There are three basic appliances that go into every kitchen or else you really can't call it a kitchen. These are a sink, a stove and a refrigerator. The first household refrigerators were referred to as ice boxes. This was because that is essentially what they were: boxes that contained a huge block of ice to keep food cold. Ice men would travel through neighborhoods selling big blocks of ice that they would insert into your "ice box" until it melted the following week. With the advent of electric refrigerators, the ice man was put out of business and the "ice box" became self-sufficient.
Today, buying a new refrigerator is not unlike shopping for a new car. With both of those items, you're basically making an investment in a product that needs to last you for several years. It's not like buying a pair of shoes that you know are going to wear out with constant use. Your refrigerator should be maintenance-free (or as close to that as possible!). It needs to have a roomy capacity to meet all your food storage needs and needs to look good in your kitchen alongside your cabinets and other appliances. And today's refrigerators ofter many time and effort saving extra features.
Types of Refrigerators
If you haven't shopped for a refrigerator lately then you don't know what you've been missing. Companies like Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux, GE and KitchenAid have poured all their engineering genius into the next generation of refrigerator design. Isn't it time you checked out the market for yourself?
The classic refrigerator design often meant that you had a double horizontal door. The lower portion was for the main refrigerator storage area and the upper for the freezer zone portion. There are many great refrigerators that still feature this comfortable layout. In fact, people who have grown up with this design often prefer it over other models. Some designs have reversed that classic horizontal lay out by flipping the freezer section with the main storage area. This makes the main refrigerator area more accessible. You can even have a horizontal refrigerator with vertical doors for the main storage area. Think of it as half a side-by-side refrigerator and half a standard model. This type of refrigerator is perfect for singles and small families.
Then there is the line of vertical door refrigerators. These side-by-side models have a large portion dedicated to the main storage with the smaller side containing the freezer. One of the great benefits with the vertical door models is that they often come equipped with a fresh water and ice dispenser. This is a very nice feature that provides filtered water and ice (cube or crushed!). No more messing with clunky ice trays or tap water. With these units you'll have to replace an interior water filter every six months but this is as easy as changing a light bulb.
If you are going to make the investment in a new refrigerator then one of the determining factors should be the capacity. Varieties of fridges can range from 18 cubic feet up to 27 cubic feet. If you are replacing your current model you want to make sure you take specific measurements to insure that your new fridge will fit in the proper place.
Inside the refrigerator you'll be presented with many shelf and storage options. This is where your particular taste and eating habits come into play. You might prefer deep door trays to hold a gallon of milk or liter bottles of soda. You might like a deli meat and cheese drawer to keep those particular items fresh. And of course you need a decent size compartment designed to keep your veggies crisp. Don't think that the refrigerator you are buying can be adapted. The shelves and drawers should all be adjustable to allow you to move them around for what suits you best.
With all the particular designs also come the wide variety of styles and finishes on refrigerator. You could design your entire kitchen around what your refrigerator looks like or find the perfect fit for your current environment.
Purchasing a New Refrigerator
You might have grown accustomed to shopping on the Internet for smaller items like clothing, books and DVDs but there is no reason why you can't go for the big ticket items like a refrigerator. Over at the Rainbow Appliance website you'll be able to shop and compare dozens of models and brands. You'll find many different colors and styles. There are also limited rebate offers on specific models that will bring your discounted purchase price even lower. Your refrigerator is probably the most used appliance in your house. You deserve top of the line!