of Appliance Gallery
When it comes to
refrigerators, thereís an ever-expanding array of options. From the
traditional top-freezer to the stylish French-door bottom freezer
models, todayís refrigerators are equipped with myriad amenities
designed to make life easier.
With so many
different styles and features to consider, Stephen Erb, manager of the
Appliance Gallery in Milwaukee, recommends buyers decide whatís most
important to them, whether itís price, convenience or style. Before
hitting the appliance store though, Erb says the first thing to do is
pull out your measuring tape.
capacity are the first things to consider when fridge shopping,"
he says. "Find out the height, width and depth of the unit youíre
looking at to make sure it will fit the space."
refrigerators are a practical appliance, style is a top priority for
most buyers, says Rian Cain, vice president of the appliance division
for American TV/Kennedy Hahn. "Itís all about lifestyle,"
Cain says. "The type of model you buy depends on your everyday
habits and how you entertain."
configurations (side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, classic single
door with freezer on top or bottom and French door styles), built-in
models are designed flush with kitchen cabinets and countertops for a
sleek, finished look. Often these models can be fitted with panels to
match the surrounding cabinetry.
$5,000, built-in models are typically reserved for custom kitchens. A
less-expensive alternative is the counter-depth refrigerator, which at
26-and-3/4-inches deep fits flush with your cabinetry so you get the
look of a built-in for half the cost. However, the reduced depth
diminishes your food storage space.
drawers installed under countertops are another option for
supplemental food and beverage storage. But these handy little space
savers also carry a hefty price tag ó $1,800 to $3,000 per unit.
style, interior features are what really set refrigerators apart.
Adjustable shelves, split shelves and water dispensers are
increasingly available on even the most affordable refrigerators.
Luxury models are packed with even more amenities like water
filtration systems, LED interior lights, and temperature- and
If you stock a
lot of fresh meat and produce that need to be stored at different
temperatures, consider a model with temperature-controlled drawers
that can be set several degrees cooler than the rest of the
refrigerator. Whirlpool offers several models equipped with the
AccuChill Management System, which features built-in sensors to help
keep your food fresh and cold. Other lines like Haier, carry
refrigerators with an express chill option, that temporarily lowers
the temperature in the fresh food compartment to chill newly stored
foods and beverages.
express chill option is perfect for cooling a bottle of wine before
dinner," Cain says.
In the future,
look for fridges to offer more than just food storage. Several
higher-end models now come with intuitive touchscreen interfaces,
Internet access and docking stations for MP-3 players and cell phones.
GE Profileís latest models have a 7-inch LCD media center where you
can upload family photos, find simple ingredient substitutions and
access calorie and fat content for packaged foods.