Finding the right refrigerator is all about evaluating your needs and asking the right questions. Let’s start!
What type of refrigerator do I need?
There are four types of refrigerator, and each comes with its pros and cons. Identifying which one is the best for you is going to lead you to a perfect buying decision.
Top-freezers will have the bottom two-thirds dedicated to fresh food storage and the freezer unit on top. This is the oldest style available and if you’re you are looking for a modern, high-end model probably this type of fridge is not for you. However, if style is not as much of a concern, then you will find nice options in the market for; price goes from $479 to $1,219 and average dimensions are: width: 29 inches; depth: 31 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 58 inches; height: 66 inches
If you rather have easier access to fresh food, then a bottom-freezer unit might be right for you. The only difference between bottom and top freezers is, of course, where the freezer is located. Bottom freezers are slightly bigger than top freezers, average dimensions are: width: 29 inches; depth: 32 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 59 inches; height: 67 inches and price goes from $999 to $1,899.
This type of fridge is split right down the middle, offering you frozen foods on the left and fresh foods on the right. Some models will allocate an extra couple inches for the fridge section. Price goes from $1,149 to $3,099. Average dimensions are: width: 35 inches; depth: 30 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 45 inches; height: 71 inches.
French door freezers are very popular, it combines the drawer-style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low-clearance doors of a side-by-side unit, the price of this modern-looking fridge goes from $1,599 to $3,999 ($4,500 to $8,000 for a built-in cabinetry appearance), and the average dimensions are: width: 35 inches; depth: 29 inches; depth with door open 90 degrees: 48 inches; height: 68 inches.
Now, let’s move to a very important question: How big do I really need my fridge to be?
Capacity ranges according to the type of fridge:
- Top Freezers: 14.5 0 24.0 cubic feet.
- Bottom freezers: 19.0-24.9 cubic feet.
- Side-by-sides: 20.0-29.0 cubic feet.
- French doors: 18.0-32.0 cubic feet.
So that you can better understand how this works, you’ll want 4 to 6 cubic feet (cu. Ft.) of refrigerator per adult in your household, this means that a family of four probably won’t want anything much less than 20 cubic feet. Keep in mind that the biggest limitation will be your kitchen, so be sure to measure to see how much space you’ve got to work with before you purchase any fridge.
In the other hand, a bigger fridge means a bigger energy bill, so be careful not to splurge on extra space you are not going to need, because you will be paying more upfront and down the line.
Am I willing to spend extra money on a counter-depth refrigerator?
Counter-depth refrigerators are simply refrigerators that are designed to align perfectly with the edges of your countertops, leaving only the refrigerator door sticking out. This gives your fridge the appearance of an expensive, luxury, custom-designed unit that’s built directly into your kitchen’s cabinetry.
Do I want a water dispenser?
One trend that we’ve seen over the past few years: creativity from the water dispenser. GE has been leading the pack here, with French door models capable of dishing out the exact amount of water you want, and even ones capable of shutting off automatically once they detect that your glass, pitcher or pot is full.
Of course, if you keep shopping around, you’ll also find refrigerators with touchscreens and built-in Wi-Fi, and plenty of bold manufacturer claims about smartening up your kitchen, which brings us to one last question:
Do I need a smart refrigerator?
You can certainly live without one. However, we might be quickly approaching a point where smart refrigerator are the norm, not the exception. If you want to know what a smart refrigerator is capable to do, here is the list:
- Energy monitoring: Fridges like those can automatically schedule costly defrost cycles for the times when energy rates are at their lowest.
- Smart multi-tasking: with Wi-Fi now included, some refrigerators will let you tell it to start heating the water up remotely, from your phone.
- Voice control GE’s smart fridges offer their own Alexa skill, which lets you ask Amazon’s voice-activated assistant to make a quick temperature adjustment, or let you know if the water filter needs replacing.
- Fridge cameras: This will allow you to check what is inside of the fridge remotely from your phone by using an application. You can also typically drag little countdown timers over top of your food to help keep track of expiration dates. It’s a surprisingly nice little feature.