Refrigerator Buying Tips

Types

  • Top-Mount freezer refrigerators - A top-mount fridge has the freezer at eye level, with the fresh food compartment on the bottom. These refrigerators generally have wider shelves in both the fridge and freezer sections.
  • Side-by-side refrigerators - The refrigerator and freezer compartments are next to one another and allow easy access to both compartments. The side-by-side can have shelves that are narrower than those found in top or bottom freezer models. If possible select a model with adjustable bins and shelves so that you can customize the layout to suit your storage needs. Make sure you have the capacity to get the type of food you eat into the unit, will that pizza box or gallon milk jug fit on the shelf?
  • Freezer on Bottom - The bottom mount freezer is a good option for households that want to use less energy, want fresh food selections at eye level, and want their food kept at a more consistent and even temperature. This configuration requires less bending to reach for food, as the most frequently used section, the refrigerator is located in the top compartment for easy access.
  • French Door - An increasingly popular style of refrigerator that has dual refrigerator doors and a pullout freezer drawer for convenient fresh and frozen food storage. This style combines the best features of the Bottom Mount and Side-by-Side refrigerators.

Capacity

Selecting the correct size for your needs is very important. If you buy one that is too big and don't keep it filled, it wastes energy and costs more to operate. If it is too small, you waste time constantly rearranging food trying to make it all fit. Consider your space requirements for both the fresh food and frozen food.

Style, Design and Special Features

Refrigerators are typically the biggest appliance in the house, it's also the most visible feature in your kitchen, a room where most families spend a lot of time. The options seem almost endless to create the "look" of your refrigerator. Some of the options include:

  • Counter-depth refrigerators that are flush with your cabinets.
  • Custom doors that can be contoured or matched to your cabinet face.
  • Colors to match any decor - even retro designs are offered today.
  • Adjustable glass shelves, wine racks, ice storage bins, spill proof shelves, clear storage bins, door mounted drink and ice dispensers, child locks for drink dispensers, thawing and defrosting compartments, and advanced lighting options are all available on today's refrigerators.
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