: If you like your ice cubes and cold water, then this feature is a must. Here in Kenya, you’ll need to get a water filter in order to connect the fridge to a water pipe. Thankfully, most sellers help with this installation when you buy the fridge. 

Door in door technology: Fridges with this feature give you an extra compartment for commonly used items such as beverages or sauces.

It’s a very practical feature that helps you save time and energy since you don’t have to open the entire fridge door to access your food. The video below will give you a better understanding of this feature.

4. Price

Fridge prices in Kenya start from Kshs. 14,000.00 all the way up to 400,000.00. The more you spend, the more capacity and features you’ll get.

If you’re not sure how much you should spend on a fridge, first pick the capacity, design and features you need the most. Then look at the options available on the market.

Since a fridge is a long term purchase, it’s worth saving up and getting a bigger size with all the features you want or might need in future.

Now that you know what to consider when buying a fridge, let’s put this theory to the test in our list of best fridges in Kenya.

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