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What to Consider When Buying a New Refrigerator

Size of the Refrigerator

When buying a new refrigerator, fit is everything. When only replacing the refrigerator, rather than remodeling an entire kitchen, it is essential to make sure the new fridge will fit with your cabinetry and appliances.

A fridge can be freestanding or may be built-in to be flush with existing cabinets. Not only should you measure the length and depth of the fridge, you should also ensure that the doors will open and close properly without scratching cabinets or blocking walkways. It is important to make sure that you can open every drawer and access every part of the fridge and freezer compartments.

Refrigerators come in all different sizes. Fridge capacity is typically measured in cubic feet. Most fridges range anywhere from 15 to 30 cu. ft. As a rule of thumb, approximately 5 cu. ft. are needed for every adult in the household.

Door Configurations

There are several different types of refrigerator door configurations.

Top freezer refrigerators. The classic refrigerator has a top-freezer compartment. The doors can typically swing open right or left. The width and height can accommodate large items like pizza boxes and birthday cakes.

Bottom freezer refrigerators. Refrigerators with bottom-freezer compartments are also available. They may be a good option for younger kids or older people who struggle to reach high shelves.

Side freezer refrigerators. Other fridges have side-by-side compartments or French doors. These may work well in tight spaces as there are two smaller doors to open and each compartment is equally accessible. One negative is that they typically have narrow shelves that may not be able to hold larger items. Compact or mini-fridges are also an option for single people that do not require a full-size appliance.

Refrigerator Finishes.

Refrigerators come in a variety of different colors and finishes, from a basic black to candy red. Stainless steel is very popular, but may be more difficult to clean. Some require special cleaners because chloride and ammonia-based chemicals may damage the finish. Families with young children may look to buy a fridge with a smudge-proof stainless for additional convenience. Also, not all stainless is created equal! If you have existing stainless steel appliances, don’t assume the fridge will match perfectly in color or shine.

Ice Makers and Water Dispensers

Side-by-side refrigerators usually have a built-in water dispenser and icemaker. However, almost every type of refrigerator can now accommodate an icemaker in some fashion. If a water supply line is not currently available, one will need to be installed prior to the installation of your fridge.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient refrigerators are available. They typically use 20% less energy than a normal fridge. A higher initial cost will offset by lower energy bills on a month-to-month basis.

Additional Features

Newer fridges have integrated technology in different ways. Some have display screens, built-in TVs, and Wi-Fi compatibility. Others have specialized hot water dispensers and temperature controlled drawers. You can expect to pay extra for these bells and whistles.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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