4 stages of choosing a built-in refrigerator and the nuances of its installation

How to choose a built-in refrigerator

When choosing a refrigerator should pay attention to two main aspects: the functional model and aesthetic requirements.

We will tell you how to choose a built-in refrigerator for your home, taking into account all the necessary parameters, the characteristics of your kitchen and the requirements - or wishes - of family members.

Stage 1. We get acquainted with the features of the built-in refrigerator

Embedded models benefit in front of separate ones in a number of ways: they are characterized by increased noise and heat insulation, they take up less space in the kitchen and can go to any interior.


If your priority is maximum capacity, it is better to give preference to a stand-alone model. The volume of the built-in refrigerator and freezer is almost always less than that of a free-standing one, but it itself takes up several times less space.

  • In addition, even visually the kitchen with built-in appliances seems more spacious than with a stationary one, since the space is not crushed by variegated surfaces. For small kitchen This is a big bonus.
Built-in fridge in a small kitchen in Khrushchev

Built-in fridge in a small kitchen in Khrushchev

Built-in refrigerator in the interior of a classic kitchen

Built-in refrigerator in the interior of a classic kitchen in the Khrushchev Studio

Appearance and design features

The built-in refrigerators differ from ordinary ones and in the fact that they lack an external decorative panel. Instead, they are equipped with a device for fixing the facade. Thanks to the facades, the built-in refrigerator does not violate the interior style.

Built-in fridge

By the way, built-in models can be installed not only in the kitchen: they can be equipped with, say, a bar counter, an island, a wardrobe in the living room (see photo below) or embedded in office furniture.

Built-in mini fridge

Mini fridge integrated under the island worktop

Wardrobe in the living room with integrated fridge

Closet in living / dining room with integrated fridge

At the same time, even if there are several similar column cabinets, it will be easy to orient in the kitchen and find the right door by the appearance of the cabinet. In addition, in the lower part of the box with the refrigerator, as a rule, there is a grill for the entry of fresh air to the heating elements. In models with electronic control, the panel with temperature indicators and color indicators can also be moved to the external part of the device.

  • Closed built-in refrigerator

Small built-in refrigerators are often located under the kitchen countertop.

Built-in mini fridge

Small fridge built under countertop

Heat and noise insulation

Such refrigerators are usually characterized by additional thermal insulation and lower noise levels compared to stand-alone models. In particular, they are quieter than standalone ones, since the exterior panels of a kitchen cabinet help to achieve greater sound insulation.


Embedded refrigerators are, on average, more expensive than ordinary ones - manufacturers explain this by the complexity of the design and the cost of additional thermal insulation. Prices for single-chamber models without additional functions start from 20,000 rubles, while the cost of models with the maximum number of options and electronic control often exceeds 50,000 rubles.

The cost depends on the number of doors and chambers, the internal structure and the presence of a special coating for better storage of products. Such features can most often be found in premium embedded refrigerators.

In addition, as in the case of stand-alone models, the price of the embedded model is directly proportional to its size.


  • Define your budget and wishes in advance in order to narrow the search range and not waste time on viewing too expensive models with additional features that do not interest you.
  • Before you start choosing a built-in refrigerator for its functionality, always pay attention to its dimensions.
  • It is best to choose a refrigerator at the same time with the order of a set of kitchen furniture.

Stage 2. We are determined with dimensions and capacity

Already at the stage of planning the kitchen and creating the design of a future set of furniture, you should think about the size of the refrigerator. Determine the optimal size and volume of equipment, and then order the furniture for the selected model.

  • If the cabinet is already there (or already planned), you will have to choose a refrigerator for it. However, in most cases this is not difficult to do, because the dimensions of the embedded technology are standardized.


If you have the opportunity to choose a refrigerator of any size, it is worth starting with this criterion. The optimal volume of the refrigerator will depend on the number of people living in the apartment. For one or two people, 120 liters is enough (you can also consider smaller models). For three - 150 l. If four people live in the house - 180 l. And if you have a really big family, from five people - consider a Side by Side model of about 300 liters.

  • Built-in refrigerator side by side


Choose a refrigerator should be based on the growth of people who will use this technique most often. Assess the height - to reach any shelf and section should be easy.

If there are children in your family, it is better to stay on a low refrigerator of 150-160 cm. If only adults are living in the house, you can take a refrigerator higher. But it is necessary to buy equipment under 2 meters with caution - sometimes it is inconvenient to use even tall people.

  • However, a narrow but tall refrigerator helps when the kitchen is extremely small.
Narrow built-in fridge

Narrow built-in refrigerator in the interior of a small kitchen

If you want to buy a small refrigerator and install it higher - consider the option of installing on a pedestal, a shelf (see photo below) or a mini cabinet with drawers.

  • Box under the built-in refrigerator

Theoretically, a small built-in refrigerator can be installed even above a washing machine as shown in the photo below.

Refrigerator over washing machine

Refrigerator over washing machine

To save space in a small kitchen, a refrigerator is often built under the kitchen worktop. The cabinet is not needed in this case - its function will be performed by the table top and side walls of the adjacent furniture.

Small and built-in fridge and freezer under the tabletop

Small and built-in fridge and freezer under the tabletop

For a large family and spacious kitchen a wide and low fridge will suit well and a separate built-in freezer of the same height.

Fit for kitchen cupboard

Standard cabinet dimensions under the refrigerator: depth 55 cm, width 60 cm. Height can be any. Note: if the refrigerator is significantly lower than the cabinet, after installation there will be free space for an extra shelf. Perhaps this will be a good solution for you.

Choosing a refrigerator under the already ready cupboard, remember two things.First, in the passport of each built-in refrigerator the optimal cabinet dimensions for it are indicated - be guided by these numbers. Secondly, between the appliances and the walls of the furniture there should be gaps for ventilation - this is important to foresee. Moreover, if the refrigerator will be located near the hob or oven, this gap should be at least 7 cm, which greatly complicates the selection of the model in the presence of a finished cabinet. That is why at the stage of choosing the placement of objects is to ensure that these types of technology were away from each other.


  • If there are several cameras in your refrigerator, be sure to check if the dimensions of the doors of the cabinets are the same as the doors of the refrigerator.
  • Do not install the built-in refrigerator yourself, if you are not sure that you can take into account all the nuances. It is better to entrust the installation specialist.

See also: How to arrange the refrigerator in the kitchen

Stage 3. We study the general criteria for choosing refrigerators

Types of control for embedded refrigerators

There are two types of such models: electronic and electromechanical. Electronic control system is a set of buttons and touch fields with a display. The presence of such a system will increase the price of equipment, but it will allow you to adjust the temperature in each compartment, protect settings from accidental changes, activate refrigerator operation modes in your absence, etc.

Electromechanical control is simpler and usually limited by the intensity regulator (depending on the number of regulator compressors it can be one or two). Such models are much cheaper and do not have a large number of functions. Some modes, for example, “superfreezing”, can be activated by simply pressing a separate button.

Think which option is right for you. And, of course, do not forget about the budget.


In the Russian market are mainly models with inverter or conventional compressors. A conventional compressor works on the principle of achieving maximum power and subsequent temporary shutdown. This process goes in a circle. If the refrigerator is equipped with an inverter compressor, it works without pauses and constantly maintains the optimum temperature in the refrigerator. Besides the fact that such a system significantly increases the life of the compressor, it allows you to reduce noise and energy consumption, as well as maintain the freshness of your products longer. Consider this when choosing a technique.

Usually, refrigerators are equipped with one compressor, which ensures the operation of all departments, but it is possible to find a two-compressor model. In this case, for each camera, you can set up individual working conditions, if necessary, even completely turn off one of them (for example, a freezer, if it does not store food) and save electricity - and therefore money.

In refrigerators with one compressor, such possibilities are only available with electronic control or the “Vacation” function. This feature allows you to maintain a temperature in the region of 12-15 degrees inside the unused refrigerating chamber. So you will save energy and protect yourself from mold and unpleasant odors in the refrigerator for as long as you are not at home.

Refrigerator classes

For the climate of most parts of Russia, models of class SN (subnormal) are suitable, which work without interruptions at ambient temperatures from 10 to 35 degrees. Suitable for use and class ST.

Energy efficiency classes

The energy efficiency class of embedded refrigerators, as in the case of other household appliances, is indicated in Latin letters from A to G. And A represents the smallest consumption of electricity. Models with A + classes (and a few pluses) indicate even higher energy efficiency - each plus reduces electricity consumption by an average of 10%.The higher the energy efficiency class - the more expensive the refrigerator, however, at current electricity prices in Russia, buying a class A +++ refrigerator can be an excellent investment in the long term.

Defrost systems

Built-in refrigerators are equipped with a defrost system, which can be of three types: with manual defrosting, drip and automatic (no frost).

Manual defrost refrigerators are usually the cheapest, but also the least convenient to use: once every 3-6 months you have to defrost the freezer and turn the refrigerator off.

With the automatic No Frost defrost system, you don’t have to do anything yourself: frost will be formed behind the wall of the freezer compartment and melt thanks to the fan provided for in the design. The main disadvantages of this system are the high price and the need to carefully monitor the packaging of products in the freezer due to the constant circulation of air. The fan also adds a small percentage of noise.

Most modern built-in refrigerators are equipped with a defrost drip system. On the evaporator in the back of the refrigerator ice is formed during compressor operation. When the compressor shuts down or goes into minimum intensity mode, the ice melts. When drip defrosting the loss of food products liquids is very slow.

For fast freezing or cooling of new products in the refrigerator without temperature drops for products already stored there, the functions “supercooling” and “superfreezing” can be provided in the functionality. In addition, the device can be represented by a multi-flow cooling function (most often there is in refrigerators with the No Frost system), which helps to cool the shelves on the refrigerator door as much as possible.

Product freshness zones

Different products require different storage conditions: medium humidity and lower temperatures are suitable for meat and fish, while fresh vegetables and fruits are best stored at 90% humidity and at higher degrees. Most of the built-in refrigerators have separate shelves for storing fresh vegetables, chilled meat, fresh sandwiches, etc.

Freshness zone

In a certain zone (usually it is called the zone of freshness), you can store any food - it provides humidity control. If the model has two separate zones, they are usually divided into wet and dry. The ideal option would be to have a third chamber with a separate door and separate zones of freshness, but it is rare and greatly increases the price of the refrigerator.

See also: What should be the temperature in the refrigerator?

Sound indication

For the built-in refrigerator, it is very important to have a sound indicator of temperature increase with the door open. Because of the furniture facade, it is possible not to notice that the door did not close completely. In this case, after a while, a special sound signal will alert you about this and remind you to close the door so that the products do not deteriorate ahead of time.

Noise level

If the apartment is small, and the kitchen is located next to the bedroom or even in a single studio, it is worth paying special attention to the noise level indicator. The average noise level of a modern refrigerator does not exceed 45 dB (the analogue of loudness is a normal conversation), and models with an inverter compressor are even quieter.

Electronic control

If you choose a “smart” refrigerator with a large set of functions, be sure to think about moving the electronic panel to the cabinet door. In this case, you can control its functions without opening the refrigerator once again.

Folding and optional shelves

When choosing a built-in refrigerator, pay attention to the presence of additional and folding shelves for modeling the internal space and placing large-sized products, such as three-liter jars with cucumbers, etc.Some models are equipped with removable shelves for 3-5 segments for storing drinks.

Fold down shelf

Fold down shelf


  • Always pay attention to the classes of the selected refrigerator and functionality.
  • Consider the noise level of the refrigerator depending on the size of your apartment.
  • Choose a refrigerator with folding elements to simulate interior space.

Stage 4. We delve into the nuances of the installation

It should immediately be said that the installation of the built-in refrigerator is not difficult if the furniture was originally designed for a specific model or if the model was chosen for an existing niche. In this case, the installation can be done independently using the wiring diagram attached by the manufacturer. If you want to globally redo furniture set, you should take the help of specialized experts.

There are also a number of general requirements for installing an embedded refrigerator:

  1. Next to the oven, or close to the walls of the cabinet, the refrigerator is not mounted. In order for the air necessary for cooling to be able to circulate freely, a minimum of 7 cm is left on each side of the housing.
  2. Be sure to provide a convenient and durable mount on the doors, because according to statistics, the refrigerator opens dozens of times during the day.
  3. The cabinet in which the installation is carried out must be level, only then the hinges and doors will be installed correctly.

Be sure to pay attention to the system of hanging doors. To completely hide the refrigerator in the kitchen cupboard, use the system of double doors with various ways of fixing the facade to the door. It can open along sliding guides, like on rails, but in this case there is a gap between the doors where dirt can get, which you will have to clean regularly. This method allows you to open the door at a maximum right angle. If you hang the door with the help of hinges, the furniture facade will closely adjoin the door of the refrigerator, and the door itself will allow you to open the refrigerator much wider.

If it is important to you in which direction the door will open, then it is best to choose a built-in refrigerator with a re-hanging door.

Instructions for the installation of a conventional refrigerator, see the material: How to embed a regular refrigerator in the headset

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