What is the Blomberg KFD4952XD?
This French-style fridge freezer from Blomberg brings professional form and several acres of brushed stainless steel to the kitchen. With its full-width fridge of epic proportion, plumbed-in chilled water dispenser and full-width freezer drawers, you certainly won’t be short of space.
At over £1,000 this is no bargain-basement machine, but technical highlights include A energy efficiency, filtered air circulation to reduce odours, and an automatic ice maker. Door-pocket space is limited, however, and with big capacity comes big dimensions and fair-sized running costs.
Blomberg KFD4952XD – How does it look?
If you want to make a statement of professional cooking intent in your kitchen, this Blomberg is right up there with the best. It’s a proper monster-sized appliance at 84cm wide, 182cm tall and nearly 75cm deep – so it’s going to stick out beyond your worktop by at least 15cm.
Part of that depth is down to the equally serious-looking stainless steel handles. There are four of them, and they need fitting to the appliance. They look solid enough to hang off, in the way you would gym equipment.
The busy four-door look is punctuated by a chilled and filtered water dispenser. This needs plumbing into your mains water supply and includes a replaceable external in-line filter.
We were a little disappointed that this dispenser serves only chilled water, though. For ice, you’ll have to open the lower freezer drawer to access the automatic ice maker.
The gloss black display panel above the water dispenser features touch controls, and there’s a finishing flourish in the form of a fully embossed Blomberg logo.
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It’s not all cosmetic roses, however. The stainless steel surface is beautifully brushed, but shows up fingermarks with the tenacity of a CSI squad.
Plus, on our sample at least, the upper doors were misaligned to each other by a few millimetres. To be fair, Jackie didn’t even notice – and wasn’t even bothered once I’d pointed it out.
Our sample also arrived on an articulated lorry direct from Blomberg, so we didn’t get the benefit of a retailer’s assistance for installation.
The door handles needed to be screwed on – four rather fiddly screws per unit – and there was some DIY involved in running the microbore water pipe from a supply valve.
Most independent retailers that stock this fridge will likely offer this setup as part of the service, or for a small charge.
Swing open those upper doors and the 378-litre fridge interior is just as business-like and impressive as the exterior.
The wardrobe-door-style arrangement means you have access to the full width of the fridge for large trays or enormous pizzas. You get stunning side-mounted LED lighting columns, glass shelves, white trimmed drawers and a mysterious blue glow emanating from the back of the two enormous salad drawers.
Strong blue light in a cool environment has an antibacterial effect on some of the common bacteria that cause fresh fruits and veggies to decay.
There’s also evidence to suggest that some vegetables continue to photosynthesise under blue light, so it will keep them “alive” for longer. The effects are fairly minor, but the theory is that food in the salad drawers should remain fresher for longer.
The KFD4952XD is an energy-efficient, frost-free appliance, with an interior that features several vents. On the left side, the system has a removable odour filter that can be cleaned and re-activated periodically simply by leaving it in the sunshine.
Speaking of filters, there’s a second water filter inside the fridge, behind the salad drawer, which needs fitting before you use the ice and water feature. It’s recommended that you replace this filter every six months. Combined with the external in-line filter, your drinking water should be delivered in tip-top condition.
If rummaging around in the freezer for long-lost peas, with your hands turning blue and frosty air rolling out over your toes, isn’t your idea of fun then this Blomberg has the answer. Two huge freezer drawers pull out on roller-bearing runners, providing full top-down access to your frozen goodies. Both drawers have a series of handy and removable dividers to keep things well organised.
If you’re still having trouble finding that leftover stew from six-months ago, the inner basket of the top drawer can be pulled out completely. The lower drawer is more limited in space since it’s truncated to make way for the compressors behind, and has the Blomberg’s ice-cube maker and ice-cube storage tray to one side.
Blomberg KFD4952XD – How much can you fit in?
Inside the fridge, the three full-width shelves and four huge drawers offer plenty of room. If you’re still stuck for storage space in here, you might want to seriously consider one of those chiller cabinets they have in the supermarkets. At over 400 litres of absolute volume, and 378 litres net of usable space, this Blomberg is properly huge.
The advantage of French-style appliances is that the wardrobe-door arrangement at the top allows you to open up the full width of the fridge. Not only it is ideal for storing large trays and plates alongside normal fridge fayre, it makes finding items very easy indeed.
The door pockets are a little bit of let-down, due largely to the mechanism for the water dispenser. On the left side, the lowest of the three door pockets is truncated to a capacity that won’t hold much more than a tube of tomato puree, and there’s no large bottle pocket at all.
That means the right-hand side must handle all bottle duties and, being half the width of the appliance, it isn’t that big. It can hold 2 x 2 litres of milk at most.
Families used to their juice, pop or wine sharing door pocket space with the milk will have to find room for those inside the main area of the fridge. And if you want to store those extra bottles upright, you’ll have to remove one of the shelves. Your mileage may vary depending on requirements, but for us the limited door-pocket space was something of a deal breaker.
There’s no shortage of space in the fridge drawers. In mirrored pairs, the top drawers offer a low temperature area for meat and fish, while the lower salad drawers are humidity controlled areas for fruit and veg. These extend right to the front of the compartment, further increasing capacity.
We couldn’t effectively test the efficacy of the blue light on longevity of foodstuffs, but anecdotal evidence from consumer reviews of this feature on other fridges are generally positive.
Indeed, they do appear to extend the life of your groceries. For the few pennies a year extra it will cost to run the blue LEDs, it seems like a good feature. Our only caveat being that the contents at the back of the drawer are likely to be bathed in the full glow of the light while produce on the front will be in shadow.
Down below, the French-style design has a less pronounced effect on perceived freezer space. While the two large freezer drawers boast a healthy 152 litres – comparable with many US-style appliances of the same overall width – the shape doesn’t feel like it’s giving you any extra space over a tall yet narrow four of five drawer arrangement.
It’s certainly easier to locate your food items, though. Looking down on the wide drawers from above offers a better view and is far easier than pulling out smaller drawers or looking on shelves.
The top drawer is much larger and features dividers to section off your produce. Yet oddly, these dividers are only half the height of the drawer, so we can see these becoming buried when the freezer is full.
You can pull out the inner basket of the top drawer completely – but be warned, it’s going to be super-heavy and awkward when fully loaded.
Blomberg KFD4952XD – How noisy is it?
Like many modern A-rated fridges with multi-speed compressors and electronic controls, this sizeable Blomberg is small on noise. Our sound measurement average over a five-day test period tallied with the energy label figure of 42dB for library-quiet operation most of the time.
However, it does emit some infrequent noises that, due to its generally quiet operation, can be startling in a near-silent kitchen.
There’s the odd fridge indigestion gurgle – noted in the manual as quite normal; the key offender is the ice-cube maker. This combines ice creaking and turn-out sounds with noises in the plumbing as the reservoir refills with water. Still, that seems a small price to pay for avoiding the indignity of pouring a gin tonic and finding you have no ice.
Blomberg KFD4952XD – How well does it perform?
The Blomberg’s control panel offers easy selection of fridge and freezer temperature in 1oC increments, and some other handy features too.
Economy mode sets the freezer to its most energy-efficient temperature and cooling mode, although this won’t be the best setting when you’re loading up from the supermarket and need to chill foods quickly. Rapid Freezing mode is on offer for that scenario.
You can set the display to turn on for a couple of minutes only when the doors are opened, lock the keypad, or engage Eco-Fuzzy mode. And you thought fuzzy-logic went out with the VHS video cassette recorder. This mode automatically detects when there’s been no access to the fridge or freezer for more than six hours, and drops it automatically into Eco mode to save energy.
With the freezer at -18oC and the fridge compartment at 4oC, we loaded up the Blomberg to our usual capacity. That’s 0.5kg per 10 litres of space of mixed fruit, veg and bottles in the fridge, and 1kg of frozen food per 10 litres of space in the freezer. The freezer load included 2 litres of room-temperature water in the upper drawer to test the machine’s ability to freeze down bulk fresh food.
Average temperatures in the fridge compartment were close to ideal, ranging from 6.5oC on the top shelf to a fish-friendly 2.5oC in the meat and fish drawer. You can expect the temperature on the mid shelf to average 5oC, and in the salad drawer a humidity controlled 3.5oC. Half a degree lower on each would be perfect, but that’s being picky.
Air temperatures in the open part of the fridge do vary a little during the compressor cycle, but not by any concerning extent. There’s a difference here between standard and Eco modes too. In standard, the consistency is very good at just /- 1oC across all areas – save the meat and fish drawer, which bounced between 1oC and 5oC. In Eco mode the cycle is longer, with swings of around /- 1.5 to 2oC across all areas – save the salad drawer, which keeps its very good /- 1oC throughout.
The freezer temperature showed a similarly bouncy trait. Air temperature across both shelves and our food sample were almost spot on -18oC as an average. However, it swung between -23 and -13oC every hour and a half or so of the cycle duration. This did give our frozen food sample a little variation of /- 1oC – but again, this is nothing of concern.
If the power fails, this Blomberg will be pretty kind to your frozen foods. Good insulation meant that during our three-hour fail test the maximum air temperature crept up to -8oC, with the food sample rising to a respectably low -13oC.
Such decent figures are slightly dampened by the air temperature swing through the freezer cycle, which would reduce the food-safe time a little if the power failed while the freezer was at the warmest part of the cycle. Techy-talk details aside, this Blomberg is comfortably good for the right side of a 12-hour power outage – even in the worst-case scenario.
Certainly, a slightly shorter compressor cycle with less temperature swing in the fridge would be better for your food – but that’s being picky. In fact, this Blomberg delivered a very clean and tidy set of test results and is a suitably good technical performer for the money.
Blomberg KFD4952XD – How much will it cost to run?
The amount of electricity fridge freezers use is relative to how much capacity they have. Models of the size of this Blomberg will have commensurately bigger running costs than a typical 60cm fridge freezer. Thanks to its A energy efficiency, though, it isn’t too bad.
In our test lab kept at 18oC ambient room temperature, loaded as above and with the doors opened half-a-dozen times a day, we calculate that the KFD4952XD will use around 400kWh of electricity per year. At around 15p per kilowatt hour as an average across UK suppliers, that would be an annual running cost of around £60.
Blomberg’s own figures suggest a little more than this at 452kWh per year, probably due to testing in much warmer European climate than East Sussex in January. Those running costs aren’t bad considering the Blomberg’s huge capacity, but they remain around twice that of a typical high-efficiency 60cm-wide fridge freezer.
Should I buy the Blomberg KFD4952XD?
Four-door convenience with commercial kitchen style and features aplenty, the Blomberg KFD4592XD is a proper centrepiece appliance for your kitchen.
It is rather bulky, particularly with the large handles, and the truly enormous cooling capacity is hampered by the shortage of door pockets for big bottles.
However, its well-filtered water dispenser, solid technical performance and reasonable running costs for its size, make it well worth considering if you’re thinking big cooling for a big kitchen.
Four-door convenience, features aplenty and A efficiency make this big luxury Blomberg a style statement that’s well worth considering.