24 inch fridge for wet bar?

sweetandrewFebruary 24, 2012

Help! We're finishing our basement and putting in a wet bar area. I think we have at least 8 feet to work with. We *thought* we had decided on separate ice maker and beverage fridge (either U-Line or Subzero), but someone on another forum suggested getting a 24 inch fridge (they linked to a 24 inch Liebherr that is fully integrated) for less money than the separate bev fridge + ice maker. Met with architect this morning re: basement cabinetry details & he thought that wasn't a bad idea. Would give us the ice and the space for drinks plus extra freezer & fridge space, which could be handy as the fully integrated Liebherr we put in our new kitchen upstairs is only a 36 inch fridge.

Thoughts on 24 inch fridge in basement wet bar area vs. separate bev fridge & ice maker? Is the fridge going to use significantly more energy than the bev fridge + ice maker? We used to have 2 apartments in our basement, each with its own kitchen, so we just got rid of 2 old fridges, and I'm a little hesitant to add one back in, but design-wise I think it would work in our wet bar space with 2 ft. for fridge and still 6 more ft. for countertop/bar sink/lower & upper cabs.

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It would be significantly less expensive and use significantly less energy to have one unit do the job.

Ice makers are noisy energy hogs. They don't "keep" ice. They just make it. Continually. Which means that if you don't use the whatever 60 pounds of ice a day that it makes that it just melts away and has to be drained. You are paying for all of that energy to freeze all that water and paying for a pump to pump it all away unused. (Unless you plumb in a gravity drain.) And they aren't happy about being turned off and only turned on when there's a party and you need a bunch of ice. It's a bit less convenient to go and buy a bunch of bagged ice for parties, but you can buy a heck of a lot of ice fore $2500+ that is the startup costs. Running costs can be from $20-$50 a month depending on model. Most refrigerators, even if they aren't Energy Star, will only cost you around $55 a year to run.

"Beverage fridges" aren't generally that energy efficient. Nor are they that cold. They don't have freezer sections either. They start at about $1200 and go up from there.

So, you'd have a $3700 beginning expense if you went with a beverage fridge and ice maker and you'd still have no freezer to chill down the Jello shooters or keep Popsicles for the kids.

Depending on how much traffic this bar area gets, you might even want to go for a 30" or 33" fridge rather than a 24" one. Choosing stainless would be less than choosing a paneled one, but that's an aesthetic decision as well as a monetary one.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:38PM
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The ice machine by itself will use more energy than the "full-size" fully integrated Liebherr fridge.All clear ice machines are energy/water hogs. They are not energy star rated.Turning the ice machine on for parties and then turning it off is a recipe for premature wear.The machine gets wet and when you turn it off it gets parts rusting.It is designed to be "on" all the time. Getting a seperate undercounter 15" freezer with a tiny standard ice maker in there is pointless.Liebherr fridges are among the most energy efficient.

The fully integrated 24" Liebherr is going to make even less ice than the Liebherr French Door or 36" Single door. The icemaker is a little smaller. You need to decide how much ice you really want.

As far as layout goes I think people here could be a lot more helpful if you posted it here. Even a rough scetch would help.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Thanks so much. I had no idea that the ice makers didn't keep the ice like in my Liebherr fridge. Seems crazy to waste that much water if we only need ice occasionally. Between the ice in our kitchen freezer and the ice in the 24 in. Liebherr in the basement (if we go that route), seems like it would be plenty for our needs. I do think I want the fully integrated look so I would be looking at the Liebherr, unless anyone here knows of other 24 in. fridges that can be fully integrated.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Whoa, we're talking two very different beasts here regarding icemakers.

Undercounter ice machines that make clear ice cubes are what people above are describing (and IMO, the crystal-clear, taste-free ice they make is worth the additional water and energy usage). However, the typical refrigerator icemakers that make cloudy-white (and all too often, smelly) crescents do not use much water or electricity, or take up much space. All of the combo refrigerator/icemakers are of the latter type *except* one or two U-Line models that are 24" wide and have a refrigerator to the left and a clear ice machine to the right, all behind a single door (which I'd strongly consider BTW). The others, some of which include a freezer as well, use standard refrigerator icemakers. Note that clear ice machines require a drain, and in some cases a (usually optional) drain pump if your drain is above the ice machine.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:10PM
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