Early in the 19th century ice boxes were used as the first portable refrigerators. But General Electric came out with the first, mechanical, home refrigerator in 1911. These were very bulky and quite pricey. Today, refrigerators are still a major home appliance purchase.
Discover how to select the best refrigerator with our refrigerators reviews and refrigerator comparison tips. Kitchen appliance reviews tend to only focus on one type or model. This buying guide shows you exactly what checkpoints to watch so you end up buying the best refrigerator for your needs!
Since buying a refrigerator is a major purchase, we have included some basics to help you make the best purchase possible for your needs. Check this site for repair solutions for your existing refrigerator.
Refrigerators are measured by the volume they contain. So consider how many users there will be for the refrigerator. If you will be buying groceries for a family, or cook very often you will likely need a larger refrigerator. If you're living alone or with a few roommates and you mostly eat out, perhaps, a mini refrigerator like those they have in hotel rooms will suffice.
Freezer Size and Location
Side By Side: Side by side refrigerator freezers offer convenient access for both less stretching or bending to open doors.
Top or Bottom
A refrigerator with the freezer below maintains colder temperatures and minimizes the bending necessary to get items from the fridge. Be sure the doors can be installed to open from either the right or left side. It can be very inconvenient to have a door that opens in the wrong direction.
Good refrigerator shelves have two characteristics: they are transparent and they slide out. Transparency helps you see what's on the lower shelves. Slide-out shelves provide the same benefit, plus they make it generally easier to clean and access food in a packed refrigerator. Adjustable shelving that allows for different heights of containers is also a plus for making the maximum use of your refrigerator space.
Deep full-sized crisper drawers with clear sides are very beneficial for you can see whats inside without having to open them. Drawers should also be easy to open and close, you dont want to have to wrestle with a drawer to get something out quickly.
A frost-encrusted freezer is an invitation to higher energy bills and countless hours of chipping or melting built up ice that regularly accumulates over time.
Most refrigerators have built in, door water dispensers. Water dispensers come in different sizes and heights. Select one that fits your families needs. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser be sure the water filter has an easy to reach and refresh location as it will need to be changed periodically.
Ice dispensers are located either inside the freezer or in the door. Ice dispensers offer you the convenience of always having good clean ice on hand. They also come with options to dispense crushed ice or cubed.
The easier it is to determine the temperature settings - the easier it will be to adjust the temperature in your refrigerator or the freezer. Adjustment dials with temperature degree ranges like 30 to 60 make it easier than those with numbered ranges like 1 to 6. Also, Separate temperature settings for the refrigerator and freezer make it easier to keep milk from freezing and ice cream being too soft.
Color and Style Options
A good refrigerator looks good in your kitchen and matches your other appliances. Look for a refrigerator that comes as part of a set with other appliances you like, or a refrigerator that has enough color and/or style options that you can easily match it to your other appliances.
Quality in rails, shelving and drawers can save a lot of frustration. Cheap shelves and drawers will sag and stick after some time. Door rails are a common problem with bending and breaking. Consider the durability of drawers, shelves and rails.
Easy Cleaning Exterior
Is the exterior finish easy to clean? Modern refrigerators have a textured finish that obscures fingerprints and is easy to wipe clean with just a damp cloth. Does the refrigerator have rear wheels that allow for easy maneuvering to clean under and behind it?
Easy Cleaning Interior
Do the shelves slide out are they spill proof...do they have any extra crevices or seems where gunk can get stuck? Are the drawers easy to remove without sticking? Doors can interfere with removing the shelves or drawers? A drain installed in the freezer and fridge compartments would obviate the tedious task of sponging out icy water.
Lets face it your refrigerator will be running non-stop for 10 plus years. Look for the Energy Star sticker to make sure you are getting a quality appliance that uses less energy. Modern refrigerators do not have coils on the back anymore, which will make for a quieter appliance as well.
The most vulnerable part of a refrigerator is the seals around the doors and these should be tight and easy to maintain or replace and have a long life. The tighter the seal the less temperature and energy will be lost. A fridge should remain cool enough to keep food long after the power goes out.
Removable front grille
There should be a detachable grille on the bottom of the refrigerator to allow for thorough cleaning.
To better aid moving and cleaning your refrigerator, it should have rolling casters to help one person swivel it easily.
Having a light in the freezer, as well as the refrigerator, can save time and energy by making it possible for you to find what you are looking for quickly and close the door faster to keep the cold air inside.
Do you need a special compartment for cooling wine in your refrigerator? Do you need one of those nifty things that release 'silver ions' that kill bacteria and neutralize smells in your refrigerator? Some refrigerators offer adjustable humidity to keep veggies fresh longer. Several other added features are available with most modern refrigerators. Do keep in mind that the more features you have, the more expensive your refrigerator is likely to be.
Transport and Measurements
Inappropriate transport can damage your refrigerator even before you use it! Either check with the store if it provides delivery or ask a few friends with a van to carry it. You will definitely want to ensure that you take measurements before you buy a refrigerator - what will you do if it can't fit though the kitchen door?
Ever left the refrigerator door open while on vacation? Or have you bought a noisy? Or simply have the best refrigerator we should know about? Let us know.. we'd love to hear about it.
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