Mini refrigerators have been becoming increasingly popular through the
years. They are perfect for bedrooms, dorm rooms, living rooms, the
garage, the car, and with the advent of USB mini fridges, even the
office. You may be surprised to find out that mini fridges are actually
a relatively recent invention. They are made possible due to smaller
and more efficient electronics and higher power efficacy. Whereas
normal refrigerators operate through a process called gas absorption,
compact mini refrigerators cool themselves quite similarly to how a
computer cools itself, using high powered electronics, heat sinks, and
fans. Well, you're probably more interested in buying the best mini
fridge for your dollar than learning about the inner workings of
refrigerators, so let's get started with a mini fridge buying guide.
Below you will find all of the features and characteristics that you
should look for when buying a mini refrigerator. It is very easy to
simply visit the local Walmart or Best Buy and pick the first
refrigerator you find, but with a little bit of knowledge and shopping
around you can get a lot more refrigerator for your dollar.
Perhaps the most important consideration when looking for a miniature refrigerator is space. Other than advanced features like exceptional energy efficiency and a no-frost freezer, the size of the mini fridge is the number one determinant of cost. The size you need is ultimately dependent on your intended use of the refrigerator. If you intend to use it as a primary refrigerator for a dorm room or office space, you may wish to look at large models or even a commercial mini fridge. On the other hand, if you only
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when it comes to your mini refrigerator is whether or not to buy one that contains a freezer. There are two issues when it comes to the freezer. First, a freezer can create a great deal of frost and condensation in your mini fridge due to the temperature variance and lack of meaningful separation between the fridge and freezer. Most lower end mid-sized and small mini fridges have a freezer that introduces this problem, but at no extra cost. The second issue is cost. If you wish to buy a mini fridge that has a frost-free freezer, the cost will be much higher than a standard mini fridge. Most people find that a freezer is useful, but not quite useful enough to justify the cost of buying a fridge equipped with a fully separate freezer. If you anticipate that you will not have much use for a freezer, you are better off buying a mini refrigerator that does not have a freezer.
Many compact mini fridges and car mini fridges have something known as a warmer. This is a section in the refrigerator that you can toggle to heat up. This is a great feature to keep food or coffee warm when you are busy or need to focus on driving. However, having a warming feature in a larger mini fridge or a commercial mini fridge will dramatically increase the cost.
The ideal mini refrigerator will use wire shelves that are replaceable or re-configurable instead of glass or plastic shelving. Not only is wire shelving highly resistant to breakage or warping, but it is also extremely easy to reconfigure and rearrange when your refrigeration needs change. As you may have guessed, high quality wire shelving will increase the cost of your mini fridge.
Stores like Walmart and Best Buy will typically carry a great deal of mini fridges. In general, name brand mini refrigerators tend to be of much higher quality than store brand or generic brands while not costing a great deal more. Name brand refrigerators will also tend to carry higher quality warranties in case you encounter problems down the road. Because you want your mini fridge to last for a long time, you should try to stick to the larger brands like Haier and General Electric.
Specialized Mini Refrigerators
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of mini refrigerators, companies have been in a rush to cr
USB Mini Fridge
This is a mini fridge that is powered solely by your computer or laptop's USB connection. It is usually slightly larger than a twelve ounce can of soda or beer, though there are some larger variations. Most USB mini fridges are designed only to cool, but some variants can heat foods as well. These are incredibly useful for preserving your drink's temperature when you're working in the office or in a cafÃÂ©. Be wary of using them on a notebook computer though, as they can seriously draw down your battery. A USB-powered fridge is generally inexpensive and takes about five minutes to reach cooling-appropriate temperatures.
Mini Beer Fridge
When marketing departments figured out that many mini fridge buyers are seeking to keep beer cool for gameday, they rushed to introduce these models. A mini beer fridge is usually distinguished by shelves designed to house glass beer bottles, a see-through glass door, and colder temperatures than standard mini refrigerators. You can usually find mini beer fridges in the garages and living rooms of football fans.
Car Mini Fridge
These fridges are designed to be powered by your car's battery. They are intended to be used for longer trips or commuters who make an hour-long drive every day. It can take a few minutes for one of these refrigerators to reach the desired temperature. You should note that these fridges are not intended for the long term storage of food and that overusing a car mini fridge can draw the power down from your battery very quickly. If you are planning on making a road trip or taking the family on a vacation in your car, a car mini fridge is an absolutely essential component of the trip.
Mini Fridge Tips
The performance of your mini fridge can vary by a large margin depending on how you treat it. Always make sure to keep your mini fridge in a well ventilated area away from obstructions, as mini refrigerators rely on air flow and proper ventilation to perform. Also, if you are using your mini refrigerator outdoors or in a hot room, try to keep it out of the sunlight or in a cooler area, as this will reduce the power draw and keep the contents of your fridge cooler.