5 Tips For Choosing The Right Refrigerator For Your Kitchen

The refrigerator is among the most useful appliances in every household. It not only keeps the food fresh for longer but also allows you to enjoy your favorite cold drink on demand. While the primary purpose of having a fridge is to keep your food from going bad, today it also serves as an important piece of the kitchen's aesthetic appeal. People choose to get a new refrigerator for their kitchen for different reasons; regardless, you need to find the right replacement for your old one. Today, refrigerators are available in different sizes, shapes, and styles, making it harder to zero down to your preferred appliance. 

There is no doubt that buying a new refrigerator is a huge investment and the upfront cost is often a concern. While this is true, it's important to mention that most refrigerators are usually durable and can easily last for 10 years on average, according to Consumer Reports. With proper care and maintenance, your refrigerator will give you lengthy and reliable service. So how do you choose the right appliance for your kitchen? Well, to help you navigate the sea of options available, here are a few pointers that'll help you get the right unit for your kitchen.

1. Size and capacity

Before you pick a new unit because of aesthetics alone, make sure you get the capacity and size of the refrigerator right. When it comes to capacity, bigger is not always better; in fact, the right fridge size is the one that's enough for the number of people in the household. The average 25 cubic feet refrigerator cannot be enough for every household; therefore, getting the right size for you is necessary. With a smaller size, you risk not fitting your essentials while too big a unit is often too expensive and also has bigger energy requirements. 

Generally, a bigger household needs a bigger fridge, and the reverse is also true. To help you get the size right, Moving.com recommends 4-6 cubic feet of space for every person in the household. In essence, a family of four won't need anything less than 20 cubic feet as far as fridge storage space is concerned. Another thing you should put into consideration is the dimensions of the refrigerator. Generally, bigger refrigerators with a larger capacity are often taller and wider than their average counterparts. So you need to make sure that it'll fit in your kitchen.

2. Get the right door configuration

Choosing the right style for your fridge will go a long way in improving the functionality of your appliance. There are plenty of refrigerator styles and each one comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The common styles available today include ones with a top freezer, bottom freezer, built-in, and side-by-side. The top freezer option is the traditional fridge with the freezer built at the top. It's relatively affordable and will get the job done just right, notes Designer Appliances. Since most households use the refrigerator compartment more often than the freezer, the bottom freezer is another good option as well.

However, if you're after the integrated look typical of most modern homes, go for the built-in style. These come in many options since the doors can be configured to match almost any kitchen cabinetry. Finally, the side-by-side refrigerator, with two separate compartments each having its own door, is ideal if you want quick-and-easy access to your essentials. However, it's important to mention that this type of fridge is generally wider than the conventional types, so you have to take into account the available space in your kitchen.

3. Think about the extra features

Every refrigerator is differently made. Therefore, you need to think of the specific utility features and how they'll be beneficial to you. To understand what feature will work best for you, think about your current lifestyle. Whether you need a bigger freezer, more space for your drinks, or quick and easy access to your compartments will be dependent on your lifestyle. Other than these standard features, other refrigerators are also equipped with different add-ons that are meant to improve functionality and also take the user experience up a notch. One of the common features that come with most refrigerators today is the external water dispenser and also the built-in ice maker. 

These features give homeowners the convenience of getting a glassful of water or ice without necessarily the need to open the refrigerator door. Modern refrigerators come with more add-ons like access to Wi-Fi which will allow you to download recipes or even stream music right from your refrigerator. While such features are good to have, you should be aware they will come at an extra cost. It's also worth noting that refrigerators that come with extra add-ons often need more maintenance and will also cost you more in case of repairs (via Consumer Reports).

4. Weigh the cost

The price is an important consideration when buying any appliance, including the fridge. Refrigerators are available in different price ranges; however, the one that is suitable for you should be within your budget. Carefully consider your budget and try to find one within those limits. Don't splurge on a bigger refrigerator than you actually need, as a smaller alternative will be cheaper and also cost you less when it comes to energy requirements. Remember, the refrigerator is one of the biggest energy consumers in any household, accounting for about 8% of all energy consumption, per Perch Energy. Another important factor to put across is that some refrigerators come with special installation requirements, for instance, new plumbing or electrical works. 

This often attracts additional costs on top of the already expensive upfront cost of getting a new appliance. According to Don's Appliances, buying and installing a standard built-in refrigerator costs between $2,900 and $6,130. While the refrigerator is a kitchen essential, it should also be easy on energy consumption and your wallet. As mentioned earlier, if you don't have a lot to splurge on a new appliance, consider the top freezer option. It's not only friendly to the wallet but will certainly take care of every basic refrigerator need in your household.

5. Get the right finish

While functionality is important, there's more to modern refrigerators than just keeping your meals fresh for longer. In fact, refrigerators play an important part when it comes to the kitchen's interior aesthetics. There's a lot to be said about refrigerator finishes; in fact, picking the right one for your kitchen can immediately take the aesthetic appeal up a notch. There are two common refrigerator finishes, especially among the top brands: matte and high gloss/shiny. However, a majority of kitchen appliances today fancy the stainless steel finish for all the right reasons. 

According to ThorKitchen, stainless steel appliances don't stain, rust or scratch easily. They're also quite easy to clean compared to other finishes. However, experimenting with other colors might just bring the much-needed vibrancy to your kitchen. There are no rules cast in stone when it comes to designing your kitchen interior; there's room for experimentation with different finishes and colors. Remember, ultimately, the interior finish needs to be appealing only to you. Therefore, the buck will always stop with you.