Helpful Hints on Buying a Refrigerator

Helpful Hints on Buying a Refrigerator

photo of refrigerators
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The time has come to replace the old refrigerator and the number of available options and choices is stupifying!

Even though it might take months to get a new one delivered it’s not a bad idea to have an idea about the replacement model.

March of the Refrigerators

In order to prep my “engineer” husband to actually begin shopping for appliances I took a few minutes to list necessary items (engineers love lists) of helpful hints:

  • Set a budget
  • Online research to narrow the search down to 1 or 2 brands
  • Decide on “style” french door, french door with drawers, regular door, side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer, ice maker, water dispenser, water filter, built-in
  • Pick a color-stainless, white, black, or custom color and custom doors
  • Find a tape measure
  • Measure dimensions of the inside and outside of the current fridge
  • Measure the height of the fridge and if you have a cabinet above the fridge-get the exact measurement from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet

photo of fridge interior

  • If the current fridge sits in between 2 walls-measure the width
  • Measure the depth of the opening
  • Open up the fridge and take a picture of the inside and the storage space on the doors
  • Go to the store and measure the inside dimensions of the potential refrigerator purchases
  • Have the salesperson provide you with a “spec sheet” specifying outside dimensions
  • Compare costs, delivery charges, and price to haul away the old fridge

After the list had been reviewed his response was -all we’re looking for is a fridge…there can’t be that many options.

Well after shopping for a few hours and several stores, the engineer needed to be revived.  Without boring you to death with the details -let me share a few things that might be helpful if your old fridge is slowly dying and you may need to purchase a new one soon.

Probably the number one issue that most buyers will face is the height (68.5″) of the new refrigerators.  Older homes (anything older than 10 years) usually have a cupboard installed over the fridge which happens to be 68″ from the floor- so cupboards need to be removed and/or rebuilt or the wall and ceiling need to be repaired and painted.  Another area to measure is the width and depth of the opening in your kitchen-the new fridges are wider and deeper than older versions.

The next thing is counter depth.  The new slimmer lines look great but if you have the fridge near a wall – the french door on the wall side cannot be opened all the way.  Just something to think about.

The second biggest problem right now is the lack of inventory.  So if you’re in a rush be ready to compromise.  This statement is true for most of the standard appliances,  Buyers looking to upgrade entire kitchens are faced with lots of compromising today.

Finally, looks can be deceiving.  The new fridges have fewer cubic feet than mine-but the interior shelves and space are larger than older models.  So after taking a picture and measuring the inside of my “icebox” -I ran over to Home Depot to measure and compare.  Prior to actually measuring the interior I’d have bet anybody it was smaller and had fewer shelves- but I was wrong.


While they aren’t bidding wars on appliances in today’s market buying new appliances can be both fun and frustrating.