Buying a new refrigerator requires some research and thought. There are numerous models, sizes and styles with a variety of features.
- The first thing to do is determine what size you need. If you have a large family, you probably will want one a bigger one than an older couple whose children no longer live at home. Next, check the measurements and make sure you have enough space for it.
- Take a trip to the store and look at the various options and prices. Then come home and determine which features are important to you, and how much your budget allows.
- Most refrigerators have energy star ratings. This should be a prime consideration when purchasing your new appliance.
- Side-by-side refrigerators are the least efficient, with top and bottom freezer units about equal in energy use.
- Side-by-side and bottom freezer refrigerators cost more to buy.
- Automatic ice makers are convenient, but they add to the purchase price. Unless you have plumbing skills, you will need to hire a plumber to hook it up. In addition, they use more energy to run, they often require repair, and can get clogged up if you don’t have a water filter. Some refrigerators have water filters, but then you have the cost of replacing the filter.
- Water and ice dispensers also cost more initially, and use more energy.
- Most people probably aren’t willing to give up automatic defrost, but a manual defrost refrigerator saves more energy as long as you defrost on a regular basis. Some models also have a combination where the refrigerator section automatically defrosts, but the freezer compartment requires manual defrosting.