If you need some tips on how to buy or choose a refrigerator, then read some of the main points below so that you can make an informed decision before you buy your refrigerator.
A refrigerator is a necessity of a modern kitchen. But each of us has different needs and requirements therefore, the refrigerators come in a wide variety of sizes, features and costs. The options available are simply mind-boggling and to make the next purchase of your refrigerator easy, here are some tips to help you choose the best model suited to you.
The first thing you have to make sure before buying a refrigerator is the size. How much space you have? No matter what style and shape you like, if you do not have space for it, you should not buy it. Take out your measuring tape and measure the space available keeping a few inches especially at the back for air circulation. Be mindful of the space needed for door opening. On some models, you can have the doors reversed if your location requires that. Take these measurements to the store and confirm that the size of the refrigerator you plan to buy is within your space limits. This is especially true if you want to buy a built-in counter model. Also check the size of your door, to ensure that it gets through to your kitchen easily.
If you have adequate space in your kitchen then you have to think how much storage space you need in the refrigerator. The storage space in refrigerators available these days range from 10 cu. feet to 32 cu. feet. You can estimate the storage space requirement by considering that you need on an average 4 to 6 cu. feet per adult person in the house. For a family of 4 would need at least about 20 cu. feet of storage space. However, it all depends on your shopping habits and more so, on your cooking habits, so adjust the size accordingly.
The shape and style of refrigerators available these days is huge. Once you have chosen the size and capacity, it is time to consider the style. The French-door style is getting very popular and so is the bottom freezer style. If you want the traditional, then top freezer basic models are available in all sizes. They have fewer features but are most economical to buy. Here are some of the pros and cons of each style of refrigerator:
Top Freezer: Select the Top Freezer style if you are looking for an economical and basic model. It will give you most storage space for its size and have wide shelves, so you can store those large pizza boxes easily. Many options are available to change the shelves height. But you need enough space for the large door to swing open and you have to crouch down to reach the lower shelves.
Bottom Freezer: These are slightly more expensive and have less storage space than the Top Freezer models. They provide easy access to all the refrigerator shelves. Of course, you have to bend down to reach the freezer compartment.
French Doors: This design has a two-door refrigerator on the top and a single door freezer at the bottom. In some models there is an extra drawer in the middle. They are available from 30” to 36” in widths. The advantage is that you can open just one door and retain the cold air in the other half of the refrigerator. However, the storage capacities are less than the Top freezer models. They are also more expensive. The models with the added feature of indoor water/ice dispenser are quite popular.
Side by side: In this style, the entire unit is divided vertically. One side is the refrigerator and the other side is the freezer compartment. They are available from 32” to 36”. The narrow doors are useful in kitchens with small space. Their usable storage space is less and you can’t store a large pizza box in the refrigerator compartment.
Built-in: These units are designed to fit in with the kitchen cabinets and counters. They are sleek, elegant and expensive. You can match their front panels with the design of your kitchen cabinets.
Compact: These are small compact refrigerators for your bedroom, office or the kitchenette. They have a very small capacity and may only be used as a second unit for temporary and short of storage of drinks and snacks.
There are many special features offered in many models that you may wish to have. The most popular is the in-door water/ice dispenser. Some offer door-in-door model, which is a smaller door within the larger door for quick easy access. Finally, there are smart refrigerators with built-in wifi and a display screen on the door, giving a variety of information plus remote control operation.
Refrigerators consume a lot of electricity, so look for energy efficient model. Look for Energy Star models, initially expensive they will recover their costs easily over a long run due to less energy consumption.
Finally, it all comes down to cost. Buy the refrigerator that suits your budget. If you are tight on budget then go for basic but energy efficient model. However, if you want to splurge then all sorts of options are available to you.
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Finally, it would also be greatly appreciated by the community if you can share your own personal tips of choosing or buying your refrigerator by leaving a comment in the comment box below – So that others in the community can learn also!