Refrigerator Buying Guide – Signature Appliance Center

 In Buying Guides, Refrigerator

Refrigerator Buying Guide – Signature Appliance Center

Selecting a new refrigerator can be tough. Today’s refrigerators are loaded with new technologies that can make your shopping experience tedious. Luckily, our Refrigerator Buying Guide will tell you what you need to know to pick the refrigerator that’s right for your home.

What to Look For

Before you Shop

Decide on a budget. Shoppers can expect to spend anywhere from $350 – $2,500 on a new refrigerator. Before you enter the store, make sure to have a clear idea of the features you absolutely need and those you can live without in order to stay in your price range.

It is also vital that you measure the allocated kitchen space. Making sure your new refrigerator will fit in your home is just as important as its features. With a measuring tape, measure the height, width and depth of the space. Add at least 1 inch to each measurement for clearance. If your refrigerator is being placed next to a wall, add a second inch to ensure the door can open fully.


Refrigerators typically come in four main styles; top mounted freezer, bottom mounted freezer, side-by-side refrigerator, and French door or counter-depth refrigerator.

Top mounted freezer refrigerators are considered the most traditional style of refrigerator, with the freezer compartment sitting at the top and the refrigerator unit below. This style is typically the least expensive as prices fall around the $400-$600 range however, since the refrigerator is located below the freezer compartment it often requires constant bending to access commonly used items.

Bottom mounted freezer refrigerators feature the freezer unit placed beneath the refrigerator. This style is convenient because the refrigerator is at eye-level and therefore easier to access. Prices for bottom mounted freezers often range between $800- $1,200.

Side-by-side refrigerators place the freezer and refrigerator units beside each other, offering convenient access to either compartment. However, it is often the case that consumers find the compartments both deep and narrow, which makes it difficult to store particular items like frozen foods and party platters. Prices for these units start at about $900 and can climb well above $2,000.

The French door, or counter-depth refrigerator, offers a double door refrigerator compartment with a bottom-mounted pullout freezer. This design minimizes space needed to open refrigerator doors. This style is at the top of the price range compared to other models. Prices start around $1,500.


Once you’ve selected a style, you can select a finish. The most common finishes are plain black, plain white and stainless steel.

Tip: Maintaining appearance of a stainless steel refrigerator can be tough so Good Housekeeping suggests rubbing mineral oil over your stainless steel appliance every month or so to avoid fingerprints and smudges.

Additional Features: Refrigerators today offer a plurality of additional features. From customized shelving to ice makers and water dispensers, the possibilities seem endless.

Temperature alarms are a great feature for parents who find their children have a habit of not properly shutting the refrigerator door. With a temperature alarm, when the door is left open a buzzer will sound to save your food from going to waste.

Air purifying systems are another great feature. These systems will keep your fridge smelling fresh and neutralize the reproductive capacity of unwanted viruses and bacteria. An air purifying system can also maintain the quality of food for a longer period to prevent frequent trips to the supermarket.

Energy Efficiency

When buying a new refrigerator check the model’s label to determine its energy use. Units with the ENERGY STAR rating often offer the most efficiency since they are required to use 20% less energy than current federal standards. According to Energy Star, the most energy-efficient models are typically 16-20 cubic feet. Energy-efficient models will not only help reduce your utility bill but they are also more environmentally friendly than your standard refrigerator.

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