Refrigerator Buying Guide: Our Shopping Experts Weigh In
So, your trusty old refrigerator has finally called it quits, or maybe you’ve got your mind set on an upgrade. If it’s been a few years since you’ve perused the refrigerator section, then you might find yourself daunted by the sheer number of options available to you. Not to worry, we’ve done the work and we’re happy to provide a few helpful tips to consider before you buy.
Type of Refrigerators
There are four main types of refrigerators which are
- French Door with bottom freezer
- Side by Side
- Bottom Freezer
- Top Freezer
Refrigerators should last 12-15 years, so keep that in mind while buying. Your lifestyle may change; be prepared. Let’s do a quick rundown of their features.
French Door with bottom freezer
Over the past few years, french door refrigerators with bottom freezers have skyrocketed in popularity. These massive fridges have up to 35 cubic feet of space within and most are stocked with ice makers, water dispensers, and humidity controlled crispers. The majority of these fridges come in stainless steel (great for all kitchen designs) and are ENERGY STAR certified. These are also the most expensive, most models falling in between the $1,500-2,000 price range.
Great for: Larger families or those that cook a lot.
Side by Side
Side by side refrigerators are typically a bit smaller than french door fridges, making them great for smaller spaces. With most models falling in the 20-25 cubic feet ranges, these are also less expensive, averaging around $1,200. Many models can be as little as $750.
Great for: Condos, couples, or families that don’t cook a lot.
Bottom & Top Freezers
Top freezers are still some of the most popular and economic fridges, but because of their design, they will not come equipped with a water dispenser. Bottom freezers will typically run higher than top freezers, averaging out at $1,000 and $700, respectively. If you are choosing between a top or bottom freezer and price isn’t the biggest factor, we recommend a bottom; as there is less bending over for everyday items.
Great for: Those on a budget, landlords
Luckily it’s almost 2017 and almost every new fridge sold is ENERGY STAR certified. Be sure to look for this sticker as it can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your fridge’s life. As of now, we’re seeing yearly energy costs vary from $40 on the low end and $93 on the high end.
Measure, Measure, and Measure Again
Measure the height, width, and depth of the space into which you’re putting your new fridge. Then measure again and again until you get the same measurement twice in a row. The worst thing you could possibly do is order a shiny, new fridge that’s too large to squeeze into your allowable space.
Understand What’s Important to You
While you don’t need to get a degree in refrigerator tech to buy a new refrigerator, you should get somewhat informed about what’s important to you. Drink a lot of water? You’re going to want a top notch ice and water dispenser right in the door. Eat a lot of veggies? You’ll need ample space for your crisper. If you need a lot of freezer space, you might need to consider a model with a bottom freezer.
You don’t need to know the solution to all your refrigerator needs, but you should at least know what those needs are so a salesperson can help you figure it out.
Shop the Holidays and the Deals
Unless you’re looking at a broken refrigerator, you might want to wait for the right time to look at a fridge. Most outlets run deals after major holidays, especially on appliances that are as necessary as refrigerators. If you are in the refrigerator market, be sure to check out Best Buy’s coupons and cash back options. With a purchase as large as this, even 2% cash back could save you some serious cash (up to $50) and help make the purchase a little less strenuous on your wallet.
There’s no need to be intimidated when you’re looking for a refrigerator. It’s always a great idea to do a little research before you head into a store, but you shouldn’t make the process a chore for yourself. You might need a refrigerator, but with a little research and online deals, buying a new fridge can be lots of fun.
Also, check out our other kitchen appliance buying guides: