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What to Look for in a New Refrigerator: The Ultimate Buying Guide

How many times do you open your refrigerator a day? 5? 10? 22?

Whether you're looking for a snack or simply like to see what's available, your refrigerator is the centre of your kitchen, and subsequently, it is often the centre of your home.

Your refrigerator often does more than keep groceries fresh: it acts as a bulletin board for your urgent to-do lists and sticky notes. It also serves as a backdrop for your child's latest art project. You may use your refrigerator to store your priceless collection of magnets from around the world.

Because your refrigerator plays such a key role in the household, it's important that you pick the right type of refrigerator for your home. When you buy a new refrigerator, you're making a long-term investment that will stay in your family for years to come.

With thousands of refrigerator models available, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Fortunately, these tips and tricks can help you get started.

1. Your Refrigerator Needs to Be the Right Size

Most kitchens have a structured layout, with little room for maneuvering. Your new refrigerator needs to fit in its allotted space as w ell as have room to fully open and close.

Before you even look at the latest refrigerator models, grab a measuring tape and find the height, width, and depth of the space you have. You will need a few extra inches above and behind your new refrigerator to allow for air circulation. Additionally, determine which direction you want the doors to open-see what works best for your kitchen's layout.

Write down your measurements and take them with you when you start shopping for a refrigerator.

2. Your Refrigerator Should Match Your Needs

Here is a quick look at the most common types of refrigerator:

  • Freezer on top:These are best for people who rely on frozen foods and ice because it puts the freezer within easy reach.
  • Freezer on bottomIf you prefer fresh foods over frozen, then having the freezer on bottom puts your produce where you can grab it easily.
  • Side-by-sideThis enables you to see into both frozen and chilled compartments at the same time. This is a good choice if you don't have a lot of space in the kitchen to open your refrigerator doors.
  • French 3- or 4-doorThese appliances function much like a side-by-side refrigerator. French 3-door refrigerators feature two side-by-side doors that swing open from the middle, as well as a bottom freezer. French 4-door refrigerators feature two freezer drawers.
  • CompactIf you don't have a lot of room for an entire refrigerator, compact options might be a good job. Some compact refrigerators are half the size of a regular refrigerator, while still providing compartments for freezing and for chilling.

Keep the needs of your household in mind when picking a refrigerator type. While you might enjoy having a frozen foods within reach, your elderly grandmother may struggle to bend and reach her fresh apples in the crisper.

If you have children, a side-by-side refrigerator may make it easier for your child to reach items from the refrigerator and the freezer. This can be a good feature if you don't want your children standing on chairs to reach the ice cream. Alternatively, it could be a bad choice if you want to keep the ice cream out of reach.

3. Your Refrigerator Should Fit Your Budget

While you might like the look of your new refrigerator, you should still always take your budget into account. Some lower-priced refrigerators may seem appealing at first, but they might cost a fortune in repairs or electricity. Conversely, some high-end models may cost more initially, but they may be more efficient, potentially lowering your bills.

When buying a refrigerator, give special consideration for Energy Star qualified products, as these are tested and certified for efficiency. Energy Star products not only save you money, but they also reduce your impact on the environment.

Furthermore, be thoughtful about which special features you want your refrigerator to have. While all refrigerators and freezers will keep your groceries cool, some of them come with additional options that may be convenient but not always necessary, including the following:

  • Ice maker and water dispenser
  • Adjustable shelving
  • Crispers and drawers
  • Removable door bins
  • Freezer shelving
  • Freezer interior lighting
  • Butter keeper or deli keeper

Some refrigerators even come with LCD displays and Wi-Fi, so you can use apps to keep track of your food, weather, and important dates. While features like these are nice, you might only use some of them on a regularly basis-choose features that are useful to you without breaking the bank

Keep these tips and tricks in mind the next time you buy your refrigerator. By knowing what the size, type, and cost of the refrigerator you need, you can narrow down your choices to find what's right for your family.