Are you thinking of getting a new refrigerator? Replacing such a large device shouldn’t be taken lightly. Our FAQ will tell you everything you need to know about buying a new refrigerator the right way.
When is it time to replace a refrigerator?
If you’re happy with your current refrigerator, it’s a good idea to keep using it until it starts to fail. You may notice strange clicking or rumbling noises (a sign that the AC components are having problems), or features such as the water dispenser or lights have stopped working.
For more information, see our guide to device lifespan, but a refrigerator can typically last anywhere from 14 to 19 years. The less cool air that escapes from the refrigerator, the longer it will last, so the design and use have an important influence.
What Are The Best Fridge Brands?
For more information, check out our guide to the best refrigerator manufacturers. However, some of the brands we rate the highest include Whirlpool, LG, Samsung, and GE. Which brand is best for you depends on a number of factors including how much money you want to spend (some brands are known for lower prices than others) and how many smart features you want in the refrigerator. You may also want to have all of your devices from the same manufacturer to narrow down your search.
How can you make sure a new refrigerator will fit?
Always measure before buying! Take a tape measure and measure the width and height of your refrigerator – don’t measure the refrigerator yourself as space is much more important. If any drawers or doors bump into the refrigerator, you should also measure the depth. Then you know what to look for when researching refrigerator models. The dimensions of each refrigerator should be noted in the specifications section on the product page (or on the product card if you are shopping in person).
Standard depth refrigerators are generally 30 to 34 inches wide and about 70 inches high. Each model can vary in exact dimensions, and since cold rooms in kitchens can be tight, it is important to get exact numbers. When measuring depth, be aware that depth indications are often broken down into with / without handles for more precise information. Keep in mind that many single door refrigerators have doors that can be reversed to open from either the right or left.
There are counter-depth refrigerators that are much shallower than standard models and stay flush with your counters for a smoother look. If your refrigerator is on one of the counter depth setups, make sure the replacement is also a counter depth refrigerator of the correct dimensions.
What does a new refrigerator cost?
That really depends on the size of the refrigerator (how many cubic feet of space it has), additional features, the type of freezer, and similar factors. The cheapest fridges generally cost $ 800 to $ 1,000, although small fridges can be even lower. Other standard refrigerators start at around $ 1,500 to $ 2,500. Larger models with many smart features can cost several thousand dollars or more. In our guide to the best refrigerators you can get an idea of the current price ranges.
Should you buy a refrigerator online?
You sure can. Many websites have an excellent collection of refrigerator models including Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, and more. Refrigerators don’t usually come with many surprises, so shopping online is usually a safe option and an easy way to compare prices.
However, there are also a few reasons to visit a brick and mortar store before buying. There may be offers or additional packages that are available in person and cannot be found online. You may also want to open up the fridge and freezer and see how easy they are to use.
Does the fridge style play a role?
As long as the model fits into the space provided in your kitchen, it’s entirely up to you. It’s a good idea to explore other styles, although some will work better than others for your needs. Common options include:
- side by side: This option has two vertical doors, one for the refrigerator and one for the freezer. It’s a very versatile design, but it can also waste a lot of energy if managed incorrectly.
- french door: These models have a two-door refrigerator on top and a pull-out freezer that covers the bottom third of the refrigerator. They’re spacious and efficient, but they take up a little more space than other styles.
- Freezer downstairs: This model has a single large door for the refrigerator at the top and a freezer drawer at the bottom. With such a model, it is important to note which way the large door swings. Compact versions of this style are a great way to save money and energy.
- Freezer upstairs: Here the smaller freezer door is at the top and the larger refrigerator door is at the bottom (both usually open the same way). A top freezer is often easily accessible and a good choice if you use the freezer frequently.
- Quadruple door: These refrigerators divide both the refrigerator and the freezer into two separate areas, there are a total of four doors, which are often divided into cooling zones or other functions.
Which smart features are important in refrigerators?
Smart quality of life features can be a huge benefit when using a refrigerator. Look for things like the ability to monitor indoor temperatures and control them with an app, advanced temperature sensors in every area of the refrigerator, or doors that lock automatically or sound an alarm when they are left ajar. Many refrigerators also let you connect to them via Wi-Fi to receive notifications about replacing filters or performing diagnostics. Quick cooling sections are a nice bonus too.
You can find more unusual functions on a smart refrigerator. Compatibility with voice assistants, refrigerator cameras (to see what ingredients you have left) and integrated touchscreens for smart shopping are innovative ideas but have less everyday value.
What do I have to do for the installation?
We strongly recommend adding an installation package to your purchase for a small fee that includes the delivery, mounting and removal of your old refrigerator, saving you a lot of hassle.
On the day of delivery, empty your fridge and freezer completely – it’s good to have a cooler box for this project as the delivery windows can be quite wide and you don’t want anything to melt or spoil. Finally, pull out your refrigerator to reveal the space behind (you don’t have to separate it) and quickly vacuum up any dust and debris so this isn’t a problem later. Installers should be able to take care of the rest: removing refrigerator door handles or even entrance doors during installation is common.
Where can I find offers for refrigerators?
A good start: Our guide to cheap refrigerator deals is constantly updated and is the perfect way to keep an eye on the latest deals. Otherwise go shopping in spring and late summer. Memorial Day and Labor Day are both great times to look for deals. Black Friday offers discounts too, but competition for limited inventory can be fierce.