Refrigerator buying tips
• French Door / Bottom-Freezer: The refrigerator compartment is on top with the freezer below. This allows for easier accessibility to the fresh-food compartments and main refrigerator area than the more common top-freezer-style refrigerator.
• Side-by-Side: The refrigerator and freezer are adjacent, with the fresh-food compartment slightly larger than the freezer. This is the best bet for a kitchen with limited space as it takes up the least room with the doors open. Side-by-sides typically offer the largest freezer capacity.
• Top-Freezer: The freezer compartment is on top with the larger refrigerator section on the bottom. This is the most common refrigerator on the market.
• Compact: The refrigerator is a scaled-down version often used in dorm rooms, basements or family rooms. There's usually little to no freezer space.
Before you start shopping, carefully measure where your new fridge will go. The most common reason for refrigerator returns is space constraints. Measure the height, width and depth of the space your new refrigerator will occupy, understanding that you’ll want to ensure there's extra space to allow proper airflow around your refrigerator once installed. Finally, make sure the one you choose fits through doorways for delivery.
• Plenty of space? Chances are your kitchen will fit any configuration or size you desire, including a large-capacity French door refrigerator.
• Limited by side walls or other obstacles? Top-freezer and bottom-freezer models have reversible doors, so doors can swing left or right.
• Have a narrow galley kitchen? A side-by-side refrigerator is ideal since its narrower doors require less swing space.
• Want a built-in look? A counter-depth refrigerator is a stylish option that sits flush with the cabinet fronts, providing a built-in look without a built-in price.
After you measure, start thinking about the good stuff: new features.
Refrigerator Capacity and Size
• Large Capacity: Just a few years ago, the typical refrigerator never exceeded 25 cubic feet of interior space. With modern space-age materials, there's a wide selection of large-capacity refrigerators — 27, 28, 29 and 30 cubic feet. Just pick the right size for your needs.
• Narrow Width: Many older homes don't afford the space for a standard 36-inch-wide refrigerator. Fortunately most of our brands offer bottom, side-by-side and top freezers that fit a smaller space. These models are typically offered with a width of slightly less than 33 inches.
• Counter Depth: This is great for kitchens with limited space and for those desiring the built-in look without the built-in price.
Refrigerator Organization and Flexibility
• Refrigerator Drawer: If you have kids or just need a handy spot for snacks, consider a refrigerator drawer that pulls open from the outside. You can quickly access small items without opening the fridge and letting out all the cold air.
• Full-Width Pantry Drawers: If you need a place to keep appetizers and deli trays fresh, consider a refrigerator that offers a full-width pantry drawer. Some models are even temperature-controlled, so you can set the ideal temperature based on what’s inside the drawer.
• Temperature-Adjustable Drawers: Models with temperature-adjustable compartments enable you to store anything from frozen ice cream cakes to fresh produce, all with the push of a button.
LED (light-emitting diode) Lights: These brighter, more energy-efficient bulbs provide more natural light than incandescent bulbs. They illuminate the entire refrigerator compartment while eliminating shadows.
• Adjustable Shelves: Shelves can be removed, retracted and adjusted to different levels. Decide how flexible your shelving needs to be based on your habits.
Refrigerator Water and Ice Makers
• Two Ice Makers: Does your family use a lot of ice? Select French door models offer two ice makers, one in the door and another in the freezer compartment. The extra ice capacity is great for large families, entertaining or if you just happen to need a lot of ice.
• In-Door Ice: Traditional ice makers take up freezer space. Select models have moved the ice maker and ice bin to the door. Depending on the manufacturer and model, these in-door ice systems can free up to 30% more freezer space. On some models, the ice bucket can easily be removed with one hand for bulk dispensing.
• Filtered Water: Refrigerator water dispensers can filter contaminants — such as minerals, chemicals, metals and microorganisms — from you drinking water. You can choose different options, such as internal and through-the-door water dispensing.
Dual Cooling Systems
• Refrigerators with dual cooling systems allow freezers to circulate cool air separately from the fridge. So keep your ice from tasting like garlic bread.
Refrigerator Energy Consumption
• Choose an ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator, and you’ll use a minimum of 20% less energy than nonrated models, saving you money on utility bills. You also may be eligible for local rebates from your city when buying ENERGY STAR qualified models. This rating is earned when products meet energy-efficiency requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
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