Refrigerator Dreams

I have a couple of serious problems I’m trying to address here. One is my electricity bill, which in Atlanta in August was like $250. This is only partly because we run the air conditioning pretty heavily and our windows are old. It’s also because we’re always opening and closing the fridge door, and putting items away and checking to see what’s in there and deciding what to get out.

There are good fridge-user habits that we could adopt, and I really try, but inevitably with a couple of people using the thing there’s a lot of energy wasted re-cooling items because all the cold air got out. And then there’s the horror of freezer burn, which is caused by the very slight melting-and-refreezing cycle that occurs when you open the freezer door and close it again. The more you open that freezer, the more freezer-burnt stuff’s going to get.

You can get glass-door refrigerators, and space-maximizing “French door” refrigerators too, both of which I want I want because I am an acquisitive American who loves kitchen toys.

But even these awesome fridges don’t quite measure up to what I think is the Ultimate Fridge.

This concept fridge, which is designed to compartmentalize a refrigerator so that students can make sure nobody else gets into their stuff, is pretty close, but no cigar. For one thing, it assumes that only students want compartmentalization in their refrigerators, and it assumes that they want it just to keep other students’ grimy germ-laden mitts off their leftovers. It’s a fantastic piece of concept art, but I find it shallow and immature in its ambitions.

So, with a great deal less artistic ability, here is my rendering of what I want in a refrigerator. It’s my Dream Fridge.

Refridgerator Concept
Refrigerator Concept

The clear glass windows would allow me to see the contents without opening the compartment and losing cold air. I’d actually rather have the whole door be glass, but it seems more efficient to minimize the glass space, and anyway all I need is a peep to serve the purpose. And portholes are cool lookin’.

Compartmentalizing the fridge allows me to retrieve items from one area without compromising the cold air in another section, resulting in less freezer burn for frozen items and less spoilage for refrigerated items.

Giving each section its own thermostat lets me manage the space in the fridge more efficiently and keep items at their optimum temperature. If I’m stocking up on ice cream for a party, I may dedicate one compartment to be a really really cold freezer, and another to be not as cold. If an icemaker were installed in one compartment, that one might be kept at a lower temperature to freeze ice faster.

Since the fridge needs a compressor, that could go on top, like the SubZero example above, or maybe make the fridge shallower and put the compressor along the back. Or even, since I can do anything I want because it’s my dream, why not put the compressor outside the house, or tie it into the heating and cooling system of the house? Let my central air conditioner do the work. I have no idea if that’s a good idea, but without any research or examination it seems like one. Heh.

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2 comments

  1. That student thing would’ve been great for me for a certain period of my life. It wasn’t about germs, but about people stealing my food.

    So what I’d have done is locked that thing up tight!

  2. Well yeah, the germs thing was just for laughs. It would be the same value for a small office, or a working team. Of course, my concept would probably be several thousand dollars more expensive, considering that neither student housing (dorms or even apartments for that matter) and offices are usually less concerned about absolutely keeping tabs on energy expenses. Dorms because it’s (usually) parent money or scholarships or loans, which don’t feel like they come from your pocket, and offices because honestly when you work for a company it doesn’t feel like you’re spending your own money there either.

    So a plastic, semi-efficient little fridge that serves the purpose of giving everyone their own bit of space would be fine for those scenarios.

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