What you need, what you may not

Angie's List offers advice when buying a new fridge

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects

Before deciding which fridge to buy, first make sure which fridge will fit.

“If you’re considering buying a new refrigerator, the first thing you want to do is get out the tape measure. You want to make sure that the refrigerator you buy is going to fit in the space you have as well as fit through the doors on the way into the house,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

A new fridge can run you anywhere from 500 to 5,000 dollars or more, so take time to assess the food you typically keep in the house and how it is best stored.

“Budget is typically the biggest driver for decisions around refrigerators, but capacity of the refrigerator is also really important," said Hicks. "Many people also consider the type and style they might choose. For example, the top freezer is the most popular, but the other styles like the four-door refrigerator is gaining traction.”

“A lot of consumers like to fit the biggest capacity that they can get in their dimensions. After that you have features like twin cooling or door-in-door that will just add convenience to your fridge,” said appliance store manager Ryan Wagner.

Door-in-door models have only been around a few years, but continue to grow in popularity. They save energy by allowing you to open a smaller door to retrieve the milk or ketchup without opening the entire fridge. Other features to think about: adjustable shelves, temperature-control compartments and even problem-solving software.

“Some of your high-end brands will have what’s called a smart diagnostics. So in this case with LG, you have a little sensor up here that in case the fridge had a failure, you would hold your phone up to it while you’re talking to LG and it will tell the repairman on the other end of the line what’s wrong with the unit so he can come out and have the right parts with him,” explained Wagner.

The more features you add, of course, the more you’re likely to pay. Hicks says if you’re going all out, consider a fridge with a linear compressor instead of a traditional compressor. A linear compressor is always on, but actually saves energy by keeping the temperature steady. It also keeps food fresher for a longer period of time.

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