When ours stopped working suddenly, it was time to shop for a new one and there seemed to be many new features to look for.
Some tips shared by the technicians who came to diagnose and repair the refrigerator
- Do not buy Samsung or LG. Their prices are affordable, features are good, however fail pretty often. Does not last long like the older refrigerators.
- Sub zero refrigerators earlier used to have a 20-year life. Now, 12-15 years max. Compressor issues and Freon changes are the most common ones. The door handles and parts for built-in refrigerators are harder to acquire.
- Kitchen aid appliances are great, however parts are not available when it comes to repairs/service.
While browsing through refrigerators online, the number of SMART features that the technology world talks about seems to be high in Samsung and LG ones. Does making them SMART reduce their longevity? There are so many parts and controls that can trigger a failure and the cost of the parts and fixes are costlier than replacing an entire refrigerator. Made me wonder why that aspect cannot be designed better – or was it intentional for periodic sales?
The number of online reviews for these also seemed to be much less compared to the reviews for Whirlpool and GE refrigerators.
I chose to visit an outlet to see the array of choices and decide for myself. Although the above inputs made sense, I tried to have an unbiased view of the same.
- Depth – Counter depth, Standard depth might seem normal, however depends on when your house was built and what is your counter depth. Need to measure your cabinets before purchasing.
- Height – Measure the height of the place where the refrigerator would need to fit in. One in 5 installations do not happen on the day of delivery because of the height measurements not being taken properly.
- Controls – Internal controls in multiple places inside the refrigerators. Cooling temperatures, veggies/fruit settings, freezer setting, custom checks with triggers to your mobiles, changing lights, dim zones etc. Observing and choosing the features makes a difference.
- Ice maker features – Where is the ice maker, ready filtered water bottles, features on the ice maker
- Single or Double compressors – Double compressors seem to be better as they control the freezer and refrigerator separately. Mostly available in sub-zero refrigerators.
What I did not find anywhere in the online descriptions but was seen on the refrigerators were
- Capacity – How big do you want your refrigerator to be? Medium, Large, X-Large capacity was a clear distinguishing factor. I could not get to see or realize this while shopping online. Physically looking at the refrigerators made a HUGE difference.
- Additional features – Number of shelves, adjustable nature of shelves, temperature controls in different shelves
- Ease of cleaning – Some have wired shelves, some plastic and others a kind of glass. Cleaning the freezer bottom trays might be a challenge for some.
When you plan it right, you can avail about $500 – $1500 discounts. Every bit adds up.
- Appliance brand discounts
- Store promotional sales
- National holiday sales
- Local utility company refunds
- Switching electric company refunds
- Combo sales discounts
If you are looking out for a new refrigerator, would suggest that do your analysis online, but visit a store to see what you are buying before purchasing it.