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Your opinion on mini-fridges or products of their kind.

MindLibMindLib Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm moving to a new place where I'll be sharing a kitchen and a fridge with a couple of others and I wanted to have a mini-fridge in my room to store extra shit. I.E. beer, redbull, deli meats. Budget is a concern, nothing over $200-ish. Are there any mini-fridges that come with any cool bells and whistles that I don't wanna miss out on? What about dual fridge/freezers? My goal here is to minimize my dependence on the kitchen as much as possible. Any other devices/setups that could help me achieve this?

Thx.

MindLib on

Posts

  • KakodaimonosKakodaimonos Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Something like this: Haier 3.9 Cu Ft Fridge w/Freezer ? Though Haier is a cheap build. I've heard good things about the Avanti's. I guess it depends on how long you plan on keeping it around. For under $200 bucks, you're pretty much stuck with the cube units.

    Though this time of year, check the papers/CL for college students getting rid of their units. Lots of kids pick these up and then get rid of them when they graduate.

    Mini-fridges are ok. They usually aren't as good at temperature control as a large fridge. They are usually noisy. You'll hear the compressor when it flips on and runs. They'll dump extra heat into whatever room they're in. They usually only add about $10 a month to your power bill. They're also all pretty cheaply made. I've not seen a high-quality build on a mini-fridge. So don't expect it to last 10-15 years like you would expect a high-quality full size fridge to last.

    Why don't you want to share the kitchen & fridge with the others? I mean, even if you do have your own mini-fridge, you still need a prep area for the food.

  • MindLibMindLib Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's just a space/convenience thing, plus my room is exterior to the rest of the house, so I actually gotta walk out my front door and through another door, and it's on the opposite side of the house.

    I really don't need this to last longer than 2-3 years max.

  • warbanwarban Who the Hoof do you think we are? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Careful about buying the really small bar fridges (ones below 100L). I personally don't think they are worth buying as the motor unit takes up most the internal space and stops you from fitting much more than a few drinks inside.

    While working out the value of the fridge I would look at the geometrical shape of a pizza box. Your not going to be able to store a lot. And for example if you have filled one level up with things your not going to find much room to place something like a pizza box inside of your fridge without stacking everything onto it.

    Workout what exactly your going to store in it any how many of that item it will be able to hold without you having to move other things around just to try and take it out (or put it back in) of the fridge.

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  • X3x3nonX3x3non Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Some of the small/cheap ones can be pretty loud, so keep this in mind if you want to keep it in your bedroom. For $200 I reckon you should be able to get a decent one though.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Any chance you could look for a cheap-ass 2nd hand one online and keeing it outside as your household's 'beer fridge' or something? You can claim a few of the shelves or something, which could make it more functional for you in terms of stuff you can get in there.

    Might beat picking up someones unwanted old fridge rather than paying for something new you're only intending to throw away.

    EDIT: I meant a cheap 2nd hand full-size fridge.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    When we had an electricity cap, my room mates mini fridge would put the entire apartment over.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Boatrower-Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You can get a decent mini-fridge at Wal-Mart for a good price. For $200, you might be able to get the one with a good-sized freezer unit.

    Or you could see about a second-hand full-size model at a garage sale or something.

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  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I know some universities that have ridiculous rules about mini-fridges (they cannot be more than 1 year old, and you can't buy a used one) which results in many perfectly good mini-fridges being rendered useless. It might not be a bad idea to check around for a used one.

  • strebaliciousstrebalicious Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    We had a mini-fridge in our shop on the boat. Was a little over $200, but this thing was a beast. I put about 20 cans of Monster in there and still had enough room for more crap. Kept it all nice and cold (too cold, in fact, because one of the cans half-froze and burst open. Most of the freezers than come in those mini-fridges kinda suck though, so I wouldn't worry about that so much. But if you are only going to have it for a few years, just find a used one on Craigslist or something.

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  • cabsycabsy oh it's a boat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Something like this: Haier 3.9 Cu Ft Fridge w/Freezer ? Though Haier is a cheap build. I've heard good things about the Avanti's. I guess it depends on how long you plan on keeping it around. For under $200 bucks, you're pretty much stuck with the cube units.

    Though this time of year, check the papers/CL for college students getting rid of their units. Lots of kids pick these up and then get rid of them when they graduate.

    Mini-fridges are ok. They usually aren't as good at temperature control as a large fridge. They are usually noisy. You'll hear the compressor when it flips on and runs. They'll dump extra heat into whatever room they're in. They usually only add about $10 a month to your power bill. They're also all pretty cheaply made. I've not seen a high-quality build on a mini-fridge. So don't expect it to last 10-15 years like you would expect a high-quality full size fridge to last.

    Why don't you want to share the kitchen & fridge with the others? I mean, even if you do have your own mini-fridge, you still need a prep area for the food.

    Ours was really great as a freezer or as a fridge, but it wouldn't do both at once even though it was supposed to. Either the freezer kept things frozen and the cans etc in the fridge section would burst, or the fridge kept soda cold and all the frozen stuff melted. Just don't expect even a nice mini-fridge to work as well as a full size fridge/freezer combo.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I would not use a mini fridge to store stuff like meat, milk eggs, etc.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 a.k.a. Nubmonger/Antaeus#1352, 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion Oakland, CARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Mini-fridges are generally less efficient, and use up an inordinate amount of energy for what they do. I wouldn't be surprised if they were inefficient enough to justify just getting another big fridge (if you have the space and are willing to foot the up-front costs). Also, IIRC small fridges fall under the same environmental loophole that "small motors" do. Namely - there's a good chance that a small fridge will pump out an inordinate amount of pollution for its size as well, and there's a good chance that a small fridge will use more environmentally-unfriendly coolants.

    Hopefully someone more well-versed in these things can provide hard numbers? I'm too tired to use my Google-fu at the moment...

    If you don't care about the environment and just want to use a mini-fridge and want some advice, the only concrete advice I would add to this thread is that mini-fridges generate a lot of back-end heat, just like any other cooling appliance. Make sure wherever you put it as good ventilation and can withstand higher temperatures, and be prepared to get used to (or compensate for) the additional heat output.

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  • ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User
    edited May 2010
    I've got a cubic Haier next to my PC right now, had it for a year and a half. I really like it, but I don't depend on it for all my food and stuff. I mostly store drinks and leftover lunch type items in there.

    What the other people have been saying about minifridges is true to an extent. My room is always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the house (although I'm sure my PC accounts for some of that), the noise isn't a big deal as my PC is always on and that alone is louder than the fridge. The "freezer" portion of the fridge is kind of a joke. I have a tray of ice cubes in there, and 4 of the cubes never freeze, so there is a large temperature differential.

    If those things aren't a big deal to you, you can easily get one for under $200.

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