Buying a new refrigerator
is no small feat. They're big, they're expensive and you use it
every day. They also use a lot of energy; in fact, refrigerators
use an average of 12 to 20% of household electricity each year.
They're difficult to repair because of their size, complicated
electronics and the special tools that are needed. Also, most
people don't think about replacing their refrigerator until it's
on the fritz and you're already losing lots of money as food spoils
and an inefficient refrigerator eats up your electric bill.
Listed below are the
popular kinds of refrigerator/freezer combinations. Read about
their pros and cons and also special considerations for each type.
Remember to bring accurate measurements of the space you want
your new unit to fill.
are the most popular design selling today with lots of makes and
models to choose from. They have many advantages that have helped
their popularity increase. Side-by-Sides have smaller doors that
take up less space when open, allowing them to fit in more shallow
areas of your kitchen. Ice and water dispensers are very common
features in side-by-sides. And many people are attracted to the
idea of having their favorite foods in both the freezer and refrigerator
at eye level.
to be less energy efficient than other more classic refrigerator/freezer
combinations. It is also difficult to fit extra wide items, like
large pizza boxes, in the refrigerator or freezer compartments
as they are narrower than standard sizes.
If you're interested
in the convenience of having an in-door water and ice dispenser,
make sure to investigate your plumbing situation first. If you
don't have water lines set up and ready to attach to your refrigerator,
a plumber will have to arrange that before installation. Also,
check into the cost and procedure for getting new water filters
for your water and/or ice dispenser. Find out the yearly cost
of filters, how easy or difficult it is to find them and whether
or not you can replace them yourself to get an accurate idea of
the true cost of the appliance.
Refrigerator and freezer
combinations where the freezer is on top or bottom are generally
very energy efficient. Freezer-on-top models are much more common
than freezer-on-bottom models, though most major manufacturers
do make each type. If you use your refrigerator much more often
than your freezer, it would be very convenient to have your freezer
on the bottom and all of your refrigerated items at eye level.
The opposite is true if you use your freezer much more than your
refrigerator. Some freezer-on-bottom units now offer French door
styles on the upper refrigerator, with two narrow doors opening
in opposing directions instead of one large door.
The popular external
ice and water dispensers are far less common in these types of
refrigerator/freezer combinations, though some models do exist.
Be sure to keep in mind that the doors are full sized and require
lots of room to open completely.
When shopping for this
kind of combination, make sure to include the door clearance space
when measuring for your new refrigerator. If you do choose a model
with an external ice and/or water dispenser, make sure your plumbing
is set up to directly connect to your new refrigerator.
Note on Ice and Water Door Dispensers
External ice and water
dispensers on refrigerator doors are a very poplar feature these
days. It gives the appliance a very modern look and gives access
to ice and water without opening the doors. It can also replace
other inconvenient or expensive water filtration systems.
Like most upgraded
features, ice and water dispensers usually include an increase
in price and also generally consume more energy.
Before deciding whether
or not to go for this feature, check your plumbing system. If
you don't have water lines set up and ready to attach to your
refrigerator, a plumber will have to arrange that before installation.
Find out the cost of filters, how easy or difficult it is to find
them and whether or not you can replace them yourself to get an
accurate idea of the true cost of the appliance. Keep in mind
that although these filters may have an added cost, it could be
much less than you are already paying for bottled water or another
filtration device that the appliance could replace.
Note on Self-Installation
Thinking about saving
some money by installing your new refrigerator yourself? Stop!!
Refrigerators are expensive
and complicated appliances. They are very heavy, require specialized
tools and can have complicated connections with your home's plumbing
system. Improper installation can result in broken appliances,
invalidated warranties, damage to your home's floors, surfaces,
plumbing and cabinets and injuries to yourself. Not to mention
that you'll need to find a way to get your refrigerator home without
damaging it and what will you do with your old one when you're
done? If you want to get the most out of your investment, have
it installed by an expert. Installation is usually very inexpensive
and even small mistakes made while installing it yourself can
cost you big bucks in the future. Save yourself! Let us, true
experts, install your new fridge.
5.) To Warranty
or Not to Warranty?
Would it upset your
budget if you had to buy another new refrigerator next week? How
about replacing all the food that spoiled when your old fridge
failed? If you're like most of us, it sure would! Protect yourself
with extended warranties.
are usually very inexpensive and can save you thousands in the
future. Some can even cover extra costs that result, such as the
cost of food that spoils when your fridge dies. It's simple and
inexpensive to purchase extended warranties and one of the smartest
ways to protect your investment.
Refrigerators are large,
heavy and expensive and you probably don't have the special tools
or expertise needed to fix them in a crisis. If you can spare
a few thousand dollars without batting an eyelash for a new one
should it break tomorrow, don't buy a warranty. But if you're
like most of us, protect yourself by purchasing inexpensive extended
warranties when you buy a new appliance and save yourself big
money in the long run.