It is hard to imagine a world where day-to-day food preservation was more difficult than putting milk in the refrigerator. Yet, when people go to buy their fridge, they often opt for their fridge based on the price tag or extra features. This is a mistake because you get what you pay for, and many of those extra features are unnecessary or distract from features that really matter, like whether or not it will fit in your home. Use this guide to help you get started refrigerator shopping, and make sure that you get what you want and need rather than being stuck with something you don’t like.
These are the primary things to consider:
- Consider Energy Consumption
- Get Advice
- Don’t be Blinded by Aesthetics
- Make a List
Consider Energy Consumption:
Large appliances, like refrigerators, typically account for almost a quarter of your energy consumption each month. It’s not just your heating appliances like dryers and ovens that suck up that beloved wattage. As a result, buying energy efficient refrigerators could save you beaucoup bucks on your future utility bills.
How do you know it is energy efficient? Well, the best way is to buy ENERGY STAR certified appliances. Sure, they cost a little more, but they save you money over the decade or more that you will have the appliance. Don’t look at the price in the store with dismay if it is ENERGY STAR certified because that money will be coming back to you in the form of decreased utility bills.
Old refrigerators can use almost twice the electricity as their modern counterparts. Recycle that old fridge and bask in the energy savings. This is not to mention the shrinkage in your household’s carbon footprint.
Any carpenter knows the old adage: measure thrice, cut once. This is logical in woodworking unless you want to make a lot of firewood in the process of your build. However, when refrigerator shopping, it can be overlooked.
If you are replacing a refrigerator, it may be as simple as buying the same size as the last one. This information may be on the model label, or you can look up the model online and find out. If you are installing a fridge in a new home or moving one to a new location in a remodel, make sure you measure.
Lastly, if you want to increase the size of your refrigerator, make sure you have the skill and manpower to move cupboards or any other built-ins that may get in the way. With the right people, it can be very easy to adjust your kitchen by a few inches.
Features are important, but many people have been scorned by their choice to have a technologically advanced appliance or forgetting that they cannot reach the ice box easily. The best way to avoid these mistakes is by talking to friends and family about your purchase. You may find out that you really want a refrigerator with the option to lock the water and ice dispensers to prevent toddlers from running amok. You may also find that smart features don’t work as planned or limited editions are difficult to have serviced. This may or may not be true depending on the brand and store, but your friends and family will give valuable input.
Don’t be Blinded by Aesthetics:
Stainless steel is nice, but don’t let fancy handles or colors get in the way of making a smart decision. Don’t get me wrong, it is important that you don’t hold a deep dislike for your refrigerator because of how it fits your kitchen decorating scheme. You shouldn’t feel like glaring at it for not having a keen fashion sense. However, function trumps fashion in the refrigerator world.
Make a List:
There are certainly things that you enjoyed about your last fridge. Maybe there was adequate space for your vegetables in one drawer or the soda can holder was at the right height for the kids. Maybe you liked how it felt when you opened the door. Write these things down!
Your list should include things like size and what way you want the door to open. It should also include shelving and lighting hopes. Every detail matters, and when you look at your options, you’ll have a clearer head to make a good decision with a list.
Last but not least, inspect. Open every drawer and door. Slide the moisture controls. Adjust the temp. You should know what you are buying, and you should feel confident that it is everything you want in a refrigerator. Remember, you’ll probably have this appliance for a decade. That’s longer than many relationships. Inspecting is likely as close as you’ll get to trying it before you buy it, but do make sure you have an adequate warranty/return police as well.
That’s not it! But it’s a good start. You also want to consider the benefits of buying local from a small business versus a big box store. You may want to consider delivery and disposal/recycle options. The point is, make sure you are thorough when purchasing your next refrigerator.