How to Choose the Best Refrigerator
If your fridge is on the fritz or you need to replace a relic, finding the best refrigerator for your needs requires an understanding of refrigerator specs and the myriad options available today. Here’s what you should consider.
Budget: The cost of a refrigerator ranges from approximately $300 for a top-mount-freezer model to more than $2,000 for a side-by-side configuration. At Rent-A-Center, you can find refrigerators with low weekly payments.
Types and configurations: There’s a refrigerator for every family’s preference. Refrigerator types include freestanding, built in, and cabinet depth. Configurations include:
- Bottom-mount freezer styles. These offer the best storage-to-size ratio and the most affordable prices.
- Top-mount freezer styles. They are the best-selling because they make freezer access easier, especially with a freezer drawer rather than door.
- Side-by-side styles. This style offers full-height freezer and full-height refrigerator compartments with doors that open from the center, making it a good choice for spaces with tight door clearance.
- French door styles. This is the most expensive. They feature side-by-side refrigerator doors plus a bottom freezer drawer and are the most space efficient.
Features and finishes: Some refrigerator options, like adjustable shelving and door bins, ice makers, and in-door water dispensers, make life a little easier. Others, like built-in entertainment centers, are there just for the — ahem — cool factor. Finishes haven’t changed much in recent years. Stainless steel remains the most popular choice, although it is usually more expensive than black, white, beige, or cream finishes.
Location and size: Refrigerators are typically 68 inches tall and 30 to 36 inches wide. Carefully measure the area where you will place your refrigerator, as well as where the refrigerator door will swing. You should also measure the door opening into your kitchen. It can be embarrassing when the delivery guys arrive to discover they can’t fit your new appliance through the door. (Delivery and set-up are included** with your RAC agreement, but you should still measure your space before you shop.)
Storage: The interior capacity of a refrigerator is measured in cubic feet. It’s estimated that your refrigerator should have 4 to 6 cubic feet per person in your household. However, storage needs can vary depending on how much you entertain, how often you shop for groceries, and how you cook. For example, if you shop once a week, you’ll need more storage than someone who shops every day. Also, if you cook and freeze meals, freezer space will be more important to you.
Energy efficiency: ENERGY STAR®-certified refrigerators can save you a bundle on energy bills. And who doesn’t want that?
With these tips in mind, you can be confident that whatever refrigerator you choose, it will serve your family well for years to come.