Home > Appliance Learning Center > Buying a Refrigerator

Buying a Refrigerator

Measure:

Measure:

Make sure to measure every possible space that the appliance will pass through on its way to the spot where it will be installed: doorways, hallways, stairs, ceiling, sharp corners, and of course, its' own space – width, depth, height. This will avoid a lot of frustration later.

Freestanding refrigerator needs just to be plugged into electricity. Some freestanding refrigerators are counter-depth meaning that they are shallow and won’t stick out past the countertop so it has a custom look.

Built-in refrigerators are basically built into the cabinetry. They fit seamlessly and can be covered with paneling to make it blend in with the cabinets.

Side-by-Side Refrigerators have the refrigerator and freezer doors side by side. They use the complete height capacity which eases your organizing of their compartments. 

Freezer Mount Options
These can be models with the refrigerator on bottom and the freezer on top (top mount freezer) and others with the freezer on bottom (bottom mount freezers). If you like ice cream a lot and you envision going often to the freezer, maybe the bottom mount is not for you because you will be doing a lot of bending. On the other hand, your fruits and vegetables will be at the bottom, if you get a top mount refrigerator.

French door refrigerators.
This is a very popular style with a side by side top and a bottom freezer. This is better than a side by side for the refrigerator, because you will be eye level with most of the foods, shelves, and crisper drawers and the doors don’t have as wide a swing when opened.

Deciding on Features:

Look at your current fridge and make a list of the things you like about it and what you wish it had. You might really want an ice maker, but most European models sold in the US, don’t have that feature. Some nice features to look for are adjustable shelves (manual, by crank or lever or motorized), which will give you more flexibility when arranging items, and split or half shelves that allow room for taller products. You might look for movable door bins and pullout shelves that allow access to food stored in the back. Temperature-controlled drawers help keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer. Some refrigerators come with a water dispenser that has a filter for the ice maker, great for minimizing lead and chlorine. There are lots of bells and whistles (alarms, different zones), but of course, the more features you get, the more you can expect to pay.

Care of Appliance:
Stainless steel is really chic but it shows streaks and fingerprints. There are some with a stainless steel look that won’t. Glass shelves are easier to keep clean and have a rim that will avoid spills that can travel to lower shelves.

Size:
The refrigerator needs to be big enough for your family. It is measured by cubic feet. But, keep in mind, that cubic feet can be misleading. It includes space taken up by the freezer, shelves and bins. So, while eight to ten cubic feet is generally enough for 2 adults and 2 children and an additional cubic foot per extra person, that is not really sufficient. For a family of four, an 18 cubic foot refrigerator would be the right size, five of which would be.