Refrigerator Buying Guide

By | Dec 23, 2019

Congratulations! The time has come to buy a new fridge. If you’ve been using an old one for decades, you are in for a few pleasant surprises. Modern refrigerators are much more convenient, feature-packed, and aesthetically appealing than their predecessors.

Since buying a fridge can take a toll on your budget, it’s important to do some research. In this detailed guide, you’ll learn things to consider when choosing a new appliance, features to think about, and mistakes to avoid. Read on!

1. Choosing the Right Size

Before determining the size, ask yourself what you didn’t like about the old fridge. Was it too big or too small? Did it have too big or too small of a freezer? Would you rather place it in another part of the kitchen?

When you are choosing the fridge, you’ll see two main parameters. One is the capacity in liters. The other one is the external dimensions. Pay attention to the second one first.

·         Replacing an Old Model

If you are replacing an old fridge and want to put a new one in its place, all you have to do is measure the old appliance. Remember to leave an inch of space between the fridge and surrounding walls.  

The capacity parameter shouldn’t be the deciding factor. It’s hard to understand how many containers you can actually place inside the fridge knowing the liter capacity. Pay more attention to the external dimensions and the shelf layout.

·         Buying a Fridge for New Space

In case you are planning to place your new refrigerator in a spot different from where your old appliance used to be, you need to measure the space carefully. Draw a sketch of a fridge and measure the space to figure out what your appliance’s parameters should be. Remember to allow for about five inches of space between the fridge and the back wall.

According to experts from, many refrigerator problems occur because owners install them too close to the walls, thus not allowing the coils to have sufficient ventilation.

2. Selecting the Door Style

Today, you have a choice of four common door styles:

·         French doors – two side-by-side fridge doors on top and one freezer door on the bottom

·         Side-by-Side – two side-by-side doors: one for the fridge, another – for the freezer.

·         Top freezer – one door for the fridge on the bottom and one door for the freezer on top

·         Bottom freezer – one door for the fridge on top and one door for the freezer on the bottom.

French door – considered one of the most convenient for most users. You get sufficient space for both cool and frozen food. Meanwhile, the access is simplified by two side-by-side doors. The downside of such a style is limited shelving space. However, most families manage to store their food conveniently.

Side-by-Side – vertically split fridge is an excellent solution for people, who need to store plenty of frozen food. You will have the same amount of space for the cooled and frozen items. This design simplifies access to both of them. Such fridges take up less space than the top and bottom freezer models because the door-swinging radius is smaller.

Top Freezer – a classical model preferred by people, who are on a tight budget. Top freezers usually have a highly limited space so such fridges are suitable for users, who don’t freeze too much food. These refrigerators rarely have too many special features, which makes them longer lasting.

Bottom Freezer – these models aren’t common but could be a great choice for people, who don’t enjoy reaching up for frozen food. Since these fridges have a full-sized door, it’s important to account for the radius when planning the kitchen layout. Some models have separate compartments for the freezer and fridge accompanied by separate doors. Others may have a built-in freezer with an internal door. The second option is usually less convenient but comes with a lower price tag.  

3. Considering Extra Features

Today, fridges come with a huge variety of features. Not all of them can be useful to you. Meanwhile, extra options may mean a higher cost.

a) Smart Fridges

Today, smart homes are extremely popular. Many appliances, including fridges, have smart features. You can operate your fridge without being in the same room with it, monitor temperatures, watch products inside through cameras, make grocery lists, etc.

The downside of such fridges is that the equipment that allows them to be smart is delicate. Such appliances break down more often. Meanwhile, by connecting the fridge to your network, you could be compromising your security. So you would constantly need to monitor software updates.

b) Finish

Stainless steel fridges are currently very popular. Their color and style are considered modern and appealing. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, stainless steel finishes don’t show fingerprints. However, some of them don’t hold magnets.

When choosing the finish, think about the color. White is an all-purpose color because it doesn’t stain as quickly as dark shades do. If you don’t plan to wash the fridge every week, opt for the standard glossy white finish.

c) Shelves and Drawers

The organization inside your fridge depends on how many shelves and drawers it has. If you are keen on keeping everything tidy, opt for fridges with as many storage options as possible. Consider glass shelves instead of racks since they are spill-proof and easier to clean.

Pay special attention to door storage. It can offer you extra options for storing bottles and cans.

d) Ice and Water Dispensers

Ice dispensers are convenient but tough to maintain. You would need to inspect the fridge regularly to avoid mold growth and other unpleasant consequences of water being stored inside. These features are also among the likeliest to break down.

e) Noise Levels

Even expensive fridges could be noisy. If you are sensitive to sounds, make sure to check the noise parameters provided by the manufacturer as well as users’ reviews. Consider fridges that produce less than 30 – 40 decibels (dB).

Take the time to study features and read reviews. Proper research and the above tips can help you enjoy your new fridge for decades.

Category: General

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