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Smeg FR320P - Large Fridge- Larder Style Built In
After almost 20 years of faithful service I recently had to part with my much loved Bosch built in fridge freezer. It was so elderly that a review of it would be of no help to any consumer, except of course to praise the manufacturer as fridges of this age are rare to find. It was however showing its age, and would regularly ice up and then I would find items wet from the process, and its efficiency in terms of energy usage was questionable. It was time to seek an alternative.
When we had the kitchen done some years ago now one thing I regret was having a built in fridge rather than a free standing one, as replacements are more costly and more tricky to fit for the former. However we didn't want a kitchen refit and the space we had was what it was, and so the search was on for a replacement.
Rather than opting for a fridge freezer this time we decided to purchase a fridge only, as we have a small separate freezer which is more than adequate for our needs now, as we tend to eat almost entirely fresh food. The small freezer we have is mainly used for garden fruit and maybe a few organic frozen veggies and a spare loaf. In essence we were looking for a large fridge with maximum storage, and we wanted to pay as little as possible, so it was to set quite a challenge as some of these models border the £1000 mark.
After extensive searching we found the Smeg FR320P at a company called Appliance-World for the bargain price of £495. Never having dealt with them before we were quite nervous, but following a lot of review reading and in depth delving it seemed they were a reputable company. With a showroom in Swindon and 26 years in the business starting out as a kitchen design studio we were reassured and happy, and so parted with our money and awaited confirmation. This was very impressive as within a few hours we were all confirmed and advised that a delivery date would be within 2 weeks, and would be free of charge. In general the company does not remove old fridges, except in certain pre-agreed circumstances, so that was the only negative point. The process was that you would receive a call from their logistics team a couple of days before delivery to arrange a time that was convenient. I can report that they were able to be quite specific with a time around mid-day so we were not on an all day call situation which I hate.
As promised delivery was in about ten days and the task of fitting fell to my husband who proficiently installed it with a few minor irritations to do with tools required. He didn't have the correct tool to drill the holes into our wooden door, so had to seek out this in the DIY store. Apart from the sheer size of the appliance moving it was less difficult than I feared, as we were able to use the polystyrene it came on to guide it to the space.
The fridge as it is built in can be installed to either open from the left or the right, and the appliance measures 1772mm high by 543mm width and has an energy rating of A+
What really impressed me when it arrived was the large storage area the fridge has - there are 6 adjustable shelves as well as 3 containers for fruit and vegetables, and one glass shelf for further fruit and vegetable storage underneath at the bottom. The door has a lot of storage, but the lower part is free from any shelving so this enables further storage to be gained in the main body of the fridge. It also makes reaching for a 2 litre bottle of milk from the door easy as it you can place this at waist height.
Compared to my old fridge this is so quiet and being automatic defrost there is no routine maintenance or defrosting chores to carry out. I also really like the fact that it has an LED display that informs you as to whether the fridge is operating at the correct temperature which is so reassuring.
As there is no freezer in this model the capacity is the selling point for fresh food storage and what I like is that I can place a lot of healthy fresh foods in the space with ample room around them, so that selecting is easy and also this allows maximum clearance around the items to facilitate free air circulation and effective chilling.
Compared to my elderly Bosch this appliance has the benefit of new energy saving technology and I can already see my energy usage has plummeted since installing this only a few weeks ago.
I think the only negative really is the fitting which as long as you have the right tools and the know how it is straightforward, but in future kitchens I design I will certainly consider a free standing model as I have this for the washing machine and dishwasher, and these were considerably cheaper and easier to replace at the end of their lives.
I looked on the Appliance-world website today and the price has now gone up to £592 but this is still the cheapest in the marketplace that I could find. I have no hesitation in recommending this company as the service I received was outstanding.
I don't miss my old Bosch though it served us well, but this is an new era for me in fridge ownership and I am very pleased with this model that comes with a full one year guarantee. I would have purchased a Bosch again but these were much more expensive.
Reviews of this model were eluding me on the internet so hopefully this will be of help to other consumers in my situation, that is those seeking a built in larder fridge of these large dimensions. I think for a growing family this fridge would be a fantastic purchase, especially if you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables as we do. Highly recommended.
The built-in Smeg Fridge FR320P has a massive 320 litre gross storage capacity for all your fresh food items. The Smeg Fridge FR320P is economical to run as well, which is underlined by its 'A+' energy rating. In addition, as the Smeg Fridge FR320P has auto defrost technology you won't have to worry about removing build-up of ice. Useful storage features like six adjustable glass shelves, three fruit and vegetable containers, a glass fruit and vegetable cover and comprehensive door storage make food management easy in Smeg Fridge FR320P. This Smeg Fridge FR320P also features LED panel with electronic control and sliding rail fitting. The Smeg Fridge FR320P gives an easy answer to effective food storage in your home at a competitive price.