By Dermound Becker
Special to Relocation.com
Out of all the appliances and gadgets in our homes, a refrigerator is the most important and one item we simply cannot live without. It is also a very costly appliance to purchase, so one really has to know what to look for and what each model provides. To begin, you will need to know the size of the fridge you need, not only so that the new one will fit into its designated place in the kitchen , but also because if you buy one that is too large, it will use a lot of unnecessary electricity. The reverse also applies, in that if you buy one that is too small for your needs and it is stuffed to capacity most of the time, it will also use more electricity as it struggles to maintain the ambient temperature.
On the topic of electricity  consumption, it is to be noted that the very popular side-by-side fridge and freezer units are the least energy efficient and therefore use the most electricity so, if your electricity bills is on your mind, it is advisable to look for a model that is more ecology friendly and energy efficient. Also, the fridge you purchase should have an Energy Star, as any model bearing this mark will save you up to 50 percent in electricity costs; those that do not will be at least 20 percent less energy efficient.
Consumer magazines report that those models of fridges which have a through the door ice make and dispenser are the models which break down the most and therefore need the most repairs. For this reason it is wise to consider having ordinary ice cubes in the freezer section, as fridge repairs are notoriously expensive.
Refrigerators with a freezer at the top are generally less expensive than models with a freezer section at the bottom. All the manufacturers of fridges on the market generally have a choice of internal features, such as shelves made of tempered glass which are not easy to break, special temperature controlled units for dairy and vegetable storage and adjustable shelving. All of these are a matter of personal choice.
Color is another important factor to consider, as the fridge should blend in with one’s existing kitchen, but it must be noted that a stainless steel or special color finish is more expensive than the regular white or cream painted finishes most commonly found.
When you have decided on the exact model of fridge you would like to purchase, approach as many reputable suppliers as you can to see which one will give you the highest discount and the best offer on the repair and warranty package. Also, ask if they will waive the charge for delivery and installation and if they would be willing to take away the old model. This will save you a great deal of money, as every outlet is fighting for a sale in these hard economic times.