If your refrigerator is performing poorly – it may be on the fritz. Now is a good time to be on lookout for deals as stores will be making way for new models before the end of the year. In this Angie's List report, what to consider when buying a refrigerator.
When large appliances, like the refrigerator, don't operate properly or break down, homeowners often face a difficult decision: do I repair or replace it?
"A good rule of thumb on whether to repair or replace your refrigerator is to consider how old your refrigerator is," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "If it's more than ten years old and it's broken down you might want to consider a new one especially if the cost for repairing it is half the cost of a new refrigerator."
Adam Clinton upgraded his home's eight year old refrigerator during a kitchen remodel.
"With the remodel we had space limitations so with the space limitations we really had to go with a counter depth fridge, but we wanted to maximize the entire amount of space that we could have," says Clinton. "Having two little children it's important that we have that."
"When buying a refrigerator there a lot of different styles and types you can choose from," says Hicks. "First you want to consider what you want in your refrigerator because you could end up paying for lots of bells and whistles that you may never use. An average refrigerator may cost about $400 but you can spend up into the thousands for a refrigerator. Also remember you want to be sure that it matches your current appliances because that is going to help with your resale value."
"Stainless steel is probably the number one seller," says Vernon Schmidt, an operations manager at an appliance store. "They have several stainless finishes now. Some of them show less fingerprints and stuff. True stainless steel is not an easy material to keep clean, especially if you have small children, but it's probably our number one seller."
Your refrigerator is the most used appliance in the kitchen. If it's older and inefficient, chances are it's using a lot of energy.
"There are a lot more things that can go wrong with a new one because of the electronics, but you some a ton of energy with them," says Schmidt. "Along with that you are getting better temperatures in different sections of your unit so your crisper is keeping a more precise temperature. Your refrigerator is overall is keeping more precise temperatures than the older ones. You don't have the big fluctuation so your food stays better longer."
It pays to comparison shop when buying a fridge. Don't be afraid to negotiate on the price, or haggle on additional fees such as delivery, installation or an extended warranty.
You could also find a scratch and dent refrigerator for hundreds less. Most are brand new and come with a full warranty. Some dings are barely noticeable, but make sure the dents won't prevent the appliance from running properly.