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Refrigerator Styles: More Than a Matter of Taste

When you are looking for a new refrigerator, buyers  guides recommend that you consider the size, features, energy efficiency and style of each potential refrigerator. It is fairly simple to know how much storage space you and your family need and what features you value in a refrigerator, but how do you decide what style is most appropriate and convenient in your house? The style of your refrigerator is more than a matter of taste, as each style has its pros and cons. In this article we compare the most popular refrigerator styles: the top freezer refrigerator, the side-by-side refrigerator and the French door refrigerator.

Top Freezer Refrigerator

The top freezer refrigerator is the most traditional refrigerator. It was created in the 1940s and is still popular today, accounting for about half of all refrigerator sales. These refrigerators are known to be more reliable than their French door or side-by-side refrigerator counterparts, and this may be because they have been around for almost 25 years longer.

The top freezer refrigerator is usually considerably less expensive than other models, ranging from $500 to $800. One reason they cost less is they are generally more energy efficient. Normally the top-mount freezer provides more selection in price, color and size. The top freezer model usually takes up less space in your kitchen, but it may not have as much storage space as other refrigerator styles. One disadvantage to this refrigerator style is the lack of an ice and water dispenser on the refrigerator door. Despite the many advantages of a top freezer refrigerator, many users simply find other styles more attractive.

Side-by-side Refrigerator

The side-by-side refrigerator was made in 1949 but did not become popular until the mid-1960s. This refrigerator features two doors, with the freezer on the left and the refrigerator on the right. The advantage to this design is that you can place commonly used refrigerated and frozen foods at a convenient level, instead of always having to bend down to retrieve refrigerated foods. Freezer refrigerators are also suitable for small kitchens, since the double door reduces the space needed for door clearance.

Some users have complained that their side-by-side refrigerator does not yield enough storage space in the freezer, although that of course depends on the total capacity of each refrigerator. One valid complaint is that the side-by-side model does not leave enough room in the refrigerator to store large platters, but these are usually only used during the holidays.

Many users ignore any disadvantages to the side-by-side refrigerator and choose it over the top freezer model solely because of the thru-the-door water and ice dispenser. Although this is a worthy feature, it may need more repairs and add to the refrigerator s initial overall costs. Side-by-sides can cost from $800 to $1,500.

French Door Refrigerator

Introduced in the late 1990s, the French door refrigerator is the hottest new trend in the refrigerator world. On the top, the French door model has two doors that open up the refrigerator section; the freezer section is a pull-out drawer located below the refrigerator.

This style of refrigerator solves many of the problems found in other refrigerators. By placing the refrigerator at the top, the French door refrigerator presents all the refrigerated foods, usually the most commonly used foods, at a convenient eye level   a notable difference from the top freezer or side-by-side models. The French door refrigerator also has wide shelves that leave space for large platters.

The downside of a French door refrigerator is that is has less usable storage space than other types of refrigerators. Also, many owners complain that this type of refrigerator is impossible to organize, particularly the freezer section. The French door refrigerator is usually sold between $1,400 and $2,000, making it the most costly refrigerator style.

Each refrigerator style has its good and bad points that go beyond fashion, affecting the convenience of your kitchen. Whether you decide on a top freezer refrigerator, side-by-side refrigerator or French door refrigerator, make sure you choose a model that suits your needs, as well as your tastes.