TECH TALK: KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN ADDING REFRIGERATION TO UNLIKELY SPACES
I hope my previous guest posts have helped inspire you to consider creative ways to add refrigeration to unexpected areas of the home. Adding this component can have a big impact on a homeowner’s enjoyment of their new space.
Before you specify that new unit for your client, however, there are a few key technical elements to consider.
Consideration #1: The Size of the Unit
When considering adding refrigeration to a "non-traditional" space, you may face some limitations with how and where the unit can be placed based on the amount of space available for this feature.
For that reason, Perlick's Signature Series Sottile 18" Depth Refrigerator is a great place to start. The narrower depth means that you can easily retro fit the unit into existing cabinetry or design custom built-ins that don't take up such a large footprint.
Consideration #2: Optimal Placement in Accordance with Guidelines
Wherever the unit is placed, be sure to provide the proper countertop frontage as outlined in the IBC/NKBA guidelines. There should be 15 inches of landing area above or adjacent to any undercounter refrigeration appliance.
Also note that no entry door should interfere with the appliances; nor should appliance doors interfere with one another.
Consideration #3: Electrical and Plumbing Requirements
Good news: because of the design of the system, all Perlick undercounter refrigeration products are self-contained (ice makers excluded). That means zero plumbing is required - one less hurdle!
Regarding electrical requirements, a 115 volt, 60 Hz, 15 amp circuit breaker and electrical supply are required. All Perlick units come equipped with a NEMA 5-15P 90° plug and a five-foot cord extending beyond the rear of the cabinet.
Another benefit of the Sottile model is that it has a recess at the rear of the cabinet to accommodate the plug and keep a true 18" depth.
Consideration #4: Sights and Sounds
The final significant consideration when adding refrigeration to unlikely spaces is how the sights and sounds of the unit will affect the overall ambience of the space.
The motor in every appliance emits sound, and although it may not necessarily be discernible in passing, this background could become disruptive if the unit is placed in a space designed for rest (see my Nursery Design post).
While none the considerations I mentioned are insurmountable, being aware of them as you develop your design plan will mean you will be more likely to successfully and seamlessly add this feature to any space in your client's home.
For more information on planning for a Perlick, including design inspiration, specs and product brochures, visit Perlick's planning resources page.
refrigeration | Arianne Bellizaire