Choosing a Refrigerator for Your Home

By: Smart Zero Home
Share via:

Buying a refrigerator is an important decision, as it is not only one of the expensive appliances, but can also be one of the biggest energy consumers in your house. Choice of the right refrigerator, should be based on your household’s size, needs, and habits. Think about your specific needs, typical usage pattern and then decide on the size.

You can’t go wrong with purchasing any of the top brands/models (see our pick of the top 5 refrigerators) available at the major retailers, as they all have most of the advanced, new & useful features. Here are some of the aspects you should think about when choosing a refrigerator:


    • Right Size: When choosing the right size for your needs, its important to factor in your family size and needs, and your habits. Habits would include your tendency to cook at home or not, and how frequently would you shop for groceries.

      If you are cooking regularly and shop often (more than once a week) or groceries, then you would need a smaller freezer and probably a smaller refrigerator. You would also have to account for fresh vegetables and food accordingly. Usually an estimate of around 5 cu.ft./person in a family works well when figuring out the minimum required size.

    The size of the refrigerator you choose should be based on your family size and needs first

    • Style: You can choose between a side-by-side style refrigerator or the typical vertical refrigerator with a top (or bottom) freezer. A side-by-side refrigerator uses a lot more energy (Department of Energy study), and is recommended for larger households or for households requiring a lot of freezer space (because of their needs or habits).
    • Space: The available space in the home, would affect your overall choice of outer dimensions and the type of fit. Ensure there is provision for space behind the refrigerator for ventilation, and enough clearance for the door. The post further discusses the pros and cons of each different fit.
    • Energy Efficiency:
      • Avoid Water and Ice Dispenser: One of the cool features that we would recommend avoiding, is the water and ice dispenser. The built-in dispensers can consume a lot of energy, difficult to maintain for hygiene, and are prone to malfunctioning.
      • Manual Defrost: A manual defrost is preferred over an automatic defrost only feature, as the auto-defrost can consumer a lot more energy.
      • Top-Bottom Configuration: As discussed earlier, a top-bottom configuration consumes a lot less energy and takes up less space, and should be preferred over a side-by-side style refrigerator.
      • Energy Star: An Energy Star rating for the refrigerator ensures that your refrigerator more than meets the minimum energy efficiency standards.

Here is our ( pick of the top 5 Refrigerators in the market.