Refrigerators Buying Guide

  • Getting Started

  • When buying a new refrigerator for your home, it is always best to pick what best suits your everyday life. Do you need something with a lot of storage or not so much? Are you looking for a beautiful french door design or something less flashy? Whatever it is you want, it’s always a top priority to know exactly the choices available.

  • Budget

  • The first and most important step in buying a refrigerator is determining your budget. Most basic refrigerators range from $300-$600. These are standard fridges with cramped top freezers and not the most efficient appliances. Once you get up to about $750 your options are more open, with side by side doors and more storage. At around $1,500 to $2,300 your options are basically endless with tons of features and styles that will best fit your needs.

  • Types

  • Refrigerators are made in a few different body types; top- freezer, bottom- freezer, side-by-side, french door, freezerless, built-in, and compact. As convenience and style goes up, so does price and storage. You get what you pay for, so make sure it suits your home and your style.

    Top-freezer - Not ideal for busy families who entertain often and are always rushing. Theses models offer roughly 16-22 cubic feet of interior capacity. With the fridge area being located below the freezer, bending over and aching backs are something that will come along with buying a top-freezer refrigerator. These usually range between $350 and $700.

    Bottom-freezer - More convenient than top-freezer types because the main fridge is located at eye level. No bending over. Also, there’s plenty of freezer space for those who like to buy in bulk and/or store frozen items for long time periods. These range from about $750 to $1,200.

    Side-by-side - With more interior space and convenience, side-by side refrigerators are very popular. These are most suitable for smaller spaces, and are great for grabbing things quickly with the two doors making everything super accessible to anyone reaching in. These range anywhere from $700 to over $1,800.

    French-doors - If you entertain often this is a great pick for you. This body offers plenty of space to store large items such as platters and trays. These refrigerators offer ample door storage so you can quickly grab whatever you need while cooking. These are usually available in three-door options with bottom freezer compartments, and four-door options with dual freezer compartments. This style has skyrocketed over the last few years, and for good reason. Because of the storage and convenience of this fridge, they range from $1,600 to over $2,000.

    Freezerless -  A perfect secondary option for places other than the kitchen, such as the basement or garage for your ultimate convenience. These refrigerators have a generally thin design, making them very easy to squeeze into any desired location.

    Built-in - Made to blend in with the rest of your kitchen, instead of being installed as a separate unit. These usually don’t have as much depth as a free-standing unit, but can be wider. They generally have unfinished tops and sides, but custom made panels provide stylish options.

    Compact - Small units made for tight spaces. These are ideal for dorms, offices, bedrooms, and smaller units can even be stored on top of counters. Glass door options are also available so you can see when you need to restock. These small units save space in your main refrigerator and are super convenient. 

    Door-in-door - French doors open to reveal a door-in-door design in the upper refrigerator compartment. These save tons of energy because you only open one panel to access commonly used items.

  • Features

  • Door &/ or temperature alarms alert you when the door has been open for longer than a few minutes.

    Dual cooling provides separate cooling systems for freezer and fridge, keeping your ice from tasting like garlic bread.

    Quiet operation helps keep your kitchen quiet and calm, despite what’s going on in the rest of the home.

    Child locks prevent children from getting into the fridge.

    Ice and water dispensers prevent you from constantly refilling ice trays throughout the week, and ensures there’s always clean, filtered water available at the press of a button.

    Air filters maintain the right moisture levels for all your items you store.

    In-door televisions are perfect to watch cooking shows or catch up on the news while preparing meals.

    Extended warranties are highly recommended to be bought when purchasing a new refrigerator.

    Programmable control pads allow you to set the specific desired temperature, check filter condition, lock the water/ice dispenser along with many other handy tools.

    Dual ice makers provide ice for the door and ice in a separate bin usually located in the pullout freezer drawer.

  • Aesthetics

  • ●     There are a few finishes to choose from, ranging from stainless steel, slate, and of course black or white. These can all make any kitchen look great. Insert photo here

    ●     Counter-depth refrigerators look custom without the custom cost.

    ●     Reversible doors provide more options, especially in tighter spaces.

    ●     Fingerprint resistant finishes are a great idea and always keep your appliance looking new.

    ●     Active Finish stainless steel

  • Energy Efficiency Tips

  • There are some things you as a consumer can do to improve the energy efficiency of your refrigerator. Don’t place the fridge next to a heat source like a stove or dishwasher. Don’t make a habit of leaving the door open too long. And to prevent heat build up, try to leave space around the unit. By replacing an old fridge with a new Energy Star model consumers can save over $30 on their utility bills.

  • Storage Options

  • Adjustable door shelving allows you to make room for the items you grab most often.

    Pantry drawers prevent you from having to open into the main fridge compartment when just grabbing a quick snack.

    Pull-out freezers allow for easy frozen food organization so you don’t have to dig through a mess of peas and ice cream to get to the frozen pizza.

    Sliding shelves make it super easy to reach those items in the back of the fridge.

    Deli tray shelves allow you to store large platters and other large items.

    Oversize door bins save a ton of shelf space by storing milk and 2 liter bottles. These bins also make the drinks easy to get to.

    Humidity control drawers keeps fruits and veggies fresh while also keeping them in sight.

  • Size

  • Before you start browsing for a new refrigerator, you need to make sure it fits the space you have available. Measure the space to find the height, width, and depth your new refrigerator will occupy. Double check your measurements, just to be certain. Also take into consideration how wide your doorways are that the refrigerator will have to go through when being installed.

    Allow extra space to ensure proper airflow around the refrigerator once it’s installed.  Measure for door opening and hinge space, as you want to make sure that the doors won’t be cut short, denying access to the contents of your fridge. Another factor in determining the desirable size of your refrigerator is devoting 4-6 feet of storage per adult in the household. Other factors include how much fresh food vs frozen food you buy, and use those factors to determine how much freezer and fridge space you actually need.

  • Style and Finish

  • Choose a style you won’t get tired of looking at over the years. A popular option is stainless steel since they’re easy to clean and are timeless. Other great options are black, bisque, and white. Some refrigerators do not have magnetized front panels so keep this in mind. Make sure the style and finish you choose are appropriate with your tastes that may change over time.

     

  • Location

  • Deciding where to locate your new refrigerator is very important and has a lot to do with the type of refrigerator body you buy. Also, do you want it in the kitchen or are you wanting one for the basement? These are all things to consider carefully for long term use.

     

  • Summary

  • When buying a new refrigerator, you want to consider quite a few things. But with time and patience you’ll definitely get what you want. You just need to ensure that the refrigerator you pick matches your style, needs, and everyday life.

    When choosing a refrigerator, do not rush it. Take time to consider all of your options. Come up with a well thought out budget plan, and go from there. When you choose carefully, you won’t have to go through the same appliance search until many years later.