Things to Consider when Purchasing a Refrigerator

Are you in the market for a new refrigerator? If so, here’s a brief rundown on a few things that you’ll want to consider before making your purchase:

Freezer Location

One of the first things that you’ll need to decide on when shopping for a refrigerator is where you want the freezer to go. Some refrigerators have the freezer on the top or the bottom. Others have the freezer on the side. Each configuration has its own pros and cons. Refrigerators with freezers on the top and the side are said to have more storage space than those that have freezers on the bottom.

Over the years, I have had all three types of refrigerators. I currently have a refrigerator with a bottom freezer. I like it because the freezer drawers are deep, wide and well organized. The model I chose came with a roll out, wire drawer and an adjustable bottom shelf. The amount of space does seem to be less overall, but the kids have left the nest so I don’t need as much freezer space as I use to. People with large families may want to consider a different configuration.

Door Configuration

You’ll also need to decide what kind of door configuration you want to have. Options include a single door and a French door configuration. My family and I have a galley kitchen, so we purchased a refrigerator with French doors. The French door set-up fits the space well and allows me to keep the refrigerator partially shut while I am taking out items for dinner. Being able to keep as much cool air inside the refrigerator as possible while the door is open is important to me in regards to energy efficiency. I live in an area that is warm year-round and cooling costs can skyrocket during the summer months. Therefore, the less electricity that I have to use to keep my groceries cool, the less miserable I am when the monthly utility bill arrives.

Capacity and Size

Nowadays, refrigerators come in a wide array of sizes and capacities to fit most kitchens. Therefore, you’ll also have to make a decision on what size refrigerator you want. Based on my experience, I’d suggest that before you go refrigerator shopping that you take a lot of measurements. Think about how much space the refrigerator doors will need to open and close as well as how you want the unit to fit in with your other appliances.

My family and I went with a narrow but wide model refrigerator that would line up closely with the depth of our kitchen’s counters and fit within the space available. Doing so gave our refrigerator a built-in look without sacrificing capacity. It also allowed us to have sufficient walk space between the sink and the stove.


One of the other things that you’ll need to think about is what features you want your refrigerator to have. There are a lot to choose from. Some features include adjustable shelves, built-in wine racks, temperature adjusted drawers, slide out drawers, in-door ice makers and water dispensers.

When I purchased my family’s refrigerator I wanted features that were practical and meshed with how we work in the kitchen. As such, I went with adjustable shelves and doors that were capable of holding two, one gallon jugs side-by-side. The shelves are my favorite part. I can easily adjust their height as well as flip them out of the way to accommodate our holiday roasting pan or tall containers. I also chose an in-door ice and filtered water feature. It allows me to make ice tea without having to open up the refrigerator door. You may opt to go with other features.

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing home improvement projects with her family.

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