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Refrigerator and Range Buying Guide

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When you think of the perfect, updated kitchen there are many things that come to mind—from the type of flooring in the room to the wall color and cabinet design. However, you can’t forget about the appliances! Out of all of the appliances that you’ll choose to update your kitchen space, the refrigerator and range are at the heart of creating a functional and stylish room in your house.

Like any big purchasing decision, it can quickly become overwhelming with the sheer number of options available on the appliance market, and you can start narrowing down your choices by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much space is available in the room?
  • Do I want a built-in look or a simple installation?
  • What finishes go best with the current style of the room?
  • How energy efficient are the new appliances?
  • What features are “must-have” items for the family?

Although you might be purchasing new appliances for a complete kitchen remodel or simply because your current fridge or range is no longer functional, choosing a new, updated appliance is an exciting way to enhance your kitchen’s style while increasing the functionality of the room.

Refrigerators


You can’t have a kitchen without a refrigerator, making this one of the first appliances you need to consider when planning a remodel of the space! Traditional fridges are often small in size and basic in design, but there are many options available for modern appliances that can take your kitchen experience to the next level. However, like all major purchasing decisions, you need to do your research before committing to a style that will be in your home for the next several years—or decades!

Cost and Purchasing Budget

The size of your kitchen plays a big role in the type of refrigerator that will work best for your space, but you also need to consider your budget. As one of the most expensive appliances in the kitchen, modern fridges can come with a wide range of features, finishes, and designs that all play into the purchasing price. For example, you may be able to get a small, white, top-freezer model for as little as $300-400, but a high-tech, French-door style refrigerator could run you $2,500 or more.

Style and Design

Refrigerators are all designed for the same basic purpose—keeping your food cold, fresh, and ready to use! However, there are many different designs and styles when it comes to purchasing a fridge for the home, and the most common options include:

  • Top-Mounted Freezer: Economical and known as the “standard” style for refrigerators, an appliance with the freezer located at the top of the unit is a smart design for those with a tight budget, small family, or minimal space in the room. Although they are at the bottom end of the price range, they do offer the lowest interior capacity and can be inconvenient to use.
  • Side-by-Side Style: Refrigerators in a side-by-side style are the most popular models on the market today, and they are highly convenient for accessing both the fridge and freezer of the unit. While the interior space is greater than a top-freezer design, the sections are narrower—which can lead to limited space for larger fridge or freezer items.
  • Bottom-Mounted Freezer: Bottom-mounted freezer models have the same general space capacity of a top-mounted freezer style, but their benefit comes in their convenience. With the freezer on the bottom, the pull-out drawer style makes it easier to access items, and a higher fridge space allows your most-used foods to be at eye level.
  • French-Style Doors: A French door refrigerator combines the bottom-freezer design with the side-by-side fridge capacity—making them a top choice that has soared in popularity over the last several years. The opposing half doors of the fridge section require less clearance to open and offer greater interior space, while the bottom-mounted freezer retains a pull-out drawer and easy access to frozen goods.

Additional Features

Opening style, cost, and size aren’t the only features that make up the perfect refrigerator for the home! With advancements in technology and the changing needs of modern homeowners, refrigerator choices continue to expand with several additional features, including:

  • Finish: From traditional white to modern stainless or a bright pop of bold color, there are many different finishes available to perfectly complement your existing kitchen décor.
  • Filters: Having a water filter on your refrigerator is a must-have item for many families, and cold, fresh water at your disposal offers both convenience and energy-saving benefits.
  • Configuration: Nearly all refrigerators come with adjustable shelving, but higher-end models take that to a new level with greater customization options, spill-proof shelves, and more.
  • High-Tech Controls: Temperature controls set top-end fridges apart from more-economical models by offering precise humidity and temperature options for crispers and drawers.
  • Efficiency: Energy efficiency continues to be a big factor in appliance purchasing, and it’s wise to look for a model with an ENERGY STAR rating to save on your annual utility costs.

Kitchen Ranges


Next to a refrigerator, the range in your kitchen is an essential part of making the space fully functional and easy to use. However, that doesn’t mean that ranges are a one-size-fits-all appliance! Consider the following factors before making a choice in what option is ideal for the needs of your household.

Size and Style

Did you know that ranges come in a variety of sizes? Knowing exactly which size you need for the space in your kitchen is essential before you start picking out the additional features that you want in a range. Although most residential ranges are 30-inches wide, higher-end options can be more than 36-inches in width.

You also need to consider the basic style of the range that you want for your home, and your options include:

  • Freestanding: As the most-common range style, freestanding ranges have finished sides that allow for you to put them wherever they fit best in the room.
  • Slide-In: Slide-in ranges offer a semi-built-in appearance with unfinished sides that are ideal for spaces surrounded by cabinetry.
  • Drop-In: For a truly built-in look, drop-in models are a perfect choice, as this type of range sits behind the cabinet baseboard for a unified kitchen aesthetic.

Fuel Type

Size and style are basic decisions that you’ll need to make when purchasing a range, but don’t forget to look at the fuel type that is required by your home! Ranges come in both gas and electric models, and most homeowners are not willing to spend the extra money to change the fuel set-up in their kitchen. However, both fuel types have their pros and cons, so it pays to do your research when deciding whether you are going to stick with the standard option available in your household.

Burner Styles

The burners on your range can make or break the enjoyment and cooking convenience that you get with the model that you choose, and there are several factors to consider when deciding what is right for you. The more options you choose, the more the price will increase, so keep this in mind when researching the choices available for range burners, including:

  • Style: Electric coil burners are one of the hardest features to keep clean, while streamlined, glass-top models offer effortless upkeep. Induction burners are also a desirable feature thanks to their easy-to-clean ceramic design, but they will cost you more upfront.
  • Quantity: A standard range comes with four main burners, but for a bit extra, you can get additional burners that offer greater options, including warming burners and bridge burners.
  • Power: Quick heating and even cooking are the top goals with range burners, but you can expect to spend more on a model that offers greater power with precision cooking ability.

Additional Features

Once you have narrowed-down the basics of what you are looking for in a kitchen range, it is time to start considering other high-tech options that are available on the market today. In addition to size, fuel type, and burner configuration, you will also have the choice of:

  • Convection Cooking: Although you’ll spend a few hundred extra dollars to get a convection oven, it may be worth it! This high-end feature allows for improved heat distribution, lower cook times, and more consistent results.
  • Multiple Ovens: If you have a large family, selecting a range with multiple ovens could save you a lot of hassle. Instead of the standard below-oven drawer seen in economy models, this type of range includes a slim, upper oven that is ideal for baked goods, pizzas, and more.
  • Convenient Add-Ons: From porcelain-coated racks to large viewing windows, interior lighting, and precision temperature controls, there are many up-sell features available in modern ranges. The key to a successful purchase is going in with a clear idea of exactly what you need—and what you can live without.

Your kitchen’s refrigerator and range play a major role in the overall functionality of the heart of your family’s home, and with the options available today, the choices are endless for finding the perfect, custom appliance that offers beauty and value!

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