Buying a refrigerator can be a daunting task since that appliance has more technology inside it than some other heavy appliances combined. Before you buy a new refrigerator check if the old one can be repaired. You don’t want a good refrigerator ending up in the landfill. Get a professional by searching for “refrigerator repair near me” and get it fixed. If the old refrigerator is beyond repair check out the following tips to buy a new one:
Tips & Tricks
1. Check the fit – Appliances like dishwashers, stoves, and ovens are designed to fit in your cabinetry with ease. Unfortunately, refrigerators don’t make that list. You may end up buying one that’s either too tall, too wide, or too deep. You don’t want any surprises during delivery and to ensure that you need to measure the dimensions before shopping at the electronics store or browsing online. Take a measuring tape and jot down the height, width, and depth of the refrigerator space. When you’re checking out refrigerators make sure that you select a refrigerator that is a couple of inches shorter on all sides than the measurements at home. This allows for a perfect fit and also accounts for cable management and any weird design bumps.
2. Choose your style – Modern refrigerators come in all sorts of sizes and configurations. It’s up to you to choose the best style that suits your home and your family’s needs.
- Top freezer – A traditional design with the freezer compartment at the top. For their size, they offer a lot of space and since this design is most widely available, it’s fairly cheaper compared to other styles.
- Bottom freezer – The freezer compartment is one of the least used sections of average households. That’s why this design keeps the freezer at the lowermost compartment and makes room for more vital sections at the top. This is beneficial in many ways since you don’t need to lower your back as often for reaching important items. However, frozen goods and meat will demand that you bend your bow.
- French door – Think of it as the bottom freezer design with two narrow doors instead of one large door above. The width is usually the same as bottom freezers at around 28 to 36 inches and the narrow doors allow you to open the refrigerator partially while stashing small items.
- Side-by-side refrigerators – These are wider and have one vertical section dedicated to the freezer while the rest acts as the regular refrigerator. They use space very efficiently and can provide as much as 28 cubic feet of storage. However, they aren’t as energy efficient as other styles.
3. The energy star label – Modern refrigerators have improvements in insulation and compressor technology and hence are much more energy-efficient compared to decade-old models. If you have a very old refrigerator, swapping it out with a new Energy Star certified model can help you save as much as one-third of the current electricity consumption. However, not all Energy Star certified models are the same. You need to decode that yellow label before your purchase. After you hunt down a few models with the label, it’s time for some math.
The label would have an estimated Yearly Operating Cost and estimated Yearly Electricity Use. However, the cost is based on the national average of electricity prices across various utility providers. To have a better estimation, you need to multiply the average cost of electricity for your region by the estimated Yearly Electricity Use. For instance, if the estimated electricity use is 600kWh and your average per kWh electricity cost is 7 cents, you need to multiply 600 by 0.07 to arrive at the annual estimated cost of $42.
4. Check the brand and inquire about parts – The competition in the refrigerator market is intense and you will find numerous players who want to shove their refrigerator with as many features as possible for your patronage. However, brand reputation matters a lot when you buy a large and expensive appliance. You don’t want to buy a refrigerator from a brand that doesn’t have a good after-sales network. If something goes wrong within a few months, you want to have a smooth repair experience and that isn’t possible if the certified technician lives ten cities apart from you. There are also problems if the refrigerator brand is a foreign company that doesn’t stock its spare parts in the country. You don’t want to wait days or weeks without refrigeration for a proprietary valve.
5. Top features – Let’s check out some of the must-have features in a modern refrigerator. Don’t worry about gimmicks like in-built LCDs on the door since they are more for show than function.
- Ice and water dispenser on the door – This is one of the most requested features of homeowners. The dispenser is installed outside on the door, and you get cold water or crushed ice on demand. However, keep in mind that you sacrifice storage space for chilled water.
- Door-in-door storage – Door-in-door storage access allows you to grab frequently used condiments and beverages from the refrigerator without opening any of the main doors. This helps you save money in the long run since the cool air inside the fridge isn’t dispersed as often.
- Humidity control and crisper drawers – make sure that your refrigerator has dual evaporators so that you can maintain higher humidity levels to keep the food fresh. Also, make sure that you get plenty of crisper drawers that isolate and extract away ethylene gas to keep the veggies and fruits as fresh as possible. Air filters are also important to eliminate bad odor and prevent odors from mixing between different ingredients.
Now that you know what to look for when buying a modern refrigerator you can negotiate the sweetest deal for the most energy-efficient and advanced refrigerator. A well-researched purchase will last you for a long time and if it gets damaged, you can always search for “refrigerator repair near me” for a quick fix.