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Refrigerator Buying Guide

Choosing a refrigerator can be a complicated process with many manufacturers, designs and features to consider. There are other factors that also come into play in the decision making process, such as kitchen layout, number of people in the household and style. Please use this handy buyer's guide from Goedeker's to better educate yourself on all the different things to consider when purchasing a new refrigerator.

Refrigerator Size

Capacity

Refrigerators can be measured in multiple ways. First, there's capacity. Capacity is measured in cubic feet.

  • Refrigerator Capacity: The volume of the fresh food storage compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Freezer Capacity: The volume of the frozen food compartment of the refrigerator
  • Total Capacity: The total storage volume of the entire refrigerator.
  • Note: 8-12 cubic feet are needed for a two-person household. Add 1 cubic foot for each additional person.

Dimensions

Along with capacity, the dimensions of the refrigerator must be considered. This is your width, height, and depth.

  • The width should be no wider than the available space. For a freestanding refrigerator, this is typically very easy, as the unit can be move slightly in any direction. For a built-in unit, however, these measurements are critical.
  • The height of a refrigerator should never be higher than any object which may impede its placement or strike the refrigerator at any time (i.e. a ceiling fan blade). Consider any cabinets that will be above the refrigerator and measure your height accordingly.
  • For a built-in look without the requirement of a built-in closet, consider a counter depth refrigerator. These units are only as deep as a standard counter and will not protrude farther from the edge like a normal depth refrigerator.

Types of Refrigerators

Top Mount/Top Freezer Refrigerators

Top mount refrigerators place the freezer compartment at eye level, above the refrigerator compartment. Traditionally, this has been the best-selling type of refrigerator with styles to fit every budget. These refrigerators come in a variety of styles and designs with many optional features to fit every kitchen and budget.

Side by Side Refrigerators

Side by side refrigerators move the freezer compartment and arrange it vertically next to the refrigerator compartment to allow easy access to both. The narrow doors are ideal for smaller kitchens because they use less room when opened. Interior space can be an issue, but many of these refrigerators come with adjustable shelving to help you maximize their capacity.

Bottom Mount/Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom mount refrigerators place the freezer compartment underneath the refrigerator compartment. This type is great for energy efficiency and ideal for the household that uses the refrigerator compartment more frequently. These refrigerators come in a variety of styles and designs with many optional features to fit every kitchen and budget.

Freezerless Refrigerators

Freezerless refrigerators do not have a freezer compartment. They may also be called all refrigerator models. Whether your family has a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to store or they simply don't eat frozen foods on a regular basis, there are plenty of benefits to choosing a freezerless refrigerator.

French Door Refrigerators

French door refrigerators place the freezer compartment underneath the side-by-side refrigerator compartment. This is a unique design that combines both styles with the freezer functioning as a drawer for ease of access. This is the newest option available and is becoming increasingly popular.


Refrigerator Styles

Counter Depth Refrigerators

Counter depth refrigerators can extend several inches past the counter top or be flush to the counter for an elegant look and feel.

Freestanding Refrigerators

Freestanding refrigerators do not need to be placed within any existent cabinets or countertops. They can be situated anywhere in your kitchen.

Built-in

Built in refrigerators are only finished in the front and are designed to be built into the design of your kitchen. Custom panels and trim kits can be applied after installation to achieve that custom look and feel.

Refrigerator Color Options

Stainless Steel vs. Stainless Look

Stainless steel has become an extremely popular finish with a modern look. Many manufacturers now offer a "stainless look" at a lower cost to mimic the higher priced models without sacrificing quality.

Popular Colors

In addition to stainless steel, black and white are also popular color choices.

Other Colors

Refrigerators can be found in almost any color you could imagine. Some less common but still available choices include bisque, gray, platinum, slate, red, silver, blue, green, orange, pink, and cream.

Other Features to Consider When Shopping

Feature Things to Consider
Ice and Water
  • Ice maker
  • Cubed or crushed ice
  • Ice storage bin
  • In-door water & ice dispenser
  • Dispenser child locks
  • Autofill feature
  • Water filter
  • Water filter indicator
Refrigerator Shelving & Bins
  • Adjustable shelves
  • Spill-proof shelves
  • Slide-out shelves
  • Slide-out compartments
  • Extra wide shelves
  • Door bins or pockets
  • Humidity-controlled fruit and vegetable crispers
  • Dairy bin Meat/fish compartments
  • Egg container
  • Cold drinks storage drawer
  • Deli/snack storage drawer
  • Wine rack or storage drawer
  • Party dish storage drawer
  • Condiment bin
  • Other storage bins
Freezer Shelving & Bins
  • Freezer baskets
  • Freezer shelves
  • Ice cream shelves
  • Pizza shelves
  • Controls
  • Temperature management
  • Temperature failure alert
  • Door ajar alarm
  • Power failure alert
  • Change air filter indicator light
  • Child lock
Miscellaneous Features
  • Deodorizer - New models can have a built-in air filter or deodorizer compartment, so no need for that box of baking powder taking up space.
  • Power Freeze/Power Cool - With this feature, you can cool off or refreeze melting items quickly.
  • Reversible Doors - Some models have the option of right- or left-handed access.
  • Antibacterial - Advanced models may have special coating on interior surfaces to reduce germs and viruses.
  • Lighting - Some models have advanced lighting options or freezer lighting.
  • Thawing and Defrosting - Some models have advanced thawing and defrosting capabilities.
  • Quiet Operation - Many models promise noise reduction with quieting systems.
  • Sabbath Mode - This feature is available on select models and is in keeping with kosher practices during the Sabbath.

What is ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is a program from the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency that certifies appliances as "energy efficient" and helps reduce environmental impact and utility bills. Refrigerator operating costs can be a sizable portion of your monthly energy bill, models with the ENERGY STAR label are very efficient.

To learn more, visit our ENERGY STAR page or the ENERGY STAR website. Goedeker's offers a wide range of energy efficient ENERGY STAR appliances. For a full list of ENERGY STAR refrigerators, click here.