Buying a refrigerator is hard. The selections are overwhelming. The prices keep going up. There are so many brands and all the ads sound appealing because every brand competes for your business! Since you’re reading my own blog about kitchens, I figured that some of my tips ( even if I sound opinionated ) might help someone who has this daunting task ahead of them! Here goes:
1) Ask your friends, family, neighbors or anyone you know who has purchased a refrigerator in the past 2 years. Seriously, I think it’s the first step in your research before you start shopping. Opinions count.. and people either love or hate their refrigerators. Write the brands, model no’s, manufacturer, style and (if they divulge) price that was paid. Also ask people if they have had to call for service (not necessarily a bad thing) and how that all went.
2) Research online. Do your homework on different makes and models and see what each offers in size, configuration, and style. Save money by not traveling everywhere around town at first. I love love love the internet for research on refrigerators.
3) Prepare your opening and prepare for delivery. Sizes are SO important, especially if you’re remodeling and especially since refrigerators are being built taller. Don’t be surprized by the dimensions of the unit …. prepare for the delivery as well. I’ve seen homeowners not being prepared for getting a new fridge INTO their house (including making a turn or going up steps, header blockages and door trims with narrow doorways.
4) Don’t buy a fridge based on cubic feet alone. So many times, it doesn’t tell the story of how food will be stored. I encourage my clients to bring their containers or must used items that they keep in their refrigerators … and test out models at showrooms by trying out the way door shelving is configured and how easy it is to see items in the back. Accessibility is really important. That’s why I always recommend counter-depth styles.
5) Don’t be afraid of stainless finishes … it’s really not that hard to maintain. The only newer finish that has come on the design scene recently is “Ice White” which is a type of white metallic color. Whirlpool introduced it mid 2012. We’ll see if it catches on.
6) Look for the best quality hinging possible, and consistent temperature control. Air purification is one of the best improvements in refrigeration. Look for it in lines like Subzero with features like a NASA designed filtration system that replenishes the air every 20 minutes while eliminating bacteria, odors, and microscopic contaminants. Or there is a less expensive Whirlpool fridge with a replaceable air filter that Whirlpool claims “lets air actively pass through the filter, helping neutralize odor and bacteria. It reduces odors 15 times better than baking soda. Replace filter every 6 months.”
I recently had a good laugh while listening to Brian Regan’s humorous sketch on “buying a refrigerator”.
He had a good point …. refrigerators keep things cold! Simplistic, but it’ll keep you from getting too crazy when shopping for your new fridge!
Best of luck.