A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances of your home, but choosing the right one can be a lot more difficult than you could imagine. Before you start trotting down the aisle at an appliance store, it’s best you do your research at home or you’ll end up being totally confused. I suggest you go online and look at a few models or catalog’s to decide what’s best for your kitchen based on usage, style, size and pricing.
A few things to consider would be:
1. Door Styles: If you ask your mum for advice on how she used to get her appliances, she would say, “It was so easy earlier when the options were limited”. But today, we have several different kinds of refrigerators that make it quite difficult to make a choice. However, there are a few top models that stand out from the rest and find themselves becoming popular based on people’s choices.
First, there is the regular fridge with the freezer on the top, which is just right for a small family. The second is the side-by-side refrigerator that is good for families that store a lot more food. The third being the recently popular French style refrigerator that has two doors with a lot of fridge space, and a freezer at the bottom.
Remember, you’ll have to choose your door style and the type of refrigerator based on how often you use your refrigerator and the quantity of food you store.
2. Fridge Styles:
On Top: This works perfectly for small families who have a small to medium kitchen space.
On Bottom: A freezer below the fridge is mainly for people who don’t like to bend or are unable to bend regularly to take out food from the lower shelves of the fridge. You could say it’s customize for the elderly, or physically challenged. This type of refrigerator saves you a lot of space in your kitchen.
These refrigerators are huge. If you are planning to entertain big groups of people on a regular basis, say for parties, or if you have a family of more than 5 and store food for the week on a regular basis, this is the kind or refrigerator you should be getting. It has a large amount of fridge space with two huge freezers, where you could store frozen food separately (veggies and meats in two different sections). The French style refrigerators also come with both water and ice dispensers that are perfect if you have kids who like to help themselves.
Side by Side:
This style of refrigerator is perfect for large families and for those who store food in big quantities.
3. Location of Dispenser for Ice and Water: While deciding on the ice and water dispenser, you will have to consider a few things.
A) Do you need it? A fridge with a dispenser would mean that you’ll have to forfeit the inner space for your shelves. So, if you are planning to get one just for the look of it, I would tell you to think again.
B) Do you have a filter on your water supply? If you do, don’t bother getting yourself a dispenser; it wouldn’t be of much use.
Next is the ice maker, which also goes hand in hand with the water dispenser. You could get one on the door, or you could opt for trays in the freezer. I would say go for trays in the freezer. But, if you must have the dispenser, you could go in for refrigerators with the top fridge and a bottom freezer.
4. Size or Capacity: Calculating the size of your refrigerator based on your kitchen space is very important. If possible, try to get someone to do it for you, adding a few inches behind and on the sides for proper ventilation.
You would also need to calculate the capacity of the fridge and the freezer that you generally need. Are you a person who throws a lot of parties? Do you use huge trays to serve? If so, you could consider going in for the side-by-side refrigerator or a French style refrigerator. If you stock up on a lot of cold storage food, you should be looking at refrigerators with adequate freezers, like the ones you get with pigeon pairs that are extra large.
Looking at numbers, you should go in for refrigerators that range from 10 cubic feet to as much as 33 cubic feet; there are types and designs to suit every household.
To analyses capacity based on family size:
- For a couple, about 200-350 litres should suffice.
- For a family of four, 350-550 liters would be good enough.
- For a family of five and more, about 550 liters would be just right.
- Bigger families usually go in for pigeon pair kind of refrigerators, with a fridge of at least 450 liters and a freezer of at least 380 liters.
5. Power or Electricity Consumption: It’s quite easy to determine the electricity usage of your refrigerator; most refrigerators come with a usage indication nowadays. Power consumption of your refrigerator is calculated based on energy rating stars. Check the Energy Rating label on each fridge. The more stars displayed, the more energy efficient the model. The bigger the fridge, the more the power consumption will be. A refrigerator with excellent energy efficiency consumes at least 42% less electricity than a comparable model with energy efficiency.
6. Child Lock: This is something you must have if you’ve got kids below seven. The refrigerator is hooked up to an alarm that lets you know if doors and dispensers have been left open.
7. Door opening direction: When purchasing a top or bottom mount refrigerator (or a pigeon pair); make sure you know which way you need the doors to open. Most fridges are comes with right hand hinge because most people are right handed. A few brands give the choice of physically re-configuring the doors to open an alternate way (utilizing an optional kit).
Now that you have a few ideas on how to go about shopping for a refrigerator, I am sure you’ll be able to find the right one that suits your family best. Always remember to shop keeping the future in mind, for your refrigerator will be with you for the next 5-10 years.
Happy hunting!! 🙂
About the Author:
Nick Creelman is the Marketing Manager and Director at Appliance Warehouse, an Australian based company. Appliance Warehouse is an online electrical retailer, who stocks everything from white-goods to consumer electronics. Nick has a broad experience in marketing, distribution and retail over the Home Appliance Industry. Get in touch with Appliance Warehouse through Facebook!