Buying a new refrigerator. We all depend on our kitchen appliances, especially our refrigerators. It keeps food fresh and delicious for your family and friends. You no longer have to settle for white or almond as stainless steel has become the alternative to the refrigerators of ’70s. The major differences are in the dimensions and features.
Today’s shopper will find an ever-increasing range of color and style options. What particular model works best for you often comes down to size, budget, style, and energy efficiency. Most Lowes refrigerators are Energy Star-qualified. These refrigerators are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to use 20% less energy than other models.
Color is not the only drastic change for your new refrigerator: shape, energy output, storage, cubic feet, digital displays. Yes, you have choices! One of the best refrigerator designs, and the most popular is the side-by-side refrigerator. This style of refrigerator has the room and storage you need to keep every piece of fresh or frozen food item at the perfect temperature, allowing you to quickly grab whatever you need to toss together dinner for your family.
Buying Guide Basics. The first thing you should do is get all of your measurements in order. Measure the area you have available for the fridge, and be sure to measure length, width and height. With the basic measurements, add a few extra inches along the right, left, and back. The extra space will allow air to circulate which keeps the appliance from overheating. It’s also a good idea to ensure you have room for a door to open and close fully.
Use a measuring tape. Figure out the length, width and height of the area that will accommodate the refrigerator. When you’re shopping, you will know which refrigerators will fit and which will not. Don’t forget to allow a few inches above and behind the unit for air to circulate. Also be sure there’s enough room for the doors to swing open.
Storage & Features
To ensure that your fresh food remains fresh and your freezer food is properly rotated, your new refrigerator needs to have storage that will accommodate your food and allow you to keep everything organized. The refrigerators have multiple shelves, door bins and crispers.
Just as in the refrigerator section, the freezer should also sport its own set of shelves. Pull out bins or wire baskets. In addition to the freezer space, you need to consider the ice maker. Many ice makers take up a large portion of the freezer, but the best refrigerators use space-saving technology to place the ice maker in the door, freeing up the top shelf of the freezer. Some refrigerators may also have special features, such as an egg container, beverage rack or wine holder. Some of the latest models have a door alarm, which will alert you when the door has been open too long.
Water & Ice Dispenser
This one time convenience is now standard on most refrigerators. The water and ice dispenser will quickly become your family’s favorite feature. Many of the top-rated refrigerators have a water filter, making the water pure and delicious. Many also include a dispenser monitor that will light up to indicate need to replace your water filter.
Energy & Warranty
All new refrigerators will have an energy sticker located inside the door or on the inside of the refrigerator. This label will tell you the estimated yearly energy use for each refrigerator and the estimated yearly cost. The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses and the less it will cost you to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, don’t forget to look for the ENERGY STAR label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR label use 40% less energy than the models sold in 2001.
Typically, a refrigerator will have a one-year limited warranty for everything but the sealed system, which will have anywhere from a five- to seven-year warranty. Most appliance dealers including Lowe’s, also offer extended warranties either through the manufacturer or the store.
Buying a refrigerator is no small purchase. The cost of a new refrigerator greatly varies by product, size, dimensions, features, and manufacturer. Most new refrigerators will be anywhere from $400 to $1,200. Determine the size and features that best suit your needs to decide on a model of refrigerator, and then you’ll be able to find a specific cost for that model. Look for the most savings during April and May just before the new models come out.
Refrigerator Energy Tips
- Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37°-40°F for the fresh food compartment and 5° F for the freezer section.
- Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor unit work harder and raises your electric bill.
- That old refrigerator in the garage? If its more than 10 years old, consider plugging it in only if needed. Older refrigerators that are continually running can be as much 20% of your monthly utility bill.
When to buy that new refrigerator? April and May! Refrigerators, unlike the other major appliances, have most manufacturers roll out their new models of refrigerators in the summer. This means that last year’s models get discounted during the spring. As always be on the lookout for deals and discounts year round, but generally speaking, April and May will offer you the best selection and the best deals on refrigerators.
Buying a new refrigerator can be difficult, especially when many appear to be almost identical. Choosing the right refrigerator is very important, as it could result in a highly reliable purchase or one that you will come to regret. That’s why you will want to do your research so your refrigerator will keep you and your family satisfied for years. To search for your new refrigerator at Lowes go to Lowes.com
By Victoria Stone