Refrigerators and Freezers
Anyone who has been through a power outage that's lasted longer than several hours knows the importance of proper refrigeration. Imagine your life without the convenience and usefulness of your refrigerator. It is truly one of the most essential appliances in any home. Without it, you would likely need to shop for groceries at least once a day, and your food storage options would be severely limited. What started out in the 1800s as an "icebox"--a simple, insulated metal box containing a large block of ice to keep food cold--evolved into the refrigerator by 1925, and it was truly a modern marvel. New features and designs in today's refrigerators continue to delight consumers. It's important to choose the right refrigerator and freezer for your kitchen size and specific food-storage requirements.
Refrigerator costs depend on size, style, and features
The size, style, and special features of your refrigerator/freezer help determine its cost. Compact refrigerators, common in college dorm rooms and wet bars, usually range in size from 1.6 cubic feet to nearly 6 cubic feet and can cost from $100 to over $1,000. Some have small freezer sections and some do not. On the other end of the spectrum, there are extravagant and industrial-style models that have options you may have never even considered before. Sub-Zero makes a $13,000 model with sculpted steel, dual refrigeration compressors and evaporators, auto-closing doors, and a glass-front window. Most consumers purchase something a bit more cost-effective. You can expect to pay between $700 and $2,500 for a full-size residential model with plenty of agreeable features like a freezer, ice maker, filtered water dispenser, humidity-controlled food bins, temperature controls and adjustable shelves.
Popular refrigerator/freezer manufacturers
Some of the top-selling refrigerator/freezers today are models by LG, Whirlpool, Viking, Samsung, Frigidaire, Bosch, Amana, GE, and Dacor. These brands can be found at most appliance stores and home improvement centers, and kitchen contractors often find excellent pricing on these well-established products from their own suppliers, as well.
Hot colors for the residential refrigerators
Like other kitchen appliances, black, white and stainless steel are by far the most commonly purchased colors for residential refrigerator/freezers. Stainless steel has led the pack in popularity for several years now, although it is usually a bit more expensive than the enamel-coated versions. Another trend gaining in popularity is having your refrigerator/freezer doors custom fit with cupboard panels that perfectly match your cabinetry. It, too, is a more expensive option; however, many people love how it makes the refrigerator blend seamlessly with the rest of the existing design.
Refrigerator styles favored by consumers
The refrigerator with French doors and a pull-out freezer drawer is currently the most popular model on the market. Most French-door refrigerator/freezers are available in sizes between 20 and 30 cubic feet, which should be suitable for even a fairly large family. Side-by-side refrigerator models, with the refrigerator on one side and the freezer on the other, continue to sell steadily among kitchen consumers, too.
Trends in materials and components for refrigerator/freezers
For those who want that popular stainless-steel look but don't have the budget for it, there are less expensive versions by several manufacturers that are made with a stainless-steel-looking material. These brands and their faux stainless-steel finishes include:
- Frigidaire: Silver Mist
- Maytag: Silver Satin
- Whirlpool: Satina
- GE: CleanSteel
The most sought-after refrigerator/freezer components are in-door water and ice dispensers, water filters, adjustable door bins and shelves, temperature-controlled drawers, moisture controls, energy efficiency, and enough space!
Energy efficiency in today's refrigerator is excellent
The energy efficiency of modern refrigerator/freezers continues to improve dramatically due to constant enhancements in insulation, construction, and compressors. Look for the ENERGY STAR label and you can feel good knowing that model is using 20 percent less energy than non-qualifying refrigerator/freezers. This is good news for your utility budget and great news for the environment.
Finding the right refrigerator/freezer for you
Take your kitchen design and food storage routine up a notch with a stylish, energy-efficient new refrigerator/freezer. Get started by filling out the simple form on this page, then check out the latest models of refrigerators that can meet your family's needs. It's time to find your perfect fridge!