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In an effort to create a quiet and pleasant living atmosphere, it can happen that the greatest troublemaker can be found in your own apartment.
We are talking about a device of the absolute basic equipment, namely the refrigerator.
That is why a quiet refrigerator is increasingly on the wish list.
Annoying noises from the refrigerator
Everyone knows the unpleasant and annoying noises that such a device can make.
A refrigerator can hum, gurgling, bubbling and splashing. Popping and clicking noises are also common.
With an intact device, these noises are usually normal operating noises, about which one usually does not have to worry.
However, depending on the sensitivity to noise, such a background noise can be extremely annoying.
Location and spatial conditions have changed
In the past, it was often not that important how loud the refrigerator worked. Most of the time, the refrigerator was in the kitchen, where you didn’t spend much time in order to be disturbed by its noises.
Today, however, it is different. The modern and rather open design of many houses and apartments often blurs the boundaries between individual areas.
For example, you can often find open-plan kitchens that integrate seamlessly into the living room. Loft apartments are also becoming increasingly common.
On the other hand, the kitchen has also become much more popular as a room. Not only do people cook together here, but they also like to sit together for hours and chat. The kitchen has become a sociable meeting place.
Furthermore, especially in large cities, there are more and more small 1-room or single apartments in which a refrigerator is always placed within earshot. Often you can still hear the noise of the refrigerator when you are already in bed and want to sleep.
And last but not least, particularly handsome devices, such as retro or designer refrigerators, are prominently placed in the living area and are not always hidden in the last corner of the kitchen.
A beautiful retro refrigerator is also often placed in the hallway, in the dining room or in the utility room.
In all of these cases, too loud a refrigerator would be immensely annoying. So a quiet refrigerator is the order of the day.
Fridge-freezer combinations below 40 dB airborne noise
When is a refrigerator a quiet refrigerator?
Noises are not perceived as equally loud or equally annoying by everyone. So the perceived volume is an individual variable.
Noises that disturb one person may not be heard by another person. This is also the case with the operating noises of a refrigerator.
In addition, these recurring noises often have a kind of habituation effect. Noises that were initially perceived as annoying are largely faded out at some point.
However, this is not always the case. Some refrigerators are quite simply so loud that they are permanently perceived as annoying. Then action should be taken.
Basically one could say that one can speak of a sufficiently quiet refrigerator if the operating noises can hardly be heard or are not perceived as annoying.
If you don’t feel bothered by the operating noises of your refrigerator, you don’t have to worry about this topic.
However, it can also be more specific. Because manufacturers of refrigerators always specify the noise emissions for their models. Here you can fix the volume of the operating noises to a specific number (dB).
The smaller this number, the quieter the device should work. At least that’s the theory.
Refrigerators come with ever better technology and nowadays offer many useful functions and properties. One of these properties is the volume.
The manufacturers have recognized that more and more people are placing greater value on a quiet refrigerator. The volume to be expected from such a device is already the focus of development for many manufacturers.
Some manufacturers even conduct their own acoustics research and do intensive research on this topic in special sound measurement rooms in order to localize the operating noise as best as possible and reduce it accordingly.
Compare the volume of refrigerators
Thanks to the airborne noise emission information already mentioned, refrigerators can be compared with one another quite easily with regard to their expected volume.
In this way you can find a quiet refrigerator quite quickly. However, it should be said at this point that you should not only pay attention to airborne noise emissions when buying a new refrigerator.
Technical details such as energy efficiency class, annual energy consumption, capacity, useful content of the fridge and freezer, climate class and defrosting system are also very important.
Furthermore, the shape, color, type of installation and dimensions must of course fit.
However, we do not want to go into these properties in detail at this point, as the focus here is primarily on the volume when looking for a quiet refrigerator.
So if you have identified several refrigerators that would be considered based on the properties mentioned above, then you should note the model and the airborne noise emission specified by the manufacturer in a table.
Of course, other properties such as the price can also be noted.
If you search for a new refrigerator on Amazon, for example, you will find this value on the product page in the table with the technical details.
This creates a meaningful table with the models in question and you can quickly identify the quietest refrigerator.
However, it is of course not automatically the case that the noises of the refrigerator cannot have a disruptive effect if the airborne noise emission specified by the manufacturer is assessed as low.
Our noise perception is too individual for that. Therefore it can be worthwhile to study the customer reviews of the respective models. The issue of volume is often an issue there.
Minibar mini fridge
If you are looking for a particularly quiet refrigerator, you will often find what you are looking for in the mini or mini bar fridge. These are mostly refrigerators for commercial use, for example in hotels or guest houses.
That makes sense, because in a hotel room the refrigerator is of course almost always in the same room as the guest and is not far from the bed.
A quiet refrigerator is a must in such a scenario, as hotel guests would otherwise feel disturbed.
Such mini refrigerators are particularly well suited for cooling beverages, but usually do not offer much space for other refrigerated goods.
Modern minibar refrigerators can be equipped with diffusion absorption chillers. As a result, cooling by a compressor is possible without making any noise.
With these absorption refrigerators, you can therefore assume that you are dealing with an almost silent refrigerator.
However, such refrigerators are usually only sought for very specific purposes. Such refrigerators are not suitable as a normal refrigerator for the household, in which all refrigerated goods should find space.
Still, it can be interesting to keep the existence of these types of refrigerators in mind. This may help with unusual furnishing requirements.
You can find a model that the manufacturer has declared as a silent mini fridge, for example, here on Amazon * .
Make the existing refrigerator quieter
If your refrigerator is too noisy and you don’t want to buy a new appliance right away, you can also try turning your existing refrigerator down.
The prerequisite for this, however, is that the device is basically technically in order.
A refrigerator that is too noisy can have very different reasons. You can check the following points immediately and take action if necessary:
Is the refrigerator upright?
Use a spirit level to check that your refrigerator is level. If it doesn’t, fix this problem. Most refrigerators have height-adjustable feet with which small unevenness can be leveled out.
However, larger bumps usually have to be compensated for in some other way.
Distance to the wall
Make sure that the refrigerator is the minimum distance from the wall.
Check for loose parts
Check to make sure that all of the shelves and trays inside the refrigerator are firmly in place and are not loose or wobbling back and forth.
If you find that the freezer compartment is frozen, defrost it according to your model’s instruction manual.
Sometimes glasses or packaging that are too close together can cause noises. That is when they start to rattle or clink due to vibrations. So it doesn’t hurt to check the contents of the refrigerator as well.
Make sure the refrigerator door closes properly and that it isn’t leaking. To do this, you can put a switched-on, bright flashlight inside the refrigerator in a dark environment and close the door.
If the light of the flashlight penetrates outside, then the door is probably not properly sealed.
This can result in the compressor having to start up more frequently in order to maintain the temperature inside the device. And if the compressor has to work too often, this naturally has a negative effect on the noise generated by the refrigerator.
But rising electricity costs can also result if door seals no longer close properly.
In such a case, you should first check whether the door is properly seated. If this is the case, the rubber seals may have to be replaced as they have become porous over time and no longer seal properly. That too needs to be checked.
You should also take a look at the operating instructions. There you can often find frequently occurring problems and their solutions.
A call to the manufacturer’s customer service department can also be helpful. You may be able to give specific tips for the respective model there. A technician may even be able to help on site.
It can therefore be worthwhile to check the existing refrigerator for the problems listed above. With the appropriate measures, a significant reduction in volume can possibly be achieved.
However, if nothing helps, then a new, quiet refrigerator must be found.
Conclusion on the subject of a quiet refrigerator
A refrigerator is part of the basic equipment of every apartment. However, fridges are sometimes a nuisance for some people due to their annoying background noise.
In today’s hectic and noisy times, one increasingly encounters the need for rest. And in fact, a refrigerator can sometimes be quite annoying due to its operating noises.
Therefore, when buying a new refrigerator, you should also pay attention to the expected volume of the device.
Because the manufacturers usually state the airborne noise emissions of their devices, this is easily possible.
This is a quick way to find the quietest possible refrigerator.
However, even with a quiet refrigerator, you have to come to terms with a certain amount of noise. Certain operating noises are normal with conventional refrigerators.
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