What to Look for When Shopping for a Refrigerator
For starters, think about these factors:
- Consider how much space you have in your kitchen.
- Now think about your household. How many people are you feeding? Refrigerators run more efficiently when they’re fully stocked — so buy a fridge that fits your family, big or small.
- Keep in mind how much you are willing or able to spend.
1. Shopping for energy efficient refrigerators: One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is to buy energy efficient appliances. If you want to go green with your next fridge, shop for an Energy Star rated refrigerator. Energy Star refrigerators are guaranteed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy. You can find the perfect energy efficient refrigerator in various shapes and sizes so be sure to look for the Energy Star label. Also look for heavy door hinges (this ensures the door is tightly sealed) and refrigerators without “through the door” features (these features waste energy).
2. Shopping for the right refrigerator type: Whether your kitchen is big or small, there’s a refrigerator type to meet your needs. Here are some popular designs to consider while shopping for the best fridge for your home.
- Side by side refrigerators. Side by side fridges are great for people on the go. With doors that open from the center, you can store your favorite items at the most accessible level. These refrigerators also have some of the most convenient features, like built-in ice makers, water dispensers, and high-tech digital controls. They’re less energy efficient than other refrigerator styles, though.
- Top freezer refrigerators. Going for a classic look? The traditional top freezer fridge is a standard design — but it can save you money too. These models tend to be energy efficient and less expensive than other styles of refrigerators.
- Bottom freezer refrigerators. Don’t use your freezer much? Bottom freezer fridges put your freezer at your feet, making the rest of your fridge easier to access.
- Compact refrigerators. Whether you’re shopping for a college student or living in a cramped apartment, compact refrigerators are great options if you’re short on space.
3. Shop for special features: These days, your refrigerator can do it all. Be sure to think about all the options included with your fridge so you get what’s best for you.
- Digital controls. Some refrigerators have digital controls that allow you to program the exact temperature of your fridge.
- Bins. With temperature control bins, produce and meat get the special attention they deserve. Bins are climate controlled so your food stays fresh.
- Shelves. Awkward containers and large food items are a pain to deal with, so make sure your fridge is flexible. With sliding shelves and half shelves, food storage is a breeze.
- Built-in ice maker/water dispenser. Ice water on the go? Check out this option if you want to be able to grab ice and water quickly.
4. Select a your refrigerator style: Let’s face it. Refrigerators aren’t only about function — you want your new appliance to match the look and feel of your home. There are plenty of options to make sure your new refrigerator matches your decor.
- Built-in refrigerators. Top freezers refrigerators, side by side refrigerators, and bottom freezer refrigerators are all available as “Built-in Refrigerators.” This means that your refrigerator will align with cabinets, creating a sleek, uniform look in your kitchen. The trick with this option is that built-in fridges are usually installed during home construction or remodeling.
- Refrigerator finishes. The finish of your fridge is essential to the look and feel of your kitchen, but it can be functional too. With finger-print proof finishes, you can keep your new fridge mark-free. Other options are traditional white, black, stainless steel and more. Finishes will vary depending on the manufacturer.
- Refrigerator trim kits. Another way to customize your refrigerator to your home is with trim kits. You can mount your choice of finishes onto the front face of your refrigerator so it blends in with the rest of your kitchen appliances. Trim kits are easy to use and can really transform the look of your new fridge.
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