Side-by-Side technology (literal translation from English - "side by side") has made a real revolution in the world of consumer electronics. The habitual appearance of the refrigerator has changed a lot: it has become much larger and more “solid”, acquiring the dominant status among kitchen appliances. On the one hand, the transformation benefited consumers, since the unit was able to provide much more space for storing products, but at the same time, additional efforts appeared. So does the gaining popularity of a model pay off its disadvantages?
Features of the device
The breadth of the Side-Side refrigerators is due to their American origin. Overseas life for the most part takes place not in cramped city apartments, but in private houses, while Americans have a habit of hiding supplies for the long weeks to come. It is extremely difficult for an ordinary fridge to cope with such a load, and since the living space completely allows installing large-sized appliances, the idea arose to create a good, super-capacious model with hinged doors - by analogy with a large wardrobe.
The side panels of side-by-side refrigerators can open either to one side (both to the left or both to the right) or to different directions - it all depends on the preferences of the user. The opening radius is usually 120 degrees.
The main distinguishing feature of Side-by-Side is the atypical position of the freezer: it stands shoulder to shoulder to the refrigerator compartment, which, in fact, explains the name of the technology. Being a “personality”, the freezer contains a decent amount of food, as if it had been purchased with a free-standing freezer. In total, the refrigerator can have up to 800 liters of usable volume (the minimum value is 300 liters), which is twice or three times the standard figures. For a large family really invaluable help!
Typical dimensions of side-by-side refrigerators: depth in the range of 63-95 cm, height from 170 to 250 cm, width within 80-125 cm. The share of the freezer can be from one third to one fifth of the total usable volume.
A useful innovation of the “American” was the generation of ice - a function that is present in almost all models, allows you to get a portion of frozen or heavily cooled water at any time. To do this, the developers provide the ability to connect to the water supply and introduce a filtration system: just install a glass or jug in a special window, and the refrigerator will give you the right amount of ice cubes (or share the purest ice water). If there is no access to the water supply network, the ice generator can take liquid from the bottle - a special pump will pump it.
The advantages of the model
Spacious chambers and the ability to produce ice are far from the only “virtues” of Side By Side. Here's what else an American can boast:
Offline operation - if there is no need to operate the freezer (or, conversely, the cooling zone is not temporarily used), the compartment can be safely turned off, and this will not disrupt the operation of the unit (provided that the model supports the so-called “vacation” mode) . The temperature is set individually for each chamber, and due to the separate cooling, the smells of the products do not mix.
• The presence of sections with a special microclimate - in the refrigeration part of the device there are usually departments allocated for specific needs:
- Zero camera , or freshness zone - within its limits, the temperature stably stays at the level of 0 - +1 degrees. Frosty air from the neighboring compartment is organized; As a rule, 2 boxes are allocated - with low and high humidity.
- Chamber of variable humidity - conditions can be adjusted by the user, if necessary, start the flow of dry air. Best for storing herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables. Containers are usually retractable, different types of fruit are not mixed due to the presence of partitions.
- Fresh - a zone in which the temperature drops a few degrees lower compared to the main camera. An ideal place for placing dairy products and other quickly spoiling food such as meat or fish.
- Mini-bar , designed for cooling drinks - is designed so that the bottles are located most conveniently and compactly. Often attached to the door, but it has its own door so that you do not have to open the whole chamber. Climatic conditions are close to those that prevail in the wine cellar.
• No need to defrost - forced air circulation is organized in the Side-by-Side refrigerators, which prevents the formation of ice on the walls of the chambers. To her, the unit is obliged to "talent" for rapid cooling and accelerated freezing.
• Possibility of embedding or close proximity to the wall - unlike traditional refrigerators with a lower or upper freezing chamber, Side by Side does not install heat exchanger behind, but below the case, directly below the bottom. Accordingly, there is no hindrance to move the unit as close as possible to the wall or fit into the kitchen set. The heat exchange unit, by the way, has a special element that prevents the accumulation of dust - this automatically eliminates the hassle of cleaning.
• Reducing the noise level - not everyone has this option, but it is becoming more common. The bottom line is that the device can switch to a quiet mode of operation, so as not to interfere with the rest of the household.
From pluses to minuses
Even being super-progressive, side-mounted refrigerators are sometimes criticized. The disadvantages include the following features:
- Claim for a large area : for the operation to be comfortable, the kitchen area must be at least 7 squares. It is not enough just to squeeze the technique into a modest space - one should take into account the fact that swinging doors can cause significant inconvenience.
- Difficulties in transportation : transportation and installation of such a large device causes a lot of trouble - especially in cases when the refrigerator has to be lifted upstairs to a high floor (it is important to know that the unit must move in an upright position only) . Freedom to maneuver provides not every housing, and if the doors of the equipment can still be easily dismantled, with interior doors everything is not so straightforward.
- The impossibility of installing on the "warm floor" : as noted above, the heat exchanger in such models is pushed to the bottom, just below the bottom, so the proximity of the heat source greatly undermines the "health" of the refrigerator.
- The high cost of buying and servicing : - needless to say, innovations are expensive. In addition to the fact that an impressive amount will have to pay for the refrigerator itself, spending on electricity will greatly increase - at least twice. In addition, no one can guarantee the absence of damage, and the repair of refrigerators in Kiev with such complex equipment is much more expensive than usual .
All these shortcomings, of course, must be weighed, but it is not worth making hasty conclusions about the "unsuitability" of the American model. Some minuses will find quite a good excuse:
The “gluttony” of the technology is explained by the fact that it has to service as many as two large branches. But if you buy an autonomous freezer in addition to the usual refrigerator - because the freezing capabilities of standard appliances are rather modest - the energy consumption will still significantly increase. At the same time, it’s not at all a fact that a stand-alone unit will support the No Frost system, which favorably distinguishes all members of the Side by Side class.
• If the floor in the kitchen is equipped with a heating system, you can lay insulating material in the place where the refrigerator is located - it will not allow the heat exchanger to disrupt.
• The “Americans” cameras do not always represent “Siamese twins.” To simplify transportation, some manufacturers (including the popular brand Liebherr) produce shared models - the refrigeration and freezing departments can be transported and transported separately from each other, joining at the installation stage.
Side-by-Side refrigerators are praiseworthy for many qualities: large usable volume, rational organization of space, automatic defrosting, autonomous work of departments, the ability to supply clean water and ice. All these implementations require considerable financial expenses, but when you consider how far the model has gone ahead in comparison with conventional devices (the most advanced versions are equipped with even a smart on-board computer!), The costs will seem to be quite adequate price for family comfort.