What to know when buying a fridge
Refrigerators aren’t cheap. That’s the first thing you realize when you need one. Maybe you have to replace an old one that’s not worth repairing. Or perhaps you’re buying a brand new model for your apartment or home. As soon as you do a little research the realization sinks in that – no matter what – you’re going to spend a pretty penny. On the very bottom end you could spend around $500, while at the top you could look at around $4000 ($10,000 for super luxury). But the real bottom line is that they just need to keep our food cold & fresh. Of course there are additional features that some folks can’t do without, from the essential to the extravagant. And who’s to judge? All legitimate purchases help the economy anyway. So let’s look at what we’re paying for:
Standard Full Depth Refrigerator
Typically about 68 to 71 inches tall and up to 35 inches deep, standard full depth fridgesare available in side-by-side, bottom or top freezer options as well as in stainless steel, or white and black finishes. Its generous depth provides plenty of storage considering the minimal width and height. It’s possibly the most affordable option among new fridges, typically available for less than $2000. Of course the more ‘bells and whistles’ you select in the form of number of doors, ice and water makers, etc… will cause your cost to jump as high as $3500.
Counter Depth Refrigerators
Named as such for models that have a depth that is as deep as the countertop, though the doors do extend past (due to the placement and size of the hinges). They are usually up to 36 inches wide, 26 inches deep (not including the door) and 71 inches tall. They’re similar to built-in refrigerators as they appear built into the wall somewhat but they’re much more affordable. These are available in many styles, including French Door, as well as in an array of finishes that include stainless steel. Counter depth fridges are sleek and cool, with plenty of clearance around the doors. You may even get them in all-refrigerator or all-freezer counter depth options. They provide a ton of cubic storage at a percentage of the cost of similar industrial models. Of course – you need more space for these bad boys!
Bottom Freezer Built in Refrigerator
At a size of about 80 to 84 inches tall to 25 inches deep (to the face of the door) the entire unit is flush with the depth of most standard base cabinets. They are available in stainless steel, with glass fronts or in panel ready choices. They work well in smaller kitchens thanks to their conservative width. In fact, some larger kitchens use two side by side. They are best placed at the end of a cabinet run. Right or left hinges may be specified for single door units. It’s these many options that make it so versatile.
Built in Side by Side Refrigerator
With a fridge on the right, freezer on the left and a compressor on top, these work best when you have enough room for a single large unit on a separate wall. They typically run about 25 inches deep to the door, 84 inches tall and a width of 36, 42 or 48 inches. They are mostly equipped with freezers that are smaller than the refrigerator. These too are available in stainless steel or panel-ready options. Glass doors may be available for some models as well.
Fully Integrated Refrigerator (w/ Freezer Column Units)
This special fridge may be obscured completely by cabinet door fronts thanks to the style of the hinges, the absence of an exposed frame, and a door panel that hides the compressor. Fully integrated fridges are available in stainless steel and have typical widths of 18, 24, 30 or 36 inches. Heights range between either 80 or 84 inches. They are all 24 or 25 inches deep. It’s the ultimate in customization and flexibility; they can feature elegant drawers and be designed as cabinet style furniture.
It’s important to mention that you also have the option to buy a refitted refrigerator. The idea of buying a used fridge doesn’t appeal to everyone, but the fact is you can pick up a good standard one that will last for years, potentially. And if you live under a tight budget, it’s a relief at around just $300. So you can chill, there’s a perfectly fine fridge out there that you can afford.