Choosing a New Refrigerator
2 Main Decisions When Buying A New Refrigerator
Time to get a new refrigerator? Here are two fundamental decisions you might think about before you go shopping.
1. Door Configurations
Refrigerators come with their doors configured in three fundamental ways.
The simplest refrigerator door setup is a two-door refrigerator with the freezer on the top. Otherwise known as Top Mount refrigerators, these refrigerators seem to have been around forever. They're commonly inexpensive entry level refrigerators, and often used in apartments.
Refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom include models that have bottom doors that swing open, or more often, bottom freezer doors that slide out. Many people like the convenience of a wide refrigerator compartment on the top and freezer storage below.
In the 1990's, Amana introduced Bottom-Mount Refrigerators with a split refrigerator door referred to as French-Door Refrigerators. As they became popular, other brands introduced their own versions. In the late 1990's, Jenn-Air (a sister company of Amana), launched cabinet-depth French Door refrigerators.
Today there are many versions of refrigerators with a top refrigerator split door configuration and bottom doors and drawers that serve various purposes.
Despite the popularity of various configurations of French-Door Refrigerators, the Side-by-Side Refrigerator still holds on to a large share of new refrigerator sales. Buyers say that they like having frozen foods readily available without having to search through a deep freezer bin to find things.
2. Refrigerator type by depth
You will also need to choose not only the overall size of your refrigerator in terms of cu.ft., but more critically, the depth of your refrigerator. This becomes important when you consider that standard cabinets are going to be 24-25″, and countertops will usually overhang about an inch.
Full or Standard-Depth Refrigerators will have a depth of 27″ plus. Therefore, they will stick out, or “stand proud” a few inches from surrounding cabinets and countertops. One advantage is that they'll have considerably more capacity than their narrower counterparts. Of course, the disadvantage is that they stick-out, and the other choices fit-in.
Cabinet-Depth or Counter-Depth Refrigerators are made so that they stand proud only a bit from the surrounding cabinetry. It's usually just enough to clear adjacent cabinets and countertops so that the refrigerator doors will swing open without bumping into anything. Even though these models have less capacity than full-depth models they will cost more.
A category all to themselves, Built-In Refrigerators are a custom option that are not only more expensive, but require some advance planning. Buyers often work with a design professional, or builder, and will need to purchase a product like this from an appliance store such as UAKC that has trained professionals to work with them throughout the process.
Here's just one example of a counter-depth French Door Refrigerator from a top name European brand that has been growing in the U.S. and has recently expanded their line of kitchen appliances. Click on the model # below for more detail including pricing.
36'' Freestanding Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator, 21.8 Cu. Ft. Capacity, Humidity-Controlled Crispers, Internal Water Dispenser and Ice Maker, Spill-Proof Glass Shelves – Stainless Steel.
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