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Refrigerator Buying Guide - How to Buy a Refrigerator

Refrigerator Buying Guide - How to Buy a Refrigerator
The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Operating constantly, twenty four hours a day, and keeping your foodstuffs cool and preserved for longer, your refrigerator is the unsung hero of your kitchen and your household.

That is why it is so important to select the right model for you. With so much choice on the market, this is not always easy. The good news is that the Appliance Connection team have created this handy guide to making the right selection.

Read on to find out more, or get in touch with our team if you have any questions or queries for us.

Refrigerator Types

There are many different types of refrigerators to choose from. And all of the pieces in the Appliance Connection range come from reputable manufacturers and share a high level of quality. This means that there no definitive right and wrong answer regarding which one to choose. Instead, it comes down to personal preference and to the configuration and lay out of your interior space.

In order to make the choice a little clearer and a little more straightforward for you, we have outlined the different types of refrigerator you are likely to come across during your search. This should give you a better idea of which one is right for your space. You can also feel free to speak to a member of our team if you are still unsure.

Freezer on Top / Freezer on the Bottom

Also known as a traditional refrigerator and freezer unit, this is the most common refrigerator type you are likely to spot in homes up and down the United States. These models feature a refrigerator unit either placed on top of or beneath the freezer unit. These units may also feature different capacity levels depending on your needs.

Split level models like these will fit into most kitchens without too much trouble. If space is an issue in your home or in another interior space, you may want to select a unit with a reversible door. These models can open from right to left or from left to right based on the restrictions of the space. As these models are arranged vertically, there is no room for storage beneath the unit.?

Fridge and Freezer Side by Side

A model arranged in a fridge and freezer side by side configuration will have at least two vertical compartments. One side handles the refrigeration duties while the other operates at a lower temperature for freezing. Models are available with the freezer on the left and the refrigerator on the right, and vice versa. There is no functional difference between the two.

Side by side models tend to have narrower doors than other types of refrigerator which lends them particularly to smaller or galley kitchen types. The narrow doors require only a small opening area, and so they will not take up much space in the kitchen.

French Door Refrigerator Mounted on Freezer

Some refrigerators feature a French door configuration across the refrigerator unit, which is in turn mounted upon a freezer unit. This freezer unit may be accessible via a small drawer or larger door depending on the size of the particular model.

The advantages of this type is that users have far better access to the refrigerator compartment. This makes packing and unpacking the compartment easy while providing the necessary access for cleaning and basic maintenance. Unfortunately the same range of access is not extended to the freezer unit.

Four Door French Door Unit

In these units, the access points to the refrigerator are covered by French-style doors which open outwards from the center. The four door French door unit provides the same excellent access to the refrigerator compartment.

This access is also granted to the freezer unit which is handy as this is the area of the refrigerator/freezer combination. This often requires the most attention in terms of cleaning and maintenance. One downside to this type and the one mentioned above is that they are not suitable for smaller kitchens in which space is at a premium.

Double Door Set, or Door within Door

Refrigerators with a double door set -- or a door within a door -- represent a smart but incredibly simple innovation in the world of refrigerators and kitchen equipment. These models include a french door which covers the front of the refrigerator unit. They also offer storage space for frequently used items behind a set of French doors.

Beyond this space, there is another door with a larger refrigerator chamber behind this. The beauty of this simple design is that the user does not need to let cool air out of the main refrigeration compartment and stress the motor every time they open the door. Instead, energy can be saved simply by opening the external door to access the most frequently used items.

Counter Flush

Counter flush refrigerator models are designed to fit flush against counter tops and cupboards, creating a more streamlined and stylish effect in your kitchen. In effect, these models imitate built-in units by providing the same finish without the expense.

Built-in Unit

Providing a stylish and elegant effect, built-in units are at the luxury end of the refrigerator range. These tend to be custom fitted and installed, and will very often provide the perfect accompaniment to the interior style of your kitchen.

However, such an advantage comes at a cost. Built-in models are the most expensive on the market. Once the design and installation work have been factored in, the final bill is likely to be a significant one.

Compact Unit

A compact unit or miniature refrigerator is the smallest type available on the market. The advantages here are that the refrigerator is small enough to require no installation or specialized delivery. Instead, it just fits into the desire space and plugs right in.

Of course, there are downsides to this convenience. The extremely small size of the unit means that you should not expect to fit too much inside the compartment. Anything more than a few drinks and snacks is simply not going to fit, and most units have no freezing functionality.

What to Consider When Buying a Refrigerator

How much space do you need in your refrigerator?

Do you live alone or with a partner, or do you have a big family who need feeding each and every day? This may sound like a personal question, but it is important to know precisely how much interior volume you need to keep all of that food cool.

This requires a bit of homework. What limitations to you find with your last refrigerator unit? What were the dimensions of the compartment? Find this out, and use this to select the best refrigerator model for you and your family.

How much space have you got to play with?

Measure the space in which the refrigerator will sit, and use this information when shopping for your next unit. Remember to double check this information before you make your final purchase. It is not worth the extra stress and hassle of buying the wrong sized unit.

It is also important to remember the access route from your property entrance to your kitchen. If the model you choose is too big to fit through doorways and entrances, this is going to pose a problem.

What are your regular shopping habits?

As refrigerators and freezers are so closely linked to food and eating, selecting the right model is as much about personal taste and preference as it is about anything else. Consider your own shopping habits before making a selection.

Do you buy mostly frozen food? In this case, a large freezer compartment is going to be a must. Are fresh fruit and vegetables more your thing? Then you need a large refrigerator compartment to accommodate this. Answering these questions will help you on your way to making the right choice.

What sort of organizational options will you benefit from?

There are many different organization features and options that can help you achieve the ideal layout and optimized usability you crave from your refrigerator. These include the following;
  • Glass shelving
Many glass shelves can be adjusted and repositioned to create more space as and when required.
  • Isolated temperature zones
Different foods and items -- some meats and vegetables in particular -- may require different temperatures for storage. Higher end refrigerators make this possible with isolated temperature compartments and drawers. In these drawers, you can set a temperature which is different to that of the unit's main compartment.
  • Humidity control
Fruits and vegetables may become damaged if humidity is too high. Some refrigerator models feature drawers and compartments in which humidity can be controlled separately from the rest of the unit. This keeps these delicate items in perfect condition.
  • Extended door bins
Almost all refrigerator units -- excluding compact units -- will have shelves and trays on the inside of the door for quick and convenient access to items. On some models, these shelves and trays are extended. That means you can fit larger items into this space whenever you need to.

These organization features make it possible to customize your refrigerator model based on your needs. Consider how you plan to use your refrigerator, and then think about which of these features will be of most use to you.

What other features do you need?

There are so many features available to you when you purchase a refrigerator. If is up to you to decide which features you genuinely need, and which ones you can sacrifice in order to save some dollars on your machine.

Take a look at some of the most common:
  • Dual air circulation
Certain foods give off aromas which can make the rest of the food in your fridge and freezer taste a little off. With dual air circulation, air will circulate separately in different compartments, making this unpleasant situation less likely.
  • Built in filtration
Maintaining the circulation of fresh air inside your refrigerator is easy if you have a built in filtration system. These filters keep the circulating air clean and fresh inside the refrigerator compartment.
  • Ice storage and Ice Makers
Storing large bags of ice is a serious waste of freezer space. Some refrigerator models enable ice storage in a specific compartment, freeing up space for other items. The refrigerator may also feature a built in ice maker fitted in the door.
  • Smart refrigerators
In the 21st century, refrigerators are no longer an inanimate object that simply keep things cool. Instead, they can be smart, interconnected devices, plugged into the world wide web. This brings with it many additional benefits, including advanced remote temperature controls, integration with home automation systems, and other smart, modern advantages.?

What sort of finish are you looking for?

This is primarily an aesthetic choice, but it is also a practical one. Firstly, you need to consider the interior of your kitchen. What sort of color scheme would look best in this space? Which finish -- for example, a matte finish or a chrome shine -- would bring out the best in your kitchen space?

Secondly, you need to consider other, more practical elements. For example, if you have young children, a non-smudge finish is going to keep your machine looking great for longer.

How efficient is the machine?

The refrigerator is one of the few pieces of equipment in your home which is left on around the clock. This means efficiency is a serious concern. Look for ENERGY STAR ratings on your refrigerator. If the unit qualifies for an ENERGY STAR rating, this means it expends 20% less energy than the average non-qualified unit. Often, this saving is even greater.

This is likely to save you significant money over the course of the year. It might even qualify you for an energy saving incentive rebate from your city or other local authority.

Top Rated Refrigerators from Appliances Connection

Frigidaire FFTR1814TW

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Frigidaire's FFTR1814TW model features a 30 inch freestanding refrigerator unit with a freezer compartment mounted on top. The total storage capacity is 18 cubic feet, and a range of organizational options make this a popular choice among customers.


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LG is a brand with prestige in the kitchen appliances market, and the LTCS24223D demonstrates this in style. Energy efficient and finished with a stylish black stainless steel effect, the 33 inch freestanding refrigerator with top freezer compartment is one of the best selling -- and best reviewed -- appliances in our range.

Summit FF1935PL

Summit FF1935PL 30" Counter Depth Refrigerator with 18.12 cu. ft. Capacity in Platinum

Counter depth freezers are increasing in popularity among consumers, and the Summit FF1935PL is one of the most popular of these units in our range. Frost free defrost features, a crisper drawer with two glass shelves, and express chill zone add to the unit's versatility.