Replacing a fridge or freezer can be quite a daunting task as there's a lot of different type's to take in to account and if your not careful you could end up with the completely wrong type. Below there will be a quick overview of the various types of refrigeration units and then beneath it will be a glossary of the terms which you may come across when looking for a new one.
Upright: These are freestanding fridges, they will stand alone and don't need to be built in to a kitchen unit. They can come as either tall (can range up to just over 200cm tall) or short (smaller versions, usually under 100cm high). They can come as either fridges, freezers or fridge freezers.
Under Counter: These are small fridges that are made to fit under a worktop counter so they measure at 85cm high. You can get them as either fridges, freezers or a fridge with an ice box.
Chest Freezers: Chest freezer are larger wide freezers that are designed to open from the top instead of the front.
Side By Side: A side by side, also sometimes knows as an American Style, is a large fridge freezer where the fridge and the freezer stand next to each other instead. These offer the most storage possible, but also take up the most space as it is similar to standing 2 appliances side by side.
This is a term used for fridge freezers which describes the split between the fridge and freezer amount. The splits available are 50/50 (which would be half fridge and half freezer), 60/40 and 70/30.
This is another term for describing the space available in a fridge freezer but is used to describe one which has the majority dedicated to fridge and has a small freezer compartment at the top.
Describes how much space is available inside the appliance in litres. It will either be shown in one of 2 ways. For a fridge freezer you will normally able to see both the capacity of the fridge, the freezer and overall.
On modern freezers it is very possible that once of the features you will find is it being described as frost free. Frost free freezers use technology inside the appliance to keep the frost from building up and it needing to be manually defrosted. Though a great feature, it does require extra energy for it to work so if your looking for an energy efficient appliance, a frost free freezer would be a bad choice.
Ice & Water Dispenser:
Found mainly on side by sides, an ice and water dispenser is just that. The front of the machine will have a small area built in to it where you can put your glass and automatically have either ice or water dispensed.
The hinge system is only relevant for built-in machines, but when replacing your current one it is key to make sure you have one with the correct hinge system. The 2 systems are Fixed and Slider.
Fixed Hinge - When the cabinet door is attached to the appliance will be fixed in place. This means when you open it both the appliance door and the cabinet door will stay stuck together as it swings open.
Slider Hinge - A slider system has a rail fitted on the hinge instead of being screwed on. This means when you open the door the appliance door slides along the cabinet door slightly as it swings open.
Though they may sound very similar, to easily replace your current appliance you will need to make sure you find one which has the same hinge type as your current one.