5 Questions for Finding the Perfect Fridge

Whether you want a luxurious refrigerator or something basic, ask yourself these five questions to help find the right refrigerator for your home.

By Benjamin St. Jacques

 

Refrigerators are among the most important appliances in your kitchen, if not your entire home. When it’s time to choose a refrigerator, you’re faced with a wide range of options. You can get a no-frills fridge for a few hundred dollars, or spend thousands on something with great features.

 

With so many options available, choosing the right refrigerator for your home can be a daunting task. But you can start by asking yourself these five questions to help simplify the refrigerator shopping process.

 

What Size Do I Need?

One of the measurements you need to know is cubic feet. An average family of four would need a fridge that’s about 20 to 25 cubic feet. If you’re single, or a young couple, then you can probably get away with as little as 18 cubic feet.

 

The other dimensions to consider are the refrigerator's width and height. Typically, models are around 68 inches tall and between 30 and 36 inches wide. Measure the space where you want your refrigerator to sit very carefully. Be sure to measure the size of your doorways as well to make sure delivery and installation go smoothly.

 

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2. What Refrigerator Style Do I Like?

There are a few different styles available, each with its own pros and cons:

 

  • Top mount refrigerators are the most common and usually the least expensive. As the name implies, the freezer is on top and the fridge below. While this fridge usually fits best in a smaller home or apartment, its biggest downfall is also its compact size, which is typically 18 cubic feet.

 

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  • Side-by-side models have the refrigerator on one side and freezer on the other. These fridges are often praised for their modern look and definitely have more space than top mounts, but the shelves can be narrow, which may be a problem for those looking for a model with ample storage.

 

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  • Bottom mount models have been steadily increasing in popularity for some time. The fridge section is on top and below is typically a pullout freezer. One drawback of the drawer-like function of the freezer is that items can frequently get buried.

 

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  • French door refrigerators are the latest trend. As with bottom mount models, the fridge section is on top and a pull-out freezer is on the bottom. The top section is essentially the same except that the doors open from the center, just like a standard French door in someone’s home would. The sleek and modern appearance is appealing to most homeowners, but the doors don’t close as easily, so families with children might want to avoid this style.

 

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3. What features do I want?

All refrigerators will have shelves, crisper drawers, and door compartments. From there, you can find any number of features depending on your preferences and the needs of your family. These include:

 

  • Icemakers
  • Water dispensers
  • Adjustable shelving
  • Spill-proof shelving
  • Soda-can dispensers
  • Adjustable controls for crisper drawers
  • Moisture controls
  • Auto-defrosting functions
  • Enclosed condenser coils

 

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Of course, the more features you want your fridge to have the more it will cost. So really consider what features would most benefit your family and then choose accordingly.

 

4. Do I Want to Go Green?

In the 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy created a classification of appliances called ENERGY STAR®. Although typically more expensive to purchase, ENERGY STAR refrigerators consume about 40% less energy than standard models and can save you up to $150 annually. If an energy efficient model is important to you, then look for the ENERGY STAR logo or ask your salesperson to point out the energy efficient models.

 

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5. What Are My Aesthetic Preferences?

A refrigerator’s appearance doesn’t impact its performance, but it does impact its price. The simple, white rectangular models are the least expensive. Sleek stainless steel models are priced a bit higher. Some people are opting for bold colored refrigerators from Europe, which will obviously be costly. Then you have the truly high-end models that are built into the walls and are blend in with the cabinets. Again, it’s all based on your personal preference and budget. Using online virtual interior design tools can help you get a good idea of what you want before going out and spending the money. 

 

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If you’re looking for a new refrigerator, then take some time to consider these five questions. They’ll help you decide on a refrigerator that you and your family will enjoy for years.