It’s probably safe to say that the refrigerator sees more traffic and hands-on use than any other appliance in your home. Kids as young as two or three years old are usually keen to figure out the magic of this snack-producing coldbox, and that’s to say nothing of the teens and adults that are already opening and closing the doors all day. In other words, every member of your family will have their hands in, on, and around the refrigerator every single day.
What does this mean for you? It means more thought goes into your refrigerator selection than you initially realized.
No matter which style of fridge you choose to add to your home, there are three main requirements that nearly every consumer wants out of this major appliance purchase:
- Reliability and Dependability – Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of how involved refrigerator purchasing can be, you probably don’t want to do it again anytime within the next decade or two. Whichever unit you choose has to perform a single, but tremendously important task: it needs to keep your food cold, and it needs to do that without fail. Look for manufacturers with a long history of producing high-quality products. Be sure to read customer reviews, and speak to sales associates about their experiences with any refrigerator you are considering.
- Appropriate Price Range – If you’ve taken a stroll around an appliance showroom, you may have already realized how wide the price range is for refrigerators. On the lower end of things, you may be able to find a modest but still full-sized unit for under $1000, whereas the top-of-the-line models come in somewhere closer to $10,000 or more. Factors that will affect the price are special features, customization options, size, efficiency, and finish. There will be something for you within your budget – just do your research to make sure you are getting everything you need at the best possible price.
- Matching Decor – Refrigerators are large and very noticeable appliances. This means they have the ability to wonderfully enhance your existing decor, or clash with it terribly. It is important that your new refrigerator fits in with the stylistic choices you’ve made for the rest of your kitchen, or even the rest of your home. Given many of the customization options available out there, you may be surprised to learn just how seamlessly a refrigerator can blend into your kitchen.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the different styles of refrigerators available to you, to help you narrow down your selection even further.
Top Mount Freezer Models
If you were to think of a standard refrigerator/freezer combo, you would probably think of this model. This is a rectangular unit where the top third is freezer space, and the bottom two thirds are refrigerator space (approximately).
Pros: If cost is your main concern, the top-mount freezer model is going to offer you the lowest starting prices. This design also lends itself well to smaller setups, meaning if you are looking to save space in the kitchen by installing a shorter or narrower refrigerator unit, you are more likely to find them in this standard arrangement. Top-mount freezers also extend to the full width of the unit – so, unlike side-by-side freezers, you will have a nice broad space which can handle casserole pans and pizza boxes with ease.
Cons: The freezer is at eye level, but it’s the refrigerator that you need to access more frequently. Most people are reluctant to stoop all the way down to peer in, and this can lead to food getting “lost” at the back of the fridge. In terms of efficiency, cold air naturally sinks, so putting the coldest part of the unit up top might require unnecessary energy.
When to Choose This Style: If you are looking for a standard refrigerator that won’t cost a lot up front, or if you are working with compact spaces, this model will be your best bet.