In the modern household, the refrigerator is one of the most common appliances. Also known simply as a fridge, a refrigerator is a staple in any kitchen.
Refrigerators come in a number of varieties and sizes based on the specific needs of a particular person or family. Some of the latest innovations in refrigerators include:
- energy-saving, eco-friendly refrigerators
- stainless steel refrigerators
- sub zero refrigerators.
Types of Refrigerators
While refrigerators come in smaller sizes ideal for workplaces, dorm rooms and other restricted spaces, full-size refrigerators generally come in one of three types:
- bottom refrigerator with top freezer
- side-by-side refrigerator and freezer
- top refrigerator with bottom freezer.
The type of refrigerator you choose will depend on your individual preferences and the shapes of the items you tend to store in your refrigerator.
Those who access the freezer often tend to prefer bottom refrigerator with top freezer models, while those who dont often use their freezers tend to prefer the top refrigerator with bottom freezer format. Side-by-side refrigerators can be beneficial for those who use both refrigerator and freezer equally, though this format can be difficult for those who wish to store particularly wide items in either refrigerator or freezer.
Costs of Refrigerators
The cost of a refrigerator can vary depending on extra features, size, brand name and type. However, in general, costs tend to fall into these ranges:
- bottom refrigerator with top freezer: $300 to $2,000
- built-in refrigerator: $3,900 to $12,000
- side-by-side refrigerator: $800 to $3,800
- top refrigerator with bottom freezer: $600 to $5,800.
Small refrigerators for offices and other small spaces can cost as little as $50, depending on the specific size.
Top Refrigerator Brands
While models may change rapidly, there are a number of brands that are well known for manufacturing quality refrigerators, including:
Extra Refrigerator Features
Some things that can affect the cost of a particular refrigerator are the extra features it offers. Some of the most popular extra features include:
- adjustable, sliding or moveable shelves
- beeper alerts that go off when a door is left open
- childproof systems
- crispers with humidity control
- door chillers
- ice and/or water dispensers in the fridge door
- interior wine racks
- night lights
- separate temperature control for different areas within the fridge and/or freezer
- shelves with cranks for up and down movement
- special compartments that allow access to a small part of the fridge without opening the door
- storage areas
- water filters.
Clearly, the more features and parts you want on your refrigerator, the more expensive it will be. However, the convenience of some of these features may make the price increase worthwhile.
Saving Energy with Your Refrigerator
When purchasing a new refrigerator, its definitely worthwhile to take energy use into account. Refrigerators generally account for 20 percent of all of the energy used in a home.
Refrigerators come with and EnergyGuide label that can tell you how efficient your fridge is. Those labeled EnergyStar are the most efficient and meet guidelines set forth by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. While they may cost slightly more initially, the energy costs that you will save through years of operating your fridge will more than make up for it.
Energy Star Staff (n.d.) About energy star. Retrieved September 1, 2009, from the Energy Star Web site: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index.
Kitchens.com Staff (2009). The three main types of refrigerator. Retrieved September 1, 2009, from the Kitchens.com Web site: #.
SDG&E Staff. (n.d.) Facts about refrigerators and freezers. Retrieved September 1, 2009, from the SDG&E Web site: http://www.sdge.com/documents/forms/refrigerators.pdf.