There are nothing humanity values than a cold drink after a long day at work during the summer season. The question, however, is what if you lack space for the traditional refrigerator at home or you just need extra space in your current refrigerator?
An undercounter refrigerator will come in handy for the above situations. So, an under the counter refrigerator is a small sized appliance that is normally not more than 36 inches high that cools your food and drinks.
Some undercounter refrigerators offer the same functions as the regular ones do.
The major difference is the size of the fridge. The recent trend has seen the need of decluttering the houses to allow more space. Most people give a complete makeover to their homes. The aim is to reduce wastage while giving the home a complete makeover.
When it comes to the kitchen, they like to install energy saving appliance and save space. In recent years, more people have taken to the installation of undercounter refrigerators. They utilize the undercounter space while working the same way that the normal refrigerator does.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF UNDER COUNTER REFRIGERATOR
This freezer appears in 2 distinct types
Without freezer: since the fridge is usually designed to be an addition to the regular fridge, they usually come without a freezer. This offers convenience but it can be tricky if you have no regular fridge.
With freezer: they usually have the freezer compartment that is reduced in size. Now if you want a fully-fledged freezer, find an undercounter freezer and install it on the side of the refrigerator you have.
Fridge with drawers: there are types of undercounter refrigerators that have sliding drawers that work well when installed in the right position.
HOW TO INSTALL AN UNDERCOUNTER REFRIGERATOR
THE BUYING GUIDE
Its temperature stability
The best refrigerator should constantly cool your food. However, most underground refrigerators have been accused of having fluctuating temperatures. When you are contemplating buying this product observe for the temperature variation.
Buy an item that minimizes the temperature fluctuation as much as possible as this will determine the lifespan of the food/drink you are refrigerating. Also, you need the fridge to cool your food/drink and if it can’t then it’s not worth a thought.
A good undercounter fridge should rest at about 36 inches high including the legs. If you want an ADA compliant version then it will be anything 32 -34 inches.
The cooldown time
While most buyers don’t think this is a vital aspect of consideration, it is sometimes. Assuming you are stocking your fridge with room temperature carbonated beverages during summer to use later.
If it takes hours to cool down, it will not be exciting to serve it to your guests when they arrive. Most regular refrigerators have a rapid cooldown and you don’t want to compromise on this with your undercounter one.
Besides, the time it takes the food to cool down may give room for the growth of bacteria and moulds. Buy an item that has better cold air circulation because this will mean they have a rapid cooling option.
The compressor location and clearance
Where are your underground fridge’s compressor intake and exhaust located? This question will help you know whether it will suit the place where you intend to fix it.
For example, if the compressor and exhaust are located on one side of the fridge you will not fit it on the wall with the side where it is.
I always advise that you go for the ones that have their intakes and exhaust on the front. That way you don’t need to make adjustments to your counter. To be sure, look at the specification sheet for the requirements of installing your fridge.
Energy saving technique
Another reason that makes this fridge ideal is the energy saving technique. Confirm that your intended underground fridge is energy star-rated and it doesn’t compromise on any other feature.
Furthermore, choose one product that has extra energy saving tips like close door assist, eco mode, vacation mode and delay start.
Doors or drawers or both?
The undercounter refrigerator has the option of having the doors or drawers.
You can also have them both where some compartments are drawers while others have doors. Note that, drawers have lesser space for storage than the door ones. But it can offer you the ease of storage as you will easily fit your containers in the compartments.
The glass doors, on the other hand, will offer the display showing you what is inside the fridge without the need to open the door.
The storage flexibility
Before you buy it, consider the storage options and capacity. Can it store all your items? Do you have a large container or you cook for a large family and would want to store a large capacity of foodstuffs? Consider the one that is ideal for your storage option.
best undercounter refrigerators
15-inch undercounter refrigerator
1. EdgeStar CBR901SG 80 Can 15 Inch Wide Built-in Beverage Cooler
This ideal beverage cooler offers the front venting and breathability which means you shouldn’t have a problem as to where to fit it under the counter. It will keep your drinks cold at a temperature of about 40-50 ˚F.
It offers an even cooling using its in-built fan and its compressor-based cooling system which ensures it reaches the desirable beer and beverage cooling temperature. A quieter fridge is preferred and this one is the quiet kind.
With a single touch, you can adjust the temperature on the digital control panel. Its glass tempered door makes it easy to see whatever is inside the fridge while making it an attractive placement in your kitchen. It has the lock to keep your items safe from intruders.
This refrigerator features a 5.1 cubic meters capacity for you to use in storing wine and all other meals you would use for entertaining. Made using stainless-steel the fridge has a sleek design, a smooth finish and the perfect colors to match any kitchen design.
It gives you the flexible choice of either making it and undercounter fridge in your dining room cabinets or the free-standing types. In this digital era, you have the fridge control panel on the touch mode.
The kitchen Aid fridge also has a mind of its own which alerts you if the temperature isn’t safe for cold storage. This is done using the sensors that monitor the temperature to see if it rises above 7˚C within 4 hours.
The alarm setting will shut off when the temperature returns to normalcy. UV rays often influence your wines. It may continue to age prematurely. The fridge design protects the wines and all other beverages in it from UV rays.
Inside the fridge are glass shelves to make arranging easy.
24 by 34 beverage fridge and quieter type
3. 24 inch Under Counter Built in Beverage Cooler Refrigerator
Here is another front venting under the counter or free-standing refrigerator for your drinks. The fridge is designed to maintain an even temperature with the DC fan that circulates the air within the fridge. Moreover, it has an automatic defrosting control.
For those of you who love a quietly operating fridge, this is for you. It has a superior quality compressor to regulate the noise of the fridge. What’s more, the cooler features a sturdy construction with long lasting features.
Its door is strong enough to retain and stabilize the cool temperatures within. It’s a triple glass layered kind that helps to prevent the tendency of fogging in the fridge.
Stainless steel undercounter refrigerator
4. 18 Inch Under Counter Refrigerator, Stainless Steel
This is your ideal undercounter refrigerator that features 18 inches and whether you intend to clear the space in your kitchen or fix it outdoors U-line fridge fits perfectly. The fridge will seamlessly fit into any cabinet or undercounter design.
Ultimately, the fridge aims at cooling your food items so that the stay fresher for longer. This it does with its advanced temperature control. It further offers flexible storage that will cover up to 68 bottles.
It features a stainless-steel material that offers durability and ability to fit into any décor. It maintains a temperature of about 34 -70 F. When placed in the correct position under the counter, it will survive the tough times for years.
Large undercounter refrigerator
5. ATOSA Commercial Large Undercounter Refrigerator, Stainless Steel
The stainless-steel double door refrigerator is meant for a large capacity commercial beverage storage. The doors have the magnetic gaskets to retain the ideal temperature while locking out dust, dirt and moisture.
The seal further makes the door remain automatically closed thus regulating energy consumption. It has a perfect finish done using the stainless steel on both the interior and exterior. This will suit whichever design and decoration you have.
Moreover, the sleek and smooth finish makes it easy to clean. It uses the dixxell digital temperature control system that will regulate the temperature of the water. It offers efficiency by utilizing a self-controlled system that regulates the operation even when the temperature is absurd.
The fridge though large has its vibration and noise level regulated to a low minimum. Its compressor helps to save energy while regulating the noise. It maintains a temperature of between 32-38˚F.
It has pre-installed shelves and gaskets for easy storage and safety consecutively. It will offer you a capacity of about 17.9 cubic meters. This is the item you need for large storage.
Best built-in beverage center
6. Kalamera 24″ Beverage Refrigerator 175 Can Built-in Single Zone Touch Control
Who would want such a piece that utilizes the small space under the counter?
It features a large storage of up to 170 cans. The fridge enhances your kitchen aesthetic appeal with its sturdy glass door giving you the appealing view of the drinks in the fridge.
For durability and ability to stand all the different temperatures the fridge is made using the stainless steel. It has up to 6 wire racks where you arrange the drinks. They are removable and thus offering ease in cleaning the fridge.
Its front vent allows you to keep the fridge under whichever counter because its exhaust is on the front. It features a temperature display LCD that maintains the temperature at about 38-50F. Its compressor unit regulates the noise and vibration of the fridge.
It has a filter which works to filter the air that comes in and goes out of the fridge every time you open its doors. This is ideal for your wine bottles. In case you intend to use the fridge outdoors place it away from the sun so that it maintains the crisp nature of the drinks.
Mini fridge with glass door
7. Costway 60 Can Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler Mini Fridge with Glass Door
When all you need is a mini fridge choose costway. It can store up to 60 cans of your wines, beers and beverages on 3 shelves of different sizes. It has space for both your tall and standard bottles or cans.
If you look behind your unit, you will find a 3-grade manual control that helps you adjust the temperature.
This is a freestanding fridge that requires no installation technician because it comes pre-set. Costway fridge uses the powerful compressor cooling system to quickly cool your beverages then maintains the optimum temperature.
Its size makes it convenient because it will fit in your tiny office, playroom, small kitchen or dining space. With its glass front door, it offers an aesthetic appeal to your kitchen or whichever place you keep it.
The receded handle makes the door easy to open and with the help of the LED light you can access your drinks even in the dark. The fridge isn’t only limited to the drinks, you can use it to store veggies and fruits.
This design creates the elegant storage space for the butter, cheese, meats and beverages under your counter. It has room for up to 14 bottles of wine. Its design has 2 distinct temperature zones that store both your food and beverages at different temperature levels.
Within the temperature zones are other 6 pre-set temperatures for a customized storage. At a glance, you notice that the design is ergonomic and it features a durable stainless-steel material. It will fit in any of your rooms or cabinets.
It also has the touchpad for easy control of the fridge. When you want a high-end, elegant and efficient fridge you have it in the Jenn air fridge.
Under the cabinet refrigerator
9. Danby 120 Can Beverage Center, Stainless Steel DBC120BLS
Do you have those sporting events that require company? This fridge will offer you cold beverages as you watch or play your games.
The fridge has a capacity of about 3.3 cubic meters which is enough to store 120 beverage cans. It’s ideal for under cabinet storage because it has a strong interior light that efficiently illuminates the fridge the moment you open the door even in the dark.
It has a strong mechanical thermostat that you set and forget about. Danby is made of durable stainless steel and glass tempered door for ease in accessing your drinks.
Best Built-in refrigerator
10. Koldfront BBR900BL 80 Can 15 Inch Wide Built-in Beverage Cooler – Black
The built-in refrigerator offers the front venting mechanism that means its exhaust is at the front and you don’t need to think of the sides during placement.
The glass tempered door showcase the beverages in the fridge while the LED light help to illuminate it and ease the access of beverages.
The fridge like most above has a soft touch electronic control panel that ensures the beverages remain cold. The make is ideal for your dining room, kitchen, game room or garage.
Undercounter refrigerator with icemaker
11. Sunpentown IM-150US Stainless Steel Undercounter Ice Maker with Freezer
This could well be called an ice maker since it makes 12 lbs of crescent-shaped ice in each day. its designed to fit in under the counter thus it’s small and compact in size. It further has a front-venting exhaust fan design that makes it easy for the built-in make.
The bin can store up to 6 lbs of ice and it will auto shut when you have your ice bin full of ice. It has a reversible door made of stainless steel. For all your freezing needs the icemaker will keep your food in a frozen state. It then has a manual defrost to use when needed.
Mini fridge with the front venting design
12. Built-In Beverage Cooler and Refrigerator
This space-saving built-in fridge will cool up to 96 cans of beverage. Its color fits into any kitchen design and décor.
With its front-venting compressor system, it will fit in any standard kitchen counter. This is because you don’t have to think about the exhaust fan. At the touch of the digital thermostat’s ABR-960 features, you cool your drink.
Moreover, it lets you select your desired temperature for the drinks. It stores any can or bottle of beverage, beer or wine all in different sizes and shapes. It has a stainless-steel door that is completed with the triple paned glass.
Its safety lock system keeps the unwanted guests out of reach. This cooler will serve you if you have friends over or you are out for an event with its perfectly chilled drinks.
BENEFITS OF THE UNDERCOUNTER FRIDGE
Your kitchen develops a more streamlined look
Since the refrigerators protrude nowhere past your counter, it gives your kitchen a more streamlined look. This enhances your kitchen appeal. The kitchen remains attractive, organized and clean.
It’s stylish in design
The modern kitchen appliance features the use of aluminum or stainless-steel which means that durability for them is inevitable. They contain a smooth and sleek finish which aims at fitting in your kitchen décor.
You get to choose your desired design, color, texture and material though.
Offers ease of access
It has both the refrigeration section and freezer compartment. They both allow you to access the different products of need by stretching your hand below the counter and bending a little.
Who doesn’t love space?
When you have moved the fridge to your under counter, you have freed some precious space in the kitchen. This space has some special decoration effect in your kitchen but also a great impact on your mind.
They are eco-friendly products
The undercounter refrigerators became popular at the beginning of the 21st century. This means that most of the products here are energy star certified.
They work towards reducing energy consumption thus saving the environment. It will also save your power bill.
- They are ideal for use in small offices or workplaces where you can carry foodstuffs. Some commercial places use them for display purposes.
- If you love outdoor activities you can have your home install the undercounter refrigerators outside for you to store the food you will use. It’s a more convenient method than moving between your backyard and the kitchen to access the fridge.
- An underground kitchen is a quieter option that will fit in any limited space of your kitchen.
- It’s generally less costly than the full-size fridge and should be installed in the city dwellings to increase the space.
They have small freezer compartments for storage
If your fridge has the freezer compartment, it will most likely lack the space for large capacity storage. This is regardless of whether the freezer is in the bottom or top drawer. Their capacity is nothing close to the standard size freezer.
Not always convenient
They literary save on space but it can be strenuous for a person who has a back problem and other disabilities. This is because you need to bend to reach for different products.
Generally, its compartments are shorter
When you compare it with the regular fridge, this undercounter fridge has shorter compartments which makes it hard for you to store larger items.
As you may notice, most of these refrigerators offer adequate space, efficiency and elegance. What’s more, you don’t need to hustle for space with the undercounter option.
Depending on what you are looking for, all the fridges above will serve the different needs. But, overall, I would choose Beverage Cooler Refrigerator. It has a technology that lets me know when the drinks are not cooling thus enhanced drink safety.