The first refrigerators produced for residential use came out in the early 1920’s. They were approximately $700, which is crazy, considering a new Model T Ford cost $450. Needless to say, ownership of one was once considered a luxury! Nowadays, nearly all American homes have one refrigerator, and over 25% have two. A refrigerator’s lifespan can last up to 17 years, which means the last time you may have bought one, Minnesota was sending a professional wrestler to the governor’s mansion and Ben Affleck & Bruce Willis were hitting the big screen trying to save the planet from a giant asteroid. It goes without out saying that a lot can change in 17 years. Here’s what you need to know about the most popular refrigerator styles.
How to Spot One: This model does not contain a freezer.
Perks: Skipping the freezer saves you cash. Foregoing the freezer also means that you’ve got more room for refrigerated space. Self-installation is a breeze.
Drawbacks: It’s very rare that you get away without a freezer in your home, so you’ll most likely need to purchase a chest or standup freezer.
Top Mount Refrigerator
How to Spot One: The freezer is located on top of the refrigerator and is accessed by its own door. Created in the 1940’s, this style still remains popular today.
Perks: As a rule of thumb, this freezer is one of the most cost effective than other models. It takes up less real estate in your kitchen than other styles. Homeowners can easily install this type of refrigerator themselves.
Drawbacks: This type of refrigerator has less storage space. Some homeowners shy away from them because they do not have a built-in ice and water dispenser in the door.
Side by Side Refrigerator
Perks: You have your choice of a model with or without a water and ice maker located on the door’s exterior. Homeowners with them like that the freezer and refrigerator are equally as accessible and that the food in each can be easily viewed at the same time.
Drawbacks: Compact models rarely exist. If you opt for the water & ice maker in the door, additional plumbing will be needed. This model has less refrigerated space than other types. Some homeowners shy away from this style because there needs to be space on both sides for each door to open.
Bottom Mount Refrigerator
How to Spot One: The freezer is located on the bottom and is accessible through a separate door.
Perks: This style allows for more refrigerated space than a top mount freezer. It’s also easier on your back because the refrigerated portion, which is used more often, is at eye level.
Drawbacks: Placing the freezer on the bottom increases the unit’s cost. If an external water and ice dispenser is on your must have list, you’ll have to select a different style.
French Door Refrigerator
How to Spot One: The refrigerator is housed on the top with split doors and the freezer is located below.
Perks: The interior of this type of refrigerator is spacious. A unique trait that sets this style apart from others is that you only need to open one half of the refrigerator at a time. The refrigerator is at eye level which is convenient since that part of the appliance is used much more frequently.
Drawbacks: This type is often the most expensive. Some homeowners complain that the freezer isn’t big enough for a family. Certain models house the ice maker in the freezer which monopolizes a lot of space.
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