It wasn’t until the early 20th century that home refrigeration was really possible – but today, the refrigerator is the center of your kitchen. Considering its importance, it tends to be the one appliance on which homeowners aren’t willing to cut corners. A high-end refrigerator doesn’t only give your kitchen an aesthetic boost, it’s also spacious, energy efficient and loaded with useful features. Now may be the time to replace your fridge. You deserve a stellar appliance, so keep these tips in mind as you shop.
There are wealth of different fridge types out there. Varying styles will fit better with your appliance needs and kitchen decor. For instance, French-door refrigerators have a unique look, with two smaller fridge doors that open above a bottom freezer drawer. French-door fridges offer the most fresh food space, so it’s ideal for homeowners who invest in a lot of produce. It also places all the fresh food at eye level, so you won’t have to kneel down to grab something from the crisper. If you entertain often, the width and double doors on this style of fridge are excellent for party platters.
Side-by-side refrigerators are another popular style. They give a great balance of space to both frozen and fresh foods – ideal for those who like to freeze leftovers! Side-by-side fridges also feature more door bin space, which makes it easier to organized bottled drinks, condiments, jarred foods and other items.
Top freezer models are classics, keeping the standard and reliable design of traditional fridges but with modern appeal. Prefer something a little more dynamic? Try a bottom freezer fridge instead – this is another fridge built for fans of produce, as all your fresh foods are right at eye-level. Plus, you’ve got plenty of spacious freezer room right below.
Ever wished your fridge was more modular and customizable? Refrigerator columns – whether free-standing or integrated – could be the right choice for you and your kitchen. Columns allow you to break up your freezer and fridge if you want them located in different corners of your kitchen.
Sizing and color
Before you commit to buying the refrigerator of your culinary dreams, make sure you get the logistics taken care of. The old adage “measure twice, cut once” applies to home appliance buying, too – especially when you’re investing in an item as large as a refrigerator. These appliances come in a variety of sizes, and even the most luxurious models can be fitted to your home. And if you’re looking for a second fridge or freezer to expand your space, smaller options are ideal as well.
Keep in mind that fridges don’t all have to be black, white or metallic gray, either. There are a variety of colors and paneling to choose from. You can even make your fridge blend in with your surrounding cabinetry.
There are other logistical things to keep in mind as well: Can you fit your new fridge near an outlet for a dedicated circuit? Is there plumbing nearby for an ice/water dispenser? Remember that different fridge models will have different measurements: Counter-depth models, for instance, are generally wider than refrigerator columns.
The features you want
The features make the fridge, these days. Style is great, but the major considerations for fridge shoppers are going to be options like ice/water dispensers, pull-out shelves, fridge and freezer drawers, beverage centers and flexible storage options.
Look for features like quieting systems, which keep fridge humming to a minimum. Some folks prefer glass shelving in their units – it’s both attractive and easy-to-clean. LED lighting could make all the difference to you if you like to see your fresh produce look bright and appetizing. Even small features, like a butter drawer or gallon jug bin for fruit juices could be an essential feature in your home.
Of course, if you’re trying to shrink your household’s carbon footprint, one of the most important necessities for your fridge is energy efficiency. The fridge is one of the bigger energy-consumers in your home, and older models can be major offenders. Many eco-friendly folks looking to make their home greener choose to replace their energy-guzzling fridges with new models. Just look for Energy Star logos.
There are a lot of fridges out on the market, which is why considering every style and option is essential. Your money goes further when you know exactly what fridge is right for your home.
Get instant access to our tips, trends and reviews of all the major brands