Selecting the right refrigerator for your home is tricky because there are many options. There are brands, models, configurations, and extras to consider, and most people tend to focus on the bells and whistles. The first thing to think about is the size and configuration of the appliance to ensure that it fits and that it meets your food storage needs. In this brief guide, we will look at the four main refrigerator configurations in more detail to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that the refrigerator types can be broadly classified by the door configurations. Some of these designs are tried and tested, and others are newer and up-to-date. The configuration of the refrigerator can affect many other aspects of the appliance, including storage space, energy consumption, ease of access, the footprint, and extra features. Let’s examine them in more detail:
1. Top Freezer Refrigerators
These are the oldest and most recognizable examples of a combined refrigerator and freezer appliance. As the name suggests, the freezer is located in a smaller compartment above the refrigerator. These appliances are usually under 69” in height, and they tend to be less expensive than other models. The main drawback with these models is that the freezer may be too high for some users and the storage options in the refrigerator are basic.
2. Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
This model has a freezer installed under the refrigerator with two or three drawers. These are more modern than top freezer models, and the slide out drawers improve the storage of frozen foods. The space in the refrigerator is easy to access because all food items are between eye or waist height. The main drawback is that users need to bend or squat down to access the lower freezer drawers.
3. Side-by-Side Refrigerators
These refrigerators have become more popular in the last decade, and that trend is set to continue. There are a pair of doors with the refrigerator on one side and the freezer on the opposite side. The freezer is usually located on the left side, but take care, this is not always the case. The refrigerators tend to be less expensive than the French door models that we will cover next. But, the capacity is a little lower, and you may need to reach around other food items to reach items at the back. Models with a higher storage volume are easier to use, but they cost more than standard size appliances.
4. French Door Refrigerators
A French door refrigerator has two doors, but the refrigerator double doors are on top, and the freezer is underneath with pull out drawers. These appliances have become the default purchase for people looking for a high-end appliance with a luxury aesthetic appeal. They do give a kitchen an ultramodern look, but taller people have to stoop to reach the lower freezer drawers. These appliances have all the latest features and plenty of storage to feed larger families.
Before you make a final commitment to buy a new refrigerator/freezer, it’s important to measure the access points and the location twice. Many people buy appliances that they cannot get into their home and that don’t fit the available space. It’s also important to match the appliance to your existing kitchen decor unless you’re planning a remodel. The general style and finish should complement the style, handles, finish, and other appliances in your kitchen.
If you’re considering a new refrigerator-freezer, you can explore our online collection, or for further help, you can speak to a home appliance expert.