Best cold storage option for the kitchenBuying Guides in Refrigerators

Over the years, refrigerators have evolved from a basic chilled box with some simple shelves to today's much more sophisticated and feature-rich models. Though it is still possible to purchase an economical refrigerator with limited interior features, most manufacturers are creating ever-more upscale fridges with as many bells and whistles as they can include -- ranging from upgraded exterior finishes to flexible shelving and new twists on interior storage features. This is all because today's consumers want more convenience and performance features in their refrigerators. They want attractive looking refrigerators, flexible food storage options and a choice of refrigerator configuration (side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer or counter depth). Due to rising energy costs, consumers are also looking to purchase energy-efficient refrigerators that will help them reduce their monthly electricity bill.

Refrigerator Configurations/ Type of Refrigerators Side-by-side refrigerators

- With their large freezer capacity and convenient configuration, these are the most popular refrigerator models. They are also the least energy efficient models. Most manufacturers offer a through-the-door ice maker/water dispenser as an option on all side-by-sides and while this is a popular feature, it is also the most frequent cause of repair for these models.

Top-freezer refrigerators

- These are the next most popular models as they tend to offer smaller freezer compartments than side-by-sides, and the freezer is at eye level, placing the refrigerator at a lower and less convenient place. Top-freezer models are less expensive than comparable side-by-side refrigerators. One benefit of the top-freezer models is that they can hold very large horizontal items like pizza boxes and birthday cakes, while the fridge compartment in a side-by-side unit might be too narrow.

Bottom-freezer refrigerators

- These are catching on in popularity, although manufacturers generally offer only one or two models of the freezer-on-the-bottom units. These refrigerator freezers are the most energy-efficient, and place frequently used refrigerator space directly at eye level. In general, most freezer doors swing open like the refrigerator doors, instead of sliding out like a big drawer as they once did. And as an added bonus, the freezer compartments on these models are larger than for top-freezer models.

Built-in refrigerators

- These are still specialty-type refrigerators. Many manufacturers offer built-in refrigerators as shallower versions of their other models to fit in flush with cabinetry, but they tend to be wider than other refrigerators to make up for the space they lose in depth. Also, most built-in models tend to have unfinished sides and tops, since they generally are not exposed to the kitchen.

Therefore, depending upon the need and requirements, we should consider the below mention points before buying a refrigerator.

Size and Style

We should always consider and measure the space in our house where we will put this large appliance. After deciding the area, we need to choose the configuration -- side-by-side, top-freezer, bottom-freezer or built-in. Finally, we need to decide on the exterior color that will complement our kitchen. It's often wise to choose an appliance with a neutral color that isn't likely to go out of style.


In general, the most upscale -- and highest priced -- refrigerators tend to have the most features. We will have to decide which features are important to us and our family's lifestyle, and we will also have to decide if having those features in our new refrigerator will be worth spending the additional money. Some features include automatic ice maker, through-the-door ice and/or water delivery, tempered glass shelves with a spill saver feature to contain spills and gallon-sized door bins. Features we might want to consider are dispensers, wine or bottle racks, egg containers, automatic ice makers, adjustable shelving, special-use bins and freezers with quick-ice making capability. With the exception of the most economical models, the majority of all currently offered refrigerators come with removable freezer baskets, humidity-controlled crispers, shelves that can be adjusted for height and spill-proof shelving.

Energy Efficiency

Energy costs continue to rise across the country, so we might want to consider an energy-efficient refrigerator model, one that doesn't require us to shell out a lot of money each year to operate. It preferable to look for the 'Energy Star' label on the refrigerator we buy. Products that are certified under Energy Star have been certified to be energy efficient. Spending a bit more money on an energy efficient model will indeed be beneficial in the long run. In general, the larger the fridge, the more it will cost to operate. And generally, some types of fridge configurations will be more efficient than others. Bottom-freezer refrigerators are most efficient, followed by top-freezer refrigerators. Side-by-side fridges are the least energy efficient, although they are the most popular type of refrigerators today.


Most refrigerators come with a basic warranty covering one year of parts and labor and five years for the sealed refrigerator system. We can purchase an extended warranty plan for most refrigerators and freezers that will cover them for a longer period of time. These warranties are usually available at the time of purchase.