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Choosing a Refrigerator

More common than any other major appliance, the refrigerator is an important part of our everyday lives. The refrigerator was first manufactured for home use in the 1920s and it revolutionized home cooking. People have used ice to keep food cold in storage for centuries, but the development of the electric refrigerator allowed people to more easily keep food fresh for much longer time periods. This capability allowed people to stop shopping on a daily basis and to stock up, which in turn aided the growth of supermarkets over smaller neighborhood markets.

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Choosing a Refrigerator

No two refrigerator models are the same and there are many factors to think about when choosing a refrigerator. It is important to consider the capacity, exterior size, features, and style as well as reliability. As with any major appliance, different brands vary in their capabilities, cost to service, and repair records.

The Options: Refrigerator, Freezer, Combinations, and Dispensers

While it is possible to buy stand-alone refrigerators or freezers, most units are combinations of the two. Look at the amount of space that is allocated to each section of the unit and also the location and shape of the freezer. Combination refrigerator-freezers are available in side-by-side, freezer-on-top, and freezer-on-the-bottom models. Some refrigerators can be connected to external water lines in order to dispense chilled water and ice. While some only offer cubes, other ice makers dispense crushed ice or various cube sizes.

Consider The Size and Capacity When Choosing a Refrigerator

The exterior sizes of refrigerators vary. Ensure that any refrigerator you are evaluating for purchase will fit in the space you have allocated for it. This is especially important if the refrigerator sits between cabinets or sections of countertop. Very small refrigerator units are also available for office and dorm use. Refrigerator capacity is calculated in cubic feet. Most refrigerators have capacity between 10 and 30 cubic feet; the average household has a refrigerator of around 20 cubic feet.

Styles and Colors of Refrigerators

Refrigerators are available in different colors, but the most common are white and almond. Black and stainless steel are also fairly popular. Keep in mind that refrigerators commonly last for 15 years, so a neutral color will go with new d��cor if you choose to redecorate.

Refrigerators and Energy Usage

Refrigerators are all labeled with information about how energy efficient they are. Compare the energy usage of each model and size, since refrigerators are a major consumer of household electricity, and an energy-efficient model can save you substantial money each year.

Refrigerators: Reliability

Check consumer publications for ratings and reliability records for the brands of refrigerator you are evaluating. Impartial publications look for things like frequency of breakdown, type of breakdown, and cost of repairs. When comparing, try to find the most reliable model in your price range, with the features you need. Also look at the warranty terms; this may be a good way to decide between two otherwise comparable refrigerators.