Buying a refrigerator is one of the first choices you’ll face when setting up your kitchen. There are two basic types: simple refrigerators and fridge freezer combinations. The choice between different models comes down to what type of storage you need — and how much of it. Buyers who’ve already got a separate freezer will clearly only need a refrigerator. But some prefer to have a large chest-style freezer in the basement and a more accessible fridge-freezer combo in the kitchen for storing a small selection of frozen goods.
Combination models come either with the fridge stacked on top of the freezer or in “French-door style”, where the two units stand side-by-side with tall, narrow doors. The French-door type sometimes has an ice-cube dispenser on the door of the freezer. So-called “top freezer” refrigerators have a small ice box housed in the top shelf. “Bottom freezers” are more common; in these, the fridge stands on top of the freezer, and each unit has its own door.
It’s important to consider energy efficiency with refrigerators, as with any appliances that runs throughout the day and night — so look for models carrying the Energy Star logo.