Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Refrigerators

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Refrigerators

. 4 min read

Refrigerators are a must, and we can't live even a single day without them. They are a staple of modern life, yet people often neglect to research their many options before purchasing. We decided to pen down a detailed guide on all the information you need to have right before buying your next fridge.

So here's an in-depth guide on what to look for before purchasing a refrigerator.


The size of your refrigerator affects how often you need to buy food. If you have too much room, it will be tempting to stock up on more groceries than necessary, but there won't be room for leftovers or snacks if you don't have enough space.

Energy efficiency

Refrigerators use lots of power; the average unit consumes about 400 kilowatt-hours each year (or 5% of average household energy usage). Luckily, new models are far more efficient than their predecessors. Look for an ENERGY STAR-certified model with an ice and water dispenser; these may cost slightly more initially, but they can save $100 or more in energy costs over the course of five years.

Fridge vs. freezer on top

On average, a unit's freezer uses about half as much power as its refrigerator section. If you don't need much refrigeration space and like ice cream, consider buying an integrated freezer compartment model. Those who enjoy frozen foods frequently may also wish to invest in a second dedicated freezer; this will save time and money spent constantly refilling your fridge/freezer with ice and buy bulk meat at better prices.

Side-mounted water dispenser

A third less common configuration (mostly confined to built-in units), side-mounted water dispensers are harder to reach but take up less precious counter space.

Water/ice dispenser

If you drink a lot of water or like to use ice, look for an ice maker and water filtration system. The former will constantly produce cubes, saving you the hassle of refilling ice cube trays; the latter can help remove impurities that affect flavor.


A doorman is a device that ejects stored items automatically when the door opens. While convenient, this feature increases energy usage by about 10%.

Spill-proof shelves

Shelves are often made with raised edges to prevent spills from reaching other food or entering the bottom of your fridge. However, these tend to reduce available storage space.

Pull-out drawers

Drawer refrigerators offer more storage space than shelves and compartments, but they're also harder to reach.

Number of doors

Double-door models can be more comprehensive than comparably sized single-door fridges, making them good choices for larger families or those who do a lot of entertaining. However, this extra width will cost you much-needed counter space when the door is open. If your kitchen has a good space area for a fridge and you can afford a more giant refrigerator, we would recommend buying 3 door fridge as it is one of the best options on the market.

Self-closing doors

Closing automatically helps save energy by stopping the flow of cold air whenever the fridge isn't in use. However, some people find these frustrating since any contact between your hand or body, and the door will immediately be closed.

Energy saver mode

Energy saver modes turn off the cooling system periodically to reduce energy consumption. However, food may suffer if this function is activated while you're out of the house or on vacation.

Temperature controls

Freezers should be below 0°F (-18°C), while refrigerators should be no higher than 40°F (4°C). Some models offer separate temperature control for each compartment; others let you set the freezer only one degree lower than the refrigerator.

Interior light

Lights are useful for locating items in your fridge at night without having to open the door and alter temperatures, but they do consume power. Look for LEDs, which remain cool to the touch.

Energy usage

Look for the Energy Star label, which indicates that a model meets or exceeds federal standards for energy efficiency. Cheaper models with less efficient cooling systems use up to three times more power than pricier units with better insulation and compressors.


A more extended warranty indicates better quality materials and construction, particularly the compressor's expected lifespan. Look for at least one year of coverage on all parts, plus five years on the compressor itself. Extended warranties are also available but rarely worth the price unless you're buying an expensive unit outfitted with cutting-edge technology.


The deeper your fridge is, the easier it will be to accommodate tall items, but you'll need to make sure it fits in your kitchen. If the depth of the unit is greater than 31 inches, measure your space before buying.

Side-by-side/French door

Two doors give more accessible access to fresh items since both open at once, giving you more room for storage inside. French door models are even better since they free up shelf space by housing meat and produce drawers below the main compartment. However, this increased convenience comes with increased prices.

Point to be Noted

It's important to know what features you want ahead of time to compare different refrigerator types more efficiently instead of just considering how many doors or compartments they have. Think about what's most important to you.

Types of refrigerators

There are three main types of the refrigerator: the side-by-side, which has two compartments separated by a center partition; the single-door or French door model, which opens from the middle and may have either one or two doors; and the drawer refrigerator, with one large compartment accessed through pullout drawers.

Drawer refrigerators offer more storage space than shelves and compartments, but they're also harder to reach. They use less energy and up to 25 percent less floor space than standard freestanding models since their compressor is located under them instead of inside an enclosed area at the bottom of your fridge.

Wrap Up

We know how buying the best refrigerator is essential, but most people don't even know the basics. That's why we jotted down the guide that is enough to help you seek the proper knowledge before buying a fridge.


Part of the expertEasy writing team, Laura is from the UK and has a keen interest in Business, interior design and decor, home improvement and thriftiness in all things around the house and garden.

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