Buying a fridge the geeky way!

If you are new to my blog and to knowing me in general, you might wonder, why would anyone write a blog post about buying such a pedestrian piece of electronic machinery. You might ask yourself "Is Michal such a fridge afficionado, that he has something of value to add to the thriving fridge-reviewing scene?" If so, then I will dissapoint you. I know next to nothing about fridges and I don't care either way. For all I care my fridge runs on liquified unicorn farts and increases the size of the tachyon hole in the aurasphere of the Multi-Earth. I do care about picking the best value for money, though, and I like to learn more about anything and everything, so that I may some day blow someone's mind by my expertize in fridge-picking. So how I went around picking the fridge for my family and how shitty well, did it go?

Choosing "The One"

As a proper open source freak enthusiast, I foregone any thoughs of using pen and paper, or even paper ads for the local electronics stores and went straight for my laptop powered by a Linux distro and LibreOffice Calc. I searched the web for fridge-selling e-commerce websites and opened a bazillion tabs with price range of 300-500 gallactic credits (contemporary currency exchange is 1 gallactic credit ~ 1 euro).

My spreadsheet

In order to weed out the selection, I've set a filter of features I required and features I banned. For example, since I don't agree with the notion, that my fridge should partake in some DDoS party, nor do I want an appliance, that will shame me for my choice of junk food and cheap liquor, I chose to discard any fridge with internet connectivity. Empirically, I found the anti-freeze feature such a big time and hassle saver, that units without it didn't even make the cut into the spreadsheet. Also, being the forgetful idiot I am, loud open fridge alarm was a big plus. One funny (banned) feature, that I noticed in some pricier models was ozone generation. The marketing bs claims that it makes food and especially veggies and fruits last longer fresh, but I assume it's just relative to your shortened lifespan of inhaling unsafe quantities of O_3 each and every day. There is a reason why copiers come with a warning to use in a well ventilated room.

Other important parts of spec that I looked at were the power efficiency, volume (total and ratio fridge/freezer) and noise. Graph of noise levels, kwh/annum and total volume

Here I noticed an interesting correlation. Three of my biggest inefficiency outliers had at the same time lower than average noise rating, while having more total volume. It seems like that with constant volume, there can be a bit of a tradeoff between power efficiency and quietness of the fridge. In my case, power efficiency and thus the total cost of operation is a more important quality and I disregarded the loudness of the fridge in my final choice. This wasn't so much of a concern on paper, as the fridge is located in the kitchen, separated by doors from every other room, but if I had to buy a new one today, I would assign some weight to this property. Concerning volume, I've set a hard lower limit at 90l for the freezer and 200l for the fridge.

Above all else, I took into account the power efficiency of the appliance, measured in KWh per annum. This number then got multiplied by the average cost of KWh in Western Slovakia and added to the price of the fridge, creating the "Price in 5 years variable". As you can see in the spreadsheet, if you buy the cheapest fridge in the bunch, you can still lose money in the medium-long time range. This effect will grow even more in the coming years, with the price per KWh rising fast.

Graph of price

Drumroll... And the winner is.....

After taking everything in account and having a top 2 contestants withdraw from the races (gone out of stock by the time I went for the kill), I picked the Sharp SJ-BA10IMXI2. Meeting all my requirements and only being slightly louder than I'd wish, it has a nice space grey color and an oleophoebic coating. It is quite efficient, roomy and above all else, it makes the stuff I put in cold.

My spreadsheet in .ODS format

Sharp SJ-BA10IMI2