5 Tips to Choosing the Right Refrigerator for Your Living Space

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to buying a refrigerator, and if you have not been in the market for one before, you might not know what you should be looking for to find the one that fits your lifestyle and the space you have available.

Avanti Refrigerator with Door Open

Let’s take a closer look at the options available to you, as well as five tips to help ensure that you pick the right fridge for your situation.

Refrigerator Size Options

There are several different refrigerator sizes available for people with all different space considerations. These appliances generally fall into the following categories:

  • Compact Cube:
    These “office-style” refrigerators are small and provide only a little bit of space to store food and drinks. They range in size from about 1.5 to 3 cubic feet, and generally have room for a few cans of soda or water, today’s lunch, and maybe some condiments.
  • Compact Midsize:
    The next size up is a compact mini fridge, sometimes known as a dorm-style mini fridge. These appliances are designed to be very small and inexpensive, but have enough space to store enough groceries for a few days. These refrigerators generally have a very small amount of freezer space, but with between 3 and 5.5 cubic feet of total storage space they are often small enough to fit under a standard height countertop.
  • Combo Microwave/Fridge:
    For people who are looking for convenience and ease in small spaces, the combination microwave and fridge can be a great option. Combo fridges come in a variety of sizes, with fridges that range from 2 to 9 cubic feet of space, and microwaves that include everything from the basics or more advanced options.
  • Apartment Size:
    If you have a little bit more space, the next step up is the apartment-sized fridge, which offers slim style but is similar in height to more standard refrigerators. They generally range from about 7 to 15 cubic feet (about half the size of traditional refrigerators), but offer similar features to their full-size counterparts, such as drawers, dual-cooling air systems, temperature control, adjustable shelving, and more freezer space than compact models.
  • Full Size & Commercial:
    Of course, if you have the space for it, you can also choose from a wide range of full size and/ or commercial refrigerators. If you have a slightly smaller space but want the functionality of a full size fridge, many brands today offer extra narrow models of popular designs (24 to 28 inches instead of the standard 32 to 36 inches). There are a myriad of features, styles, and configurations to choose from, so it’s important to shop around before you decide on which full-size fridge is right for you.

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4 Built-In Appliances to Replace a Trash Compactor

Built-In Appliance

If your kitchen has a trash compactor, but you hardly ever use it, then maybe it’s time you replaced it with a different appliance. Updating this appliance is a one-step way to update your kitchen and transform your space.

Trash compactors are typically just under 15 inches in width, but just to be safe, make sure to measure your model and the opening it sits in before deciding on the new appliance you want to exchange it with.

To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of appliances that are 15 inches wide or slightly under and could easily replace your outdated trash compactor. Start dreaming of the ways you can upgrade your home:

1. Wine Cooler

Have an affinity for wine or looking to class up your space? A wine cooler will definitely upgrade the look of your kitchen. There are many different designs you can choose from, but all of them have sleek, contemporary finishes sure to be a conversation starter amongst visiting family and friends.

Aside from the aesthetics, if you enjoy wine then placing a wine refrigerator in your kitchen will be a fitting and convenient addition. You can easily pair a wine with your dinner, entertain guests or enjoy a glass after a long day at work. The wine will be perfectly chilled to your preferred temperature and waiting for you when you want it.

Like all under counter appliances, you will want to make sure you are purchasing a wine cooler that is specifically designed for built-in purposes. A freestanding unit should not be built into cabinetry because it will overheat and stop working, and in the process, your wine could be ruined.

Some of my favorite 15 inch built-in wine coolers:

1. Koldfront BWR300BL Built-In Wine Cooler

Koldfront BWR300BL Built-In Wine Cooler

This understated wine cooler has all of the best features without any of the fuss.

Features:

  • Single zone wine cooler
  • Holds up to 30 bottles
  • Temperature range of 40-65° F
  • LED display & interior lighting
  • Slide out wire shelves

2. EdgeStar CWR262DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

EdgeStar CWR262DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

Perfect for the wine red and white wine drinker, this dual zone unit has two independently controlled temperature zones. The upper zone is ideal for red wines, while the lower zone is perfect for lighter varietals.

Features:

  • Dual zone wine cooler
  • Holds up to 26 bottles
  • Temperature ranges:
    • Lower zone – 40-54° F
    • Upper zone – 54-64° F
  • Slide out steel-trimmed, wooden shelves

3. Avallon AWC280DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

Avallon AWC280DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

This dual zone wine cooler has all of the bells and whistles that cause wine aficionados to swoon: low-emissivity dual pane glass doors filled with argon, seamless stainless steel trim, and roll-out shelving just to name a few.

Features:

  • Dual zone wine cooler
  • Holds up to 28 bottles
  • Temperature range: 40 – 54°F (both zones)
  • Has a lock for keeping your wine secure
  • Roll out wood shelves with stainless steel trim

2. Beverage Refrigerator

Free up valuable refrigerator space and impress guests with an array of drink varieties by installing a beverage refrigerator in the place of your trash compactor. Sodas and beers can take up quite a bit of shelf space that could instead be used for more groceries or dinner leftovers.

Having a designated fridge for your drinks will also make it easier when entertaining; guests will know exactly where to go for a refill.

My favorite 15 inch built-in beverage fridges:

1. EdgeStar CBR901SG Built-In Beverage Refrigerator

EdgeStar CBR901SG Built-In Beverage Refrigerator

You’ll be able to stock plenty of beer and sodas for your friends and family in this sleek beverage fridge. A digital temperature display ensures your drinks are kept at your exact specifications.

Features:

  • Holds up to 80 cans
  • Temperature range: 38-50°F
  • Has a lock for keeping beverages secure
  • Slide out shelving
  • Blue LED interior lighting

2. Koldfront BBR900BL Built-In Beverage Refrigerator

Koldfront BBR900BL Built-In Beverage Refrigerator

This beverage fridge has all of the features as the EdgeStar fridge but comes in a classic black rather than stainless steel.

Features:

  • Holds up to 80 cans
  • Temperature range: 38-50°F
  • Recessed handle
  • Slide-out wire shelving
  • LED interior lighting

3. Marvel 3BARMBSG Built-In Wine & Beverage Fridge

Marvel 3BARMBSG Built-In Wine & Beverage Fridge

Can’t decide between a beverage or wine fridge? With this wine & beverage fridge, you don’t have to!

Features:

  • Holds up to 60 beverage cans & 4 bottles of wine
  • Temperature range: 40-65°F
  • Slide out maple-trimmed, wire shelves
  • Double pane, tinted, UV-resistant glass door
  • An alarm if the temperature is higher or lower than desired point for an extended time.

3. Refrigerator

Maybe instead of drinks, it’s too much food that’s making it difficult to close your kitchen refrigerator door. An under-counter refrigerator might be the answer to your problems then.

Beverage fridges and regular fridges have a similar temperature range, but beverage fridges might get warmer than you need for storing food. Also, many refrigerators have door storage and adjustable shelves, which most beverage refrigerators don’t have.

Here is my recommended built-in refrigerator:

Marvel 30AR Built-In Refrigerator

Marvel 30AR Built-In Refrigerator

This high-end refrigerator from Marvel features a timeless design sure to look great amongst any kitchen décor.

Features:

  • 3.0 cubic foot capacity
  • 3 adjustable, chrome-plated wire shelves & 3 door shelves
  • Auto-defrost
  • Filler kit allows usage in 18-inch wide opening
  • Leveling legs

4. Ice Maker

If you have a large family, love to entertain, or simply love eating ice, you may have found that your refrigerator just can’t keep up with your needs. If this is the case for you, consider replacing your trash compactor with an undercounter ice maker.

There are quite a few different undercounter ice makers available on the market and most make what is known as clear ice, meaning it contains no impurities; it’s restaurant quality. Other options include gourmet, nugget, and crescent. However, the Scotsman that I’ve included in my list of favorite built-in ice machines makes what is known as nugget ice or, as most people call it, Sonic ice. That’s right; you can get delicious Sonic ice right in your home!

My favorite built-in ice makers:

1. EdgeStar IB450SS Built-In Ice Maker

EdgeStar IB450SS Built-In Ice Maker

This clear ice maker features a sleek stainless steel door that’ll match your existing appliances. An ice scoop, removable bin, and all installation parts arrive with the ice maker.

Features:

  • Makes up to 45 pounds of ice a day
  • Stores up to 25 pounds of ice
  • Removable ice bin
  • Gravity drain line
  • Insulated ice storage

2. Koldfront KIM450BL Built-In Clear Ice Maker

Koldfront KIM450BL Built-In Clear Ice Maker

Over the stainless steel craze? Change it up with this black undercounter ice machine. Able to produce 45 lbs. of restaurant-quality ice per day, you’ll never be without ice again.

Features:

  • Makes up to 45 pounds of ice a day
  • Stores up to 25 pounds of ice
  • Removable ice bin
  • Drain line included
  • Produces clear ice cubes

3. Ice-o-Matic Nugget Ice Machine

Ice-o-Matic Nugget Ice Machine

Love sonic ice? Enjoy the same delicious, chewable ice you know and love in the comfort of your own home. This undercounter nugget ice machine will cause you to wonder what kept you from replacing that old trash compactor sooner.

Features:

  • Makes up to 85 pounds of ice a day
  • Stores up to 22 pounds of ice
  • Produces “Sonic” ice
  • Approved for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Ice scoop included

So, now that you know about the variety of built-in appliances available, it’s time for you to update your kitchen by getting rid of that outdated, unused trash compactor. Fall in love with your kitchen all over again with this one-step transformation.