Your refrigerator is a necessity, so naturally, when shopping; you want to find the one that's perfect for your needs. Since you'll find rows of refrigerators at a home improvement or appliance store, it's smart to know what you're looking for. Find a refrigerator that has all of the features you need -- without paying extra for the ones that you don't.
Consider your needs before purchasing a refrigerator. Ideally, you want to keep your refrigerator well stocked to reduce your energy usage -- an empty refrigerator costs more to run because it loses its coolness more quickly. If you're a single person who just needs a place to store beer and dip for the chips because you eat most of your meals out, then you should look for only a small refrigerator to save on costs. Families, however, or people who eat a lot of produce may want to look for a much larger refrigerator to accommodate their needs.
Big or small, you have to find a refrigerator that fits into the space that you have. Measure the area where your refrigerator is -- or where you want it to be -- and compare that to the measurements of the models you're looking at. Consider door placement as well. Most models allow you to switch the side that the door opens based on your kitchen layout, but you wouldn't want to mistakenly purchase one that doesn't.
Refrigerators can have the freezer on the top, bottom or side-by-side with the refrigerated area. This is typically a matter of preference, but side-by-side models offer more space and a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom makes it easier to reach the things that you use every day in the top section.
The outside of the refrigerator can have a different look too. Stainless steel looks sleek and modern, but it can be difficult to keep clean. Even opening the refrigerator once can leave fingerprints. The other styles can come in any color, from the traditional white or beige to a faux-wood look.
Temperature and humidity controls in your refrigerator can help you keep your food as fresh as possible, with areas for meat or vegetables. You may also find that it's easier to use a refrigerator with shelves that slide out or can easily adjust up and down. Some refrigerator doors offer wide areas in order to hold a gallon of milk or a bottle of soda. If you prefer water, some will attach to your water supply and provide you with a constant supply of cold, filtered water.
Your refrigerator is the appliance that uses the most energy because it has to be on all the time. Look for a model that is energy-efficient. The "Energy Star" label is a good sign. Expect larger refrigerators to have higher energy costs, with side-by-side refrigerators costing more to operate. Some stores will post the estimated monthly cost of each refrigerator, which makes it easy to compare.
You may want to choose a popular brand when purchasing a refrigerator, since they are known for their quality. Some of the most popular brands are Whirlpool, Kenmore, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, and GE. These may cost more than a brand that is less well known, but may come with a better warranty.
You want your refrigerator to last a long time, so it's important to compare the warranty offers by each manufacturer. You want a warranty that protects against any part defects.
A refrigerator is something that you really need to see in person before you make a final decision. You want to see how easily the shelves move and how big it really looks. Take the time to look at all of your options at the store, even if you look for better deals elsewhere. This allows you to feel confident in your selection.
For many, cost is a deciding factor when it comes to buying a refrigerator. You need to find one that fits within your budget. Once you've decided on a style -- even if you are not yet sure of the brand -- compare the costs at stores online. You might look at the manufacturer's site, along with home goods or appliance stores. Factor in the cost of shipping whether you're looking at buying online or at the store. Delivery costs may make something not as good of a deal as you originally thought.
According to MSN Money, large appliances like refrigerators are most likely to go on sale in September or October, as new models start to hit the stores. Assuming you don't mind getting last year's model, it's smart to wait until this time.