In most homes, lots of activity revolves around the refrigerator. When buying a refrigerator, make sure to choose the right one for your needs. Our refrigerator buying guide gives you the information you need to make the best purchase. Lowe's is happy to provide this refrigerator information as a service to you.
Perhaps the most important consideration when buying a refrigerator is the capacity. Two people generally need eight to ten cubic feet of fresh food storage, and you should add an extra cubic foot for each additional person in your family. Buying a refrigerator that is the right size is important. If you buy a refrigerator that is too big and don't keep it filled, it wastes energy and costs more to operate. Avoid buying a refrigerator that's too small, you waste time constantly rearranging food in the refrigerator, trying to make it all fit.
Another important factor to consider is how much space you have available in your kitchen to match the size of the refrigerator you buy. You need to measure the width and depth of the refrigerator with the doors open. Make sure the unit fits the area with room to spare. Refrigerators need a little "breathing room" for maximum efficiency.
If you have limited space, then you'll probably want to get a side-by-side model. These models take up much less space with the doors open. Side-by-side models also allow easier access to the freezer and regular refrigeration compartments.
Refrigerator Configuration Information
The configuration of the compartments is the next most important decision. Think about which section you access the most. Choose between:
- Bottom-mount — The refrigerator compartment is on top with the freezer below.
- Top-mount — The freezer compartment is on top with the refrigerator below.
- Side-by-side — The refrigerator and freezer are adjacent.
- Compact — Scaled-down versions great for dorm rooms, basements or family rooms.
- Adjustable shelving varies among different models. Some have shelves that you can simply take out and move up or down a level or adjust without having to be removed. Others have shelving that can be reduced to half its depth with a push. Think about the items you typically store and consider how flexible your shelving needs to be.
- Spill-proof shelves capture spills and prevent them from leaking all over the refrigerator.
- In-door refreshment centers store snacks and beverages conveniently. These compartments also save energy — the main door does not have to be opened.
- Ice makers are a common feature. An ice maker that's an integral part of the door allows more space in the freezer for food.
- Through-the-door ice and water dispensers are one of the most appealing features. Models with ice options (cubes or crushed) are available. Water filtration with a "change filter" indicator light are also popular. A lock-out feature allows adults to monitor youngster's access to the water and ice dispenser.
- Storage bins and crispers are available with separate controls for maximum freshness.
- Reversible doors on some models allow right- or left- handed access.
- Don't forget style. Select colors and finishes to complement your kitchen decor.