Refridgerators and Freezers Buying Guide
A refrigerator is a necessity in every home and kitchen. It is important to choose the right kind of refrigerator that meets your requirements, budget and taste, as well as compliments your kitchen's decor.
What should I look for when buying a refrigerator?
Before stepping out in search of this appliance, write out your needs. What size is most appropriate for your kitchen? Do you want an energy efficient model? What kind of shelves do you need? Select a fridge based on your highest priorities.
One of the major considerations when buying a new fridge is the size of the appliance. The size should depend upon the number of people in your family, your lifestyle and how often you shop for fresh food. A family of two should opt for a small to medium sized fridge. If you have a big family, extra large models that are 20 to 29 cubic feet in size are a better choice. Buyers in the habit of hosting large parties and gatherings should get a refrigerator that can hold large trays and comes with spacious vegetables bins. Does your family dine out frequently? Then choose a small capacity refrigerator.
The refrigerator you want to buy should fit the allotted space you have available. Measure the height and width of the place you have chosen and cross check with the size of the refrigerator that you intend to buy.
Style and Color:
The color and style should be trendy but should also gel well with your kitchen decor. Generally, refrigerators have attractive exteriors with smooth metallic finishes. The stainless steel look is popular and goes well with other stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, like ovens and dishwashers. Sateen refrigerators are great alternatives to stainless steel. They have the look of stainless steel but are less expensive. Refrigerators are available in black, blue, emerald green and antique white. If you are unsure about the color you want, it is always safe to go for neutral shades.
Cost should be another major concern when buying a refrigerator. Fix your budget and then select your fridge. Search through the Internet for cheap refrigerators and freezers or go through consumer magazines to get information on the latest models and their prices. Want some additional features like an in-door ice maker or a gleaming finish? Then be ready to pay a little extra. Buying direct from the manufacturer or importer can save you a good percentage.
What are the different types of refrigerators?
There are mainly three types of fridges on the market today, side-by-side, top freezer and bottom mount.
This design has a freezer and refrigerator located next to each other. Your food and beverages are easily accessible because both the freezer and refrigerator are full-size. Generally, this type of refrigerator comes with a single compressor or dual compressors. Choose a unit that provides two separate compressors, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. This seals the segments off, thereby preventing any chance of taste or odor exchange from one compartment to the other. Side-by-side refrigerators do have some pitfalls. This unit does not have enough space to fit bulkier items, such as pizza boxes and pitchers.
The top freezer model is the traditional refrigerator you have seen for years. It has the freezer mounted on top of the refrigerator. This unit has either a single door or two doors, one for the freezer and another for the fridge. Top freezer models do not sport heavy price tags. If you want to save space, go for these models as they have a compact design and can fit into most corners.
The bottom mount is the latest design in the growing line of refrigerators. It gives you a complete blend of style and technology. This model has the freezer located at the bottom of the refrigerator section. You can easily locate your food items as they are in your line of sight. However, you will have to bend down in order to access the freezer. If storage is your concern, then go for bottom mount models. They are more spacious than other designs.
Adding to your options are French door fridges that are similar to bottom mount models. They only differ with respect to the door ergonomics. Rather than a single door, they offer separate doors for easier access to the freezer. These refrigerators, with two doors, keep energy costs down.
Is your kitchen small? Choose from the following types of fridges. Built-in fridges can blend into your cabinets. However, these are expensive and difficult to replace. You can also try a compact fridge. Though they do not have much storage capacity, they are just perfect for bedrooms, dorms and under counter spaces. For enthusiasts, wine storage refrigerators and coolers are becoming widely available and some are even vibration free to protect your wines.
What features should be considered while purchasing a refrigerator?
Features may vary from model to model. There are some common features along with certain specific features that cannot be overlooked when buying a refrigerator.
Initially, ice was removed by turning the refrigerator off. Today, many fridges are frost-free. You can automatically defrost the fridge by the mere press of a button.
In-door Ice and Water Dispensers
Now-a-days, refrigerators come with in-door water dispensers. With this feature, you need not constantly open the fridge to access cold water. Most ice dispensers dole out cubed and crushed ice.
Some fridges feature a mini window attached to the main fridge door where you can place your frequently consumed refreshments. This feature allows you to reach in and easily access those items rather than repeatedly opening the door.
Spill-proof shelves have replaced the traditional wired ones. These shelves are designed to stop leakages or spills. They are easy to clean and maintain. You can create space for pitchers or other large items with adjustable shelves. Some refrigerators even have sliding shelves which can be pulled forward so you can reach the items at the back.
Humidity Controlled Crisper
Fruits and vegetables can be kept fresh for longer with a humidity controlled crisper. There are also drawers with separate humidity controls that can be adjusted based on the food you are storing.
Do you often forget to close the refrigerator door? Door alarms alert you if the door is left opened for a long period of time.
Select a refrigerator with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial coatings for a clean and hygienic environment.
Built-in Beverage Holders
A built-in beverage holder helps you to neatly arrange your cans and bottles.
Refrigerators today offer multi-level interior lights. If you like to snack at night, you should choose a model with good lighting.
Go for refrigerators and freezers with the best energy rating. An Energy Star rated fridge consumes less power and operates at maximum efficiency.