Selecting a New Refrigerator
Compare Side-by-Side, Top Freezer, French Doors
By Cathy McClellan
If you are thinking about buying a new refrigerator, there are several types are on the market today such as side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer and built in models. Of course, prices vary as much as the styles. The two most important things are figuring out your budget and then looking at your household needs.
- What You Need to Know
- Consider only the size you need. Refrigerators are one of the most expensive appliances to operate in the home, so do not purchase one larger than what you actually need. Consider the household's size, both now and in the near future. In most cases, a family of four will need a larger model than an individual or couple.
First, you have to decide what style of refrigerator and what features you need. The basic styles are ones with top freezers, bottom freezers, side-by-side doors or French doors.
Focus on the type of freezer you want. The side-by-side models have been popular, but unless you purchase a large one, chances are you will lose freezer space because the freezers in this type are smaller. Also take into account whether you will be putting large pans, turkeys or pieces of meat in the freezer. Decide whether you want an icemaker. If you do, this will reduce the available space in the freezer. Also consider what you're likely to open more often. In most cases, that's the refrigerator part.
Test the shelves of each refrigerator you like to see how the shelves adjust, if they are glass or plastic and if they are removable for easy cleaning. Check whether the refrigerator has snack centers or cubbyholes for storing frequently used items. One thing to consider about a snack center is, if you have children, this might be an asset because some models offer a smaller door to open. This saves on electricity costs by not having to open the larger door more often.
In-door water and ice dispensers are convenient for the same reason. You can also have a water dispenser inside the refrigerator, but this means opening the door more often.
Consider the colors of your kitchen and purchase a refrigerator that complements those colors. Stainless steel is more expensive but goes with many kitchen styles. Built-in refrigerators can be customized to blend into the wall. You can also customize some built-ins with panels that match your cabinets.
Once you have decided on what type of refrigerator and the features you want, compare the prices from different manufacturers.
About the Author
Cathy McClellan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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