Over the past few months I've found myself getting "excited" about things that never really featured on my radar previously. Who would have thought that light fittings or sockets would be things I'd ever really care about? I'm not complaining, but I do find it rather amusing.
When I bought the house the kitchen was fully equipped, though I had no idea how much abuse any of the equipment had received previously. Over the last few months I've replaced the gas hob, the washing machine and the dishwasher. The upside to buying new white goods is that you know they haven't been abused for years by tenants who don't care too much about the house or its contents. (I rented for more than 20 years) I could have replaced other items, but as long as they were working there was no point. Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago my fridge started playing up. The fridge door won't close properly unless you jiggle and manipulate it into place and even then the door could still open of its own volition. Fridge doors that don't stay closed are a really bad idea. The last thing you want is to end up giving yourself food poisoning! Ross, who did a fantastic job with my bookcases and other things happens to live nearby so I asked him if he could do anything to fix it, but unfortunately he discovered that it was a bit of a lost cause. So for the next few days the fridge door is being held in place quite securely with a temporary fix courtesy of Ross.
In any case it's probably as old as the house, so it was coming to the end of its lifetime anyway. Of course having to buy a new fridge freezer wasn't something I had been planning to do, so that was a little annoying.
Fridge shopping isn't something I thought I'd ever find in the least bit interesting, but when you're forced to replace your fridge you need to go out and spend a bit of time doing it. Carlow town has several shops that sell fridges, but I've learnt that if I want to get anything like that it's best to go to the shop that provides the best level of service, which in the case of Carlow is Swan's. Price-wise they're fairly competitive, but where they really "win" is in terms of their service. Unlike some of the chains, like Curry's, the guys at Swan's seem to genuinely care. They're a local business and over the years we've bought quite a lot of stuff from them. Don't get me wrong. I will buy from Curry's and other shops, but when I want and appreciate a slightly more personal service I'll always opt for Swan's. Their staff are knowledgeable and helpful and you get the impression that they want to sell you something that you want rather than simply selling you the higher ticket item to increase their sales figures.
I spent the better part of an hour the other morning in Swan's with a very charming and helpful member of their sales team who walked me through the various options for fridge freezers. In the end I opted for a reasonably high end Siemens fridge freezer. I still don't know a whole lot about fridge freezers and I doubt I ever will. However I did want to get a fridge freezer with a good energy rating.
The KI87SAF30G comes with an A++ rating, which is pretty damn good.
There are a few features that I quite like with my new purchase:
- It's 70/30, so more fridge than freezer. I don't buy much frozen food so while I need some space to store frozen food I don't need a huge amount
- "holiday mode" - if you know you're going to be away for several days it'll use even less power
- The "hyper fresh" compartment is designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for longer. I've no idea how well that works, but apparently it lets you control the level of humidity in the vegetable drawer so that stuff keeps fresh longer.
- Audible alarms
- external LED display and controls
Hopefully the new fridge freezer will be fitted next week. As it's "integrated" it's not simply a matter of pulling out the old one and sliding in a replacement. The hinges will need to be reversed and the housing will probably need to be adjusted to take the new fridge, as the dimensions aren't an exact match with the original.
Hopefully I won't need to replace anything else before the end of the year, though at this rate I'm running out of original items to replace anyway!