For most families, the refrigerator is the star of the kitchen. It certainly gets the most attention as members open it and close it several times in a day. In some kitchens it is the easel that displays the most treasured artwork or a collage of favorite photos. No other appliance invites people to stand before it browsing its contents even if they were just viewed moments ago. When it comes to picking out such an important appliance, it is important to understand the refrigeration needs you have and the differences between available refrigerators.
The first consideration when buying a refrigerator is size. As a general rule of thumb you need eight to ten cubic feet of fresh food storage for two adults. For every extra person in your family, you should add another cubic foot on to this total. It is really important to get exactly the right size refrigerator for your needs. If you get a refrigerator that is bigger than you really need, you will have a lot of empty space inside and that leads to much higher electric bills, because your refrigerator has to work so much harder to cool the food. The opposite of this problem is having too little space. Then you are continually wasting time trying to fit your food into the refrigerator and chances are you will end up throwing food out or making a mess when everything doesn’t fit nicely. Your goal should be to buy a refrigerator that exactly suits your capacity needs.
When you think about the size of your refrigerator, don’t just think capacity. Consider the actual size. Measure the area where the refrigerator will be placed and then make sure there is enough room for the refrigerator you want. Make sure that if there are cabinets over the top of the area where the refrigerator goes, that the unit you buy is short enough to fit under them. There is nothing worse than getting your refrigerator home and finding out that it is too big for your kitchen. It is also important that the refrigerator isn’t squeezed into the space. To work at maximum efficiency, a refrigerator needs a little breathing room.
When it comes to choosing the style of your refrigerator, there are three basic choices, bottom mount, top mount, and side by side. A bottom mount refrigerator has the freezer compartment on the bottom and the refrigerator on the top. The theory behind this design is that you spend more time in the refrigerated compartment of your refrigerator than you do in the freezer. Having the refrigerator on top should therefore save you a lot of unnecessary bending. A top mount is the traditional refrigerator that has the freezer on top. This is the setup you see most often. A side by side refrigerator has a freezer and refrigerated section that are adjacent to each other. They often seem less roomy, all though their capacity can be the same as a top or bottom mount model.
Refrigerators come with many extra features that can turn a simple appliance that chills our food into a complex machine. Before you go shopping, it is a good idea to figure out which features you can live without and which features you must have. Some refrigerators come with adjustable shelves. How much you need your shelved to adjust depends on how often you store odd sizes of food. You also should think about whether you want spill proof solid trays that don’t leak onto lower shelves when something is spilled or the traditional wire grill type shelves.
Another feature that varies from model to model is the icemaker. Some refrigerators have a device that allows you to get ice or even cold water from a nozzle on the door while others have the ice maker in the freezer. Getting your ice cubes from the door saves energy, because you don’t have to open the freezer every time you want ice. It is important to remember that icemakers take up freezer space, so if you can’t afford to lose that, you might want to consider a model that doesn’t have one.
The most important thing to consider is how the door opens. Most, but not all, refrigerators have removable handles, so that the door can be positioned to open to the left or to the right. Make sure the model you are looking at has this feature or if it doesn’t, make sure the door opens in the direction you need it to.