Technology

Fridge 2.0: That means low frost and a 0 degree zone

Fridges and freezers have more and more additional functions. What is actually behind the terms low frost, no frost and 0 degree zone?

Cooling alone is no longer enough. Once the refrigerator was a groundbreaking innovation, now the practical device has evolved. Functions such as low-frost, no-frost and different temperature zones should make your life easier – but they are not always necessary.

Farewell to defrosting: from low frost to no frost

Everyone knows this: Although the door of the freezer compartment is always closed in an exemplary manner, frost and ice will form on the walls and the shelf in the refrigerator compartment after a while. The freezer compartment should be defrosted at the latest when the ice gets out of hand. And that’s annoying, because the fridge has to be completely cleared out and the liquefying ice has to be collected with difficulty. So-called SmartCool devices want to make this work easier for their users and advertise with a low-frost or no-frost function.

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Frozen freezers should be a thing of the past with Low-Frost and No-Frost.

Image: © Thinkstock/PhonlamaiPhoto 2016

And that’s behind it: Thanks to an evaporator built around the freezer, the humidity in the device is reduced. Depending on the model, this automatic defrosting means that little ice forms (low frost) or no ice at all (no frost). Ideally, a device with a low-frost function only needs to be defrosted once or twice a year.

Weigh the pros and cons against each other

This is undoubtedly practical, but the no-frost and low-frost devices also have disadvantages: on the one hand, these functions reduce the interior space of the refrigerator compartment. On the other hand, the power consumption of a no-frost device increases by up to 20 percent. However, this does not apply to the Low Frost alternative. In addition, SmartCool devices are more expensive to buy than refrigerators without this additional function.

LG centum fridge
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Whether a low or no frost moves into the kitchen should be considered.

Image: © LG 2019

With all these factors, one thing should be considered: even those who own a conventional refrigerator can drive up electricity costs – if they do not defrost the device regularly. The thicker the layer of ice in the freezer compartment, the higher the energy consumption. Finally, the refrigerator needs to be defrosted. Since it then has to be cooled down again, the power consumption increases again. Ultimately, however, the higher energy consumption of the no-frost devices is offset by their better energy efficiency. Don’t be put off by the energy efficiency classes C, D or E. Before the After the switch to the new energy efficiency label, these devices were still classified as A, A+ or higher.

Purchasing a device with a no or low frost system can be worthwhile, not only for people who find defrosting annoying. You can benefit from the defrosting functions, especially if you use your freezer compartment frequently and therefore open it frequently. Of course, you should only open the freezer compartment briefly if possible, even with the SmartCool function.


No Frost fridges
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0 degree zone: Longer freshness around the freezing point

There are different temperatures in the refrigerator depending on the compartment. The compartment above the vegetable compartment is the coolest at two to three degrees. Multi-zone cooling devices go one better: they have a 0-degree zone, also known as a biofresh zone. This should keep food stored in them fresh for a particularly long time. Humidity plays a crucial role in this. For this reason, larger devices often have several 0-degree zones that are adapted to the requirements of different foods.

Food stored in the 0 degree zone stays fresh longer.
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Food stored in the 0 degree zone stays fresh longer.

Bild: © Thinkstock/ViktorCap 2016

There is then an area with only about 50 percent humidity, i.e. dry conditions, which is good for storing meat, fish and dairy products. The activity of microorganisms that accelerate spoilage is noticeably curbed here. Under these conditions, the food can be kept for up to three times longer. Vegetables and fruit, on the other hand, remain fresh and crisp for longer in high humidity, so they are better placed in a 0-degree zone with up to 95 percent humidity. Here they do not dry out and also retain their vitamins.


Refrigerators with a 0 degree zone
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For whom are devices with 0-degree zones worthwhile?

Is it worth buying a refrigerator with a 0-degree zone? In addition, everyone should consider their buying and storage behavior before making a purchase. Anyone who likes to eat meat, but usually only buys it in small quantities and uses it immediately, does not need an additional compartment to store it longer. Ultimately, the same applies to fruit and vegetables. But if your food regularly spoils, you should consider purchasing a SmartCool device.

summary

  • Little or no ice forms in refrigerators or freezers with Low-Frost or No-Frost.
  • This is ensured by an evaporator that is installed around the freezer and reduces the humidity inside.
  • Therefore, such devices do not have to be defrosted at all (no-frost) or only at most twice a year (low-frost).
  • However, no-frost devices are more expensive than traditional devices.
  • The 0-degree zone designates a freshness zone in the refrigerator in which food can be kept for longer.
  • 0 degree zones with 50 percent humidity are suitable for storing meat and fish.
  • 0 degree zones with up to 95 percent humidity offer good conditions for vegetables and fruit.

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