Three years ago, I had my kitchen completely gutted, and rebuilt, keeping my existing fridge freezer.
It seemed like a good idea, right up until my fridge started to make a weird noise whenever I opened it. And I realised that whatever new appliance I bought had to be exactly the same size as a fridge freezer I bought in the sales eight years ago.
Fortunately, my fairy Godmother stepped in, in the form of Haier, who invited me to review a brand new fridge freezer.
Haier is one of the world’s leading domestic appliance makers, and is newly launched in the UK. They have a range of very stylish fridge freezers, with double doors, large freezer drawers and a host of smart energy and food storage features.
Even better, you can get lots of these features in the very compact (if not snappily named) 3 Door Combi A3FE635CGMJ model. This fridge freezer has impressive capacity and smart features in a 600mm wide package.
While the fridge freezer is narrow (by modern standards) it’s pretty tall, standing at 190cm. This means you get a fairly chunky 133L capacity in a compact model. PS – my fridge looks this empty because we’re about to go on holiday for a month. My child is usually way more nourished.
It’s a lovely design. There’s a digital display on the front that allows you to precisely control the temperature in different parts of the appliance. I liked that the front is sleek without handles sticking out, meaning it doesn’t dominate the kitchen – and it’s easy to keep clean.
The fridge is very spacious. At the bottom of the fridge is a really generous salad drawer. It’s a good size and the humidity control feature has definitely improved the lifespan of my lettuce and spinach, which are crisper for longer. I’m really impressed.
Immediately above this there’s another drawer which actually can be adjusted. The “My Zone” can be set to a temperature of between -3 and +2 degrees, meaning it can act as a freezer, rapid chiller or cold storage zone, depending on what you need to put in it. It’s REALLY clever, and we’ve found it perfect for quickly chilling cold drinks. At other times, though, you can adjust the temperature for meat or fish, for example.
The fridge then has 3 shelves above, one of which is adjustable meaning you can store quite large items when necessary. The back of the fridge door has 2 shelves and a small covered shelf at the top – my one gripe is that this is really high and not adjustable, so there’s every chance I won’t end up using it very much!
The freezer has a 97L capacity, split into two drawers. These are SO much easier to access than your typical internal freezer drawer. I love them. The bottom drawer is slightly larger than the top, and each drawer has a sliding tray on the top for fast freezing and quick access to small items that you might otherwise lose at the bottom of the drawer.
Not only does this sort of storage make it easier to see things in your freezer, it’s more energy efficient, as you’re not exposing the whole freezer to the warm air when you open each compartment.
Alongside the MyZone compartment, this fridge freezer comes with a few different smart features designed to help your food last longer.
I also love the energy-friendly LED lighting and the holiday mode, which lets you turn off the fridge, but keep the freezer on – saving you money on your energy bills.
The fridge even offers dry and humidity zones, that let you control the humidity and moisture levels (90%) needed to keep your veggies fresh. The dry zone area at the bottom of the fridge reduces humidity by as much as 45%, which can extend the life of fresh foods by 4 to 7 days – perfect for things like cheeses.
How We’ve Found the Haier 3 Door Combi A3FE635CMJ
After a couple of weeks, we’re really impressed with our new fridge freezer. One thing I’ve immediately noticed is that my food is colder – clearly my old fridge wasn’t set at the right temperature. I’ve found that our salad vegetables, in particular, last several days longer and are still crispy 5 or 6 days after purchase. It’s a small thing, but means we’re wasting less food. I’m also using the tip I was given by Helen at Love Food Hate Waste and popping a square of kitchen towel in the lettuce and spinach bags to help absorb any excess moisture.
The freezer drawers make it so much easier to see things that previously would have lurked at the back of our freezer for months. Who am I kidding – some things were in there for YEARS. I love using the pull-out trays to get easy access to herbs and leftover sauces, which we freeze into ice cube trays (another tip from Helen at Love Food, Hate Waste). You can see even more clever food storage tips in this video:
My one note of caution would be to have this appliance installed for you. Unlike some fridges, the Haier fridge freezer doesn’t have wheels, so it’s pretty tricky to manoeuvre into place. Speaking from experience, it’s very big, and rather heavy! So if you don’t want to damage your floors (or your lower back) then make sure you have help! The Haier A3FE635CMJ is available exclusively from Curry’s in the UK, and they do offer an installation service.
I was provided with a free fridge freezer for the purposes of this review. The Haier A3FE635CMJ is available from Curry’s in the UK, with an RRP of £699. For further information see the Haier UK website and Facebook page .