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A fridge is among a homeowner's most significant purchases. The very best fridges are energy efficient, with a great number of versatile, flexible storage options. It also needs to have simple-to-change temperature controls and superior temperature equilibrium. And, as it occupies such a prominent place it will need to look the part.


Things to understand before you go purchasing a refrigerator


Don't assume that larger is better. Although larger refrigerators can store more food, they usually cost more and use more electricity to run. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy proposes that refrigerators under 25 cubic feet in size will suit the needs of nearly all families.


Gauge your space very carefully. Check with a tape measure and measure height, width, depth, and door-swing clearance. Test the direction of the door swing, too, and make sure the fridge you select opens in the actual direction that works best for your space (or has a reversible door). Don't forget to gauge the route to and from your cooking area to make certain your chosen fridge could make it through the doorway.


Look at additional features very carefully. A through-the-door ice and water dispenser is the attribute customers request the most, but fridges with them are a great deal more likely to necessitate repair work. Dispensers also boost energy use and steal space from the interior. Some newer refrigerators come with built-in electronic products such as TV monitors, music players and digital picture frames, but according to the experts at ConsumerReports.org, "You can save hundreds if not thousands and get better performance by buying such equipment separately."


Consider your sound threshold. One of the more prevalent grievances about fridges is that they cause too much noise disturbance. If your kitchen area is situated close to sleeping areas, or if you're specifically sensitive to loud noises, then a silent refrigerator may be a top priority for you. On the other hand, if you have been searching for a second fridge that will be stored out in a garage area or somewhere else away from primary living areas, noise may not matter as much.


Think about how you will use the refrigerator. For many people, a bottom-freezer arrangement is most handy, because the crisp food area is on top, where it can be reached with no bending. The freezer section is much harder to reach, however, so if you use the freezer at least as much as the fridge, a top-freezer placement may work better. Side-by-side fridges often work better for households with little children, as they can reach both the refrigerator and freezer compartments without standing on a chair.


Purchasing tactics and techniques


•   Search online beforehand. Most home appliances are available in retail stores rather than over the internet. Purchasing in a showroom allows you to confirm size, functions and finishes close-up. Having said that, even if you actually buy in a store, you can confirm the price online initially and invite the retailer to match it.


•   Skip the extended warranty. The professionals at The Consumer Council mention that most consumers document getting enticed -- or even pushed -- to acquire an extended warranty for a brand new product. Nevertheless, the editors state it's nearly seldom worth the extra money, as products are not likely to break during the course of the extended warranty period.


•   Don't hesitate to negotiate. According to a one survey, people who negotiate over the cost when purchasing a new appliance saves an average of $95. Being aware of the industry cost can help you in your negotiating position. However, it also pays to be polite; salespeople respond better to courtesy than to aggressiveness.


More about refrigerators


A refrigerator is among a homeowner's most important purchases partly because of the important purpose it serves and partly because of the high cost of some fridges. The best fridges are energy efficient, with a great number of versatile, adjustable storage options. It must also have easy-to-adjust temperature controls and excellent temperature equilibrium. And, as it occupies such a prominent place in your home it will have to look stylish and compliment your kitchen.


The best fridges should always have:


The refrigerators that are the very best should always have the following:


  • Simple to clean surfaces. Glass shelving in a fridge is far better than wire shelving as it is better able to prevent spilled materials from ending up all over the fridge. Platinum finishes also allows for less smudging as opposed to stainless steel.
  • Useful attributes. The extras that buyers value most contain flexible shelves, water and ice dispensers and humidity managed vegetable crispers.
  • A layout that is suitable. A fridge must be able to keep broad and/or tall things with no difficult to reach areas that are concealed.
  • Energy Star Rating. Besides the fundamental Energy Star label, some refrigerators now take a "Most Efficient" label, meaning they can be about 10 percent better than other Energy Star versions.
  • A well-lit inside. Most versions have a minimum of one light in the fridge compartment; some produce bins and/or the deep freezer sometime have added lights.
  • Great temperature control. Any fridge will keep food cool if it functions correctly, but French door and side by side versions typically modulate temperature better than top-freezer fridges.
  • Trendy appearances. Most refrigerators come in an assortment of colours, from fundamental white to stainless which gives your fridge a nice modern look.
  • Solid structure. The doors must feel strong and needs to not be unbalanced. Bins or the shelving units shouldn't feel flimsy.
  • Easy to understand controls. Controls in your fridge should always be positioned inside the fridge in an easy to reach area, preferable somewhere near the front of the inside wall. If the controls are anywhere else you might battle to reach it without moving items around. Controls should also be intuitive and simple to figure out.


Value expectations: The dollars and cents of it


To compare the power/energy cost and the comparative prices of distinct versions, assess their yellow EnergyGuide label. A big side by side version with the Energy Star rating might really use more energy when compared to a smaller top-freezer refrigerator without one. The EnergyGuide label, by comparison, estimates dollars annually and energy use in both kilowatt-hours annually.


What's to come?


The most recent add-on to the icebox family is the four door fridge. These drawers can carry many different things in a height that both grownups and children can reach readily. But in evaluations that are professional, four door fridges do not match the functionality of French door versions that generally cost around $500 more. This style has not come into its own, although it might become popular as time goes on.