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Suggestions for Buying a New Fridge

Suggestions for Buying a New Fridge
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  • Suggestions for Buying a New Fridge

    Post #1 - November 12th, 2011, 7:19 am
    Post #1 - November 12th, 2011, 7:19 am Post #1 - November 12th, 2011, 7:19 am
    Looks like we are going to have to buy a new one.

    What fridge do you love? Why do you love it? What fridge do you want to buy next?

    This is for a home.

    We currently have a GE with freezer, that's still to small for us, on the bottom.

    Right now, dare I say it, I do NOT want another GE.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #2 - November 12th, 2011, 9:59 am
    Post #2 - November 12th, 2011, 9:59 am Post #2 - November 12th, 2011, 9:59 am
    Hi Pairs4life -
    I'll be the first to tell you something someone (mike g perhaps?) told me on this board, and I just WISHED I followed it a little more, rather than relying on brand name, and advice from wife 1.0, and the MIL. EXCESSIVELY TEST THE DRAWERS AND MOVABLE PARTS. If the drawers feel flimsy, run away. I have a Kitchenaid french door, and I got it for a pretty good price. It looks nice, it lights up nice, but I tell you what, on this model, they skimped on the drawer construction, and they do not glide in and out with ease. At times, I have to shimmy and twist to get them open, and to close tham, and I swear, there are times when I think about taking a sledgehammer to the thing and being HAPPY to have to buy a new one. I'm SURE other Kitchenaid models are different, but this one...GRRRRRR. When we were finalizing our fridge decision, the wife and the mil concurred that the drawers would most certainly glide better once they were filled and weighted. Not so.

    Water and Ice compartment in the door was an absolute no-no in my eyes. Takes up FAR too much space. I went with ice maker in the bottom, and the water button thingie inside the fridge on the side.

    Side by side was another no-no for me. Unless you go supersized, the sizes were too limiting. I'm a French Door kinda person.

    Another thing to think about: A fridge's job is to keep everything at about 38 degrees. Bells and whistles are bells and whistles, but a 7000 dollar Sub Zero cannot stay at 38 degrees better than a 300 dollar Kenmore. 38 degrees is 38 degrees.

    If I were to do it over again, I might take a harder look at the models that had a few extra sq ft for standard full sized like the Samsung, I think. Sniff around the Sears Outlets if you can. You might find a fridge you want with a dent you'll never see in your kitchen setup with a full warranty for a great price. If nothing else, they usually have a ton for you to look at in person.

    Also, get a stand alone freezer already if you have the room. :P
    Great investment for a home owner, imo. You can things, you know the importance of storage. Love my freezer to death. If I saw a stoopid deal on another one, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. LOVE my freezer.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #3 - November 12th, 2011, 10:02 am
    Post #3 - November 12th, 2011, 10:02 am Post #3 - November 12th, 2011, 10:02 am
    Free standing or built-in? Price range?

    General features I prefer the freezer on the bottom, not side by side, and no ice/water dispenser in the door.
    Coming to you from Leiper's Fork, TN where we prefer forking to spooning.
  • Post #4 - November 12th, 2011, 10:24 am
    Post #4 - November 12th, 2011, 10:24 am Post #4 - November 12th, 2011, 10:24 am
    Rick T. wrote:Free standing or built-in? Price range?

    General features I prefer the freezer on the bottom, not side by side, and no ice/water dispenser in the door.


    Thanks for the insight seebee.

    I'd rather not spend 7k on a fridge, but at this point ours has lasted for just over 10 years before it started coughing & wheezing on us.

    I'd love a stand alone freezer and I think we can find the space for it, but DH will have a fit I suspect, hence my love of canning.

    Free standing.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #5 - November 12th, 2011, 11:27 am
    Post #5 - November 12th, 2011, 11:27 am Post #5 - November 12th, 2011, 11:27 am
    Hi,

    In my kitchen, I have an all-refrigerator and all-freezer. If I had my druthers: all-refrigerator, half freezer with ice maker (I like ice) and a full freezer in another room or basement.

    JoelF bought a full size all-refrigerator made by Frigidaire paired with an all-freezer.

    Plass Appliances has their outlet store on Army Trail Road in the western suburbs. My stovetop and dishwasher came from there. ABT was the freezer. Craigslist was the oven and refrigerator.

    I had a Sub Zero for almost 30 years. When I priced the replacement, someone had a cow. I eventually found a Northland all-refrigerator found via Craigslist. I am very happy with it, but not so much if I had paid full price around $4-5K.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - November 12th, 2011, 11:57 am
    Post #6 - November 12th, 2011, 11:57 am Post #6 - November 12th, 2011, 11:57 am
    Plass Outlet is definitely worth a look. It was in our hunting rotation while we were searching. We made it a point to stop in at least once every two weeks. Next time I buy a fridge, it might very well be one of those big, stately, bad boys. Need one where I can keep my 5 different chili garlic sauces, 4 different giardinieras, etc., and it doesn't look like a crowded mess. I think I have a standard 27 / 28 cu ft one, and it only gets crowded when I really need to clean it out, but those times when you want extra space, it's nice to have (parties, prepping for canning, having houseguests.)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #7 - November 12th, 2011, 8:16 pm
    Post #7 - November 12th, 2011, 8:16 pm Post #7 - November 12th, 2011, 8:16 pm
    We bought a new refrigerator recently-- a Frigidaire (actually two!). When we were at ABT scoping out refrigerators, we were looking at French door models with the freezer on the bottom. My husband suggested that for the price of a large-ish (21 or 22 sq. ft.) fridge, we could get TWO smaller (18 sq ft) basic models and keep one in the basement. This worked out brilliantly for us-- the smaller fridge makes our kitchen look larger, and the basement fridge serves as superb overflow space for extra milk, bread dough, forcing tulip bulbs, CSA produce, etc. I find I waste much less food because the upstairs fridge is much less crowded and I can find everything. Also, given the improvements in efficiency, the two smaller fridges run on about the same amount of power as our old fridge.

    Jen
  • Post #8 - November 12th, 2011, 11:54 pm
    Post #8 - November 12th, 2011, 11:54 pm Post #8 - November 12th, 2011, 11:54 pm
    seebee wrote:Water and Ice compartment in the door was an absolute no-no in my eyes. Takes up FAR too much space. I went with ice maker in the bottom, and the water button thingie inside the fridge on the side..


    My current Whirlpool side by side was a $7,000 refrigerator. It came with the house ten years ago. Three years back, the ice maker selenoid went out spilling several hundred gallons of water all through the house. That meant replacing drywall, carpeting, and a lot of other things. I never wanted the water dispenser and I wish we replaced the entire unit back then. Fortunately, my homeowners covered a lot of the damage.

    Several things you need to know about refrigerators. First there are only a few manufacturers that make them. Whirlpool sells under the Roper, Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, and Kenmore brand among others. GE also has several brands.

    Even though there are a number of brands, if you pull the entire unit apart, you will find a lot of similarities in the components, even between OEM manufacturers.

    Appliances don't last like they used to. Appliance makers squeeze their suppliers for lower and lower costs. It generally pays to keep the old ones as the new ones will not last that long.

    ONE MORE THING. The best appliance advice that I get comes from appliance repairmen. They are more than happy to tell you which models are greatones and which ones are a PITA. They can also give you a really good idea as to how much the typical repairs are AND the AVAILABILITY of parts.
  • Post #9 - November 13th, 2011, 7:58 am
    Post #9 - November 13th, 2011, 7:58 am Post #9 - November 13th, 2011, 7:58 am
    Hi Jlawrence et al,
    We may be in the fridge buying boat, as our GE stainless side-by-side has recently ceased cooling effectively. But repairing an old one is preferable to buying a new one, exactly for the reasons you mention. Do you recommend any appliance repair people? Thanks.
  • Post #10 - November 13th, 2011, 8:09 am
    Post #10 - November 13th, 2011, 8:09 am Post #10 - November 13th, 2011, 8:09 am
    annak wrote:Hi Jlawrence et al,
    We may be in the fridge buying boat, as our GE stainless side-by-side has recently ceased cooling effectively. But repairing an old one is preferable to buying a new one, exactly for the reasons you mention. Do you recommend any appliance repair people? Thanks.


    I live way out in McHenry Co. so I have no recommendations in Chicago. If you live out here, I know of a couple.

    I do NOT use Sears as we have had a lot of problems with them in the past. We generally use independent shops or small appliance dealers.

    There is a new service out there - ANGIE'S LIST - that does a pretty good job of identifying good contractors.

    Cooling issues usually involve the compressor. Maybe it needs to be cleaned or the motor is going bad. In my experience in commercial kitchens, that is generally what it is. There are just not a lot of things to go wrong on these beasts.

    Good luck.
  • Post #11 - November 13th, 2011, 9:14 am
    Post #11 - November 13th, 2011, 9:14 am Post #11 - November 13th, 2011, 9:14 am
    Good questions. I will probably be in the market for a fridge in upcoming years. My fridge is at least 25 years old and came with the house but there is nothing really wrong with it. I also have an extra fridge in the garage that is ancient as well as an ancient upright freezer.

    One thing I would say is do not get the on the door icemaker dispenser. I had that at my former home and eventually the mechanism deteriorates. Its hard to clean as it gets mineral build up. I have an icemaker in the freezer and I like it much better.

    I like Youngs appliances in glen ellyn. they are a small store but they provide great service. they have done a lot regarding special installation issues and have come out quickly when my oven door got jammed or when my dishwasher started filling with water and not draining.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #12 - November 13th, 2011, 1:04 pm
    Post #12 - November 13th, 2011, 1:04 pm Post #12 - November 13th, 2011, 1:04 pm
    A good friend, who has nothing but the finest appliances--Dacor cooktop + dual oven, Paykel-Fisher washer & dryer, Bosch dishwasher--selected a Kenmore Ellite French door (but w/o outside ice delivery) fridge + freezer which I flat-out love. And so do they, after five years.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #13 - November 13th, 2011, 1:57 pm
    Post #13 - November 13th, 2011, 1:57 pm Post #13 - November 13th, 2011, 1:57 pm
    Thanks everyone. Of course, we suspect a lack of cooling again so repair folks scheduled for tomorrow.

    I think I need a lead for readily accessible dry ice in the city :roll: .

    We are just drawing a line at having to buy new when we've only had this for 10.5 years.

    My parents had the avocado green fridge for far closer to 20 years before they replaced it and I think they replaced it, still looking for an avocado green one, only because my sister and I had a fit.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #14 - November 13th, 2011, 2:06 pm
    Post #14 - November 13th, 2011, 2:06 pm Post #14 - November 13th, 2011, 2:06 pm
    pairs4life wrote:Thanks everyone. Of course, we suspect a lack of cooling again so repair folks scheduled for tomorrow.

    I think I need a lead for readily accessible dry ice in the city :roll: .

    We are just drawing a line at having to buy new when we've only had this for 10.5 years.

    My parents had the avocado green fridge for far closer to 20 years before they replaced it and I think they replaced it, still looking for an avocado green one, only because my sister and I had a fit.


    jefferson ice/home city ice, 2248 N Natchez, for your dry ice needs. $15/10lbs or so, always available. They also have a 24 hour vending machine with bags of ice (22lb/$3) and 10lb blocks of ice ($1), which might also help.. those blocks of ice last forever.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #15 - November 13th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Post #15 - November 13th, 2011, 2:15 pm Post #15 - November 13th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    gleam wrote:jefferson ice/home city ice, 2248 N Natchez, for your dry ice needs. $15/10lbs or so, always available. They also have a 24 hour vending machine with bags of ice (22lb/$3) and 10lb blocks of ice ($1), which might also help.. those blocks of ice last forever.



    Thanks Ed. At some point we will cave, but then the frakking which one do we buy :evil: dilemma kicks in.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #16 - November 13th, 2011, 2:33 pm
    Post #16 - November 13th, 2011, 2:33 pm Post #16 - November 13th, 2011, 2:33 pm
    My freezer is at least 30 years old and the fridge in the garage is probably even older. It seems like they do not make appliances like they used to. That is why I loathe to get a new fridge.

    I have not heard anyone mention color other than we know avocado green is out of the question thankfully. Many of us grew up with these.

    The colors I see them showing now are:
    white of course, stainless steel or stainless look, bisque, and black.
    I love the look of stainless but I think it would overwhelm my small kitchen. I currently have bisque/almond appliances and I know they are probably out but they seem to blend well with my woodsy looking small kitchen. White would be too stark. I kind of like the idea of a black refrigeratior and maybe black or a combo of black stainless look. I do prefer the applicances all be uniform or provide a uniform appearance. Any of the colors but white would blend with my santa cecelia granite and would look good.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #17 - November 13th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    Post #17 - November 13th, 2011, 4:01 pm Post #17 - November 13th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    I have a KitchenAid, side by side that I HATE. No room, everything gets lost. My Sub Zero went out in the middle of a new kitchen remodel. I didn't want to spend the money on another Sub Zero but I wish I had. It was 17 years old and had only one repair on either compressor. I let my husband buy the new refrigerator...big mistake. Now, I keep wishing it would just die. I have a Hotpoint refrigerator and a freezer in the basement so that saves me from from just killing it myself. The Hotpoint is more than 50 years old. We bought it 30 years ago, used. It has a small freezer inside the refrigerator that I never use. The Hotpoint keeps vegetables fresher than the KitchenAid but not as fresh as the Sub Zero.
  • Post #18 - November 13th, 2011, 6:47 pm
    Post #18 - November 13th, 2011, 6:47 pm Post #18 - November 13th, 2011, 6:47 pm
    Toria,

    I went with GE Profile fridge and range in *black* when we set up shoppe in Montréal six yrs ago. I'm still really pleased with that color choice: painless to care for, looks smaller than it is. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #19 - November 13th, 2011, 7:25 pm
    Post #19 - November 13th, 2011, 7:25 pm Post #19 - November 13th, 2011, 7:25 pm
    Yes I do like the idea of a black fridge as I am afraid stainless could scratch or show finger prints. Also like the idea that black and stainless can blend.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #20 - November 13th, 2011, 7:36 pm
    Post #20 - November 13th, 2011, 7:36 pm Post #20 - November 13th, 2011, 7:36 pm
    seebee wrote:Sniff around the Sears Outlets if you can. You might find a fridge you want with a dent you'll never see in your kitchen setup with a full warranty for a great price. If nothing else, they usually have a ton for you to look at in person.


    We went the Sears Outlet route and got a DOA unit and we lost $400* worth of food and frozen items! The unit we purchased had been returned
    BECAUSE IT DID NOT WORK We had to live out of coolers in our new home for two weeks until we got a second unit from the outlet. This one died
    in three months and was returned for a full refund and we purchased a different 'fridge from ABT.

    If you are going to buy from the Sears Outlet be sure to plug the unit in and see that it actually works before you get it delivered!


    *Sears refunded us the cost of the food from the first failure but not the second.
  • Post #21 - November 13th, 2011, 7:39 pm
    Post #21 - November 13th, 2011, 7:39 pm Post #21 - November 13th, 2011, 7:39 pm
    Geo wrote:Toria,

    I went with GE Profile fridge and range in *black* when we set up shoppe in Montréal six yrs ago. I'm still really pleased with that color choice: painless to care for, looks smaller than it is. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Geo


    Geo,
    Read this thread v.v. carefully, b/c we have a 10.5 yr old GE Proflie that's black. :twisted:
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #22 - November 13th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    Post #22 - November 13th, 2011, 8:01 pm Post #22 - November 13th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    Gotcha Pairs4--

    But my freezer's on top-- maybe that's important??

    Probably the color isn't important. :wink:

    I've also got a GE Profile range in KC that, after ten yrs, I'm still quite satisfied with.

    I'm beginning to suspect that today's fridges are built to last ten yrs, and no more.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #23 - November 13th, 2011, 8:22 pm
    Post #23 - November 13th, 2011, 8:22 pm Post #23 - November 13th, 2011, 8:22 pm
    Geo wrote:Gotcha Pairs4--

    But my freezer's on top-- maybe that's important??

    Probably the color isn't important. :wink:

    I've also got a GE Profile range in KC that, after ten yrs, I'm still quite satisfied with.

    I'm beginning to suspect that today's fridges are built to last ten yrs, and no more.

    Geo


    Our washer died 3 years ago. Our dishwasher had been recalled, and of course we didn't know it, and there was a fire in it 4 years ago. Our oven didn't work earlier this year but has been repaired. All GE profile products.

    I agree it's just that you want to be ready for all of them to go about the same time and know what you want to replace it with and get over the sticker shock of the Sub-Zeros & Northlands when your life partner insists we don't have enough room with a laugh because for those who have been to my home, we have enough room in the frakkin' kitchen, let alone the rest of the place.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #24 - November 13th, 2011, 10:36 pm
    Post #24 - November 13th, 2011, 10:36 pm Post #24 - November 13th, 2011, 10:36 pm
    We have a Kitchen Aid with the side by side fridge, freezer on the bottom. No water/ice in the door. We have the water on a little button on the inside of the fridge, which doesn't lose any space in the fridge, and the ice in the bottom part of the freezer. It's huge, and we love it a lot!! It has a separate, divided drawer for deli/cheese. Two veg drawers. We've had it for about 5 years, and no problems ever! It's been great! And it's stainless, which as noted before? Shows every little tiny fingerprint! Smudges everywhere. It looks great right after you clean it. After that, ugh
    SAVING ONE DOG MAY NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT IT CHANGES THE WORLD FOR THAT ONE DOG.
  • Post #25 - November 14th, 2011, 3:56 am
    Post #25 - November 14th, 2011, 3:56 am Post #25 - November 14th, 2011, 3:56 am
    My next (insert appliance name here) will be Paykel-Fisher. Innovative concepts, simple, rock-solid engineering, great machines. Rock County Appliance, 34 Main St. in Janesville has a PF washer cut in half to show the guts: built like a tank.

    BTW, this is the best appliance store I've ever dealt with: old-fashioned, honest people.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #26 - November 14th, 2011, 2:35 pm
    Post #26 - November 14th, 2011, 2:35 pm Post #26 - November 14th, 2011, 2:35 pm
    I am a fan of side-by-side units. You can see everything and it's all easy to get to. Mine is an Amana and it's just fine.
  • Post #27 - November 14th, 2011, 3:13 pm
    Post #27 - November 14th, 2011, 3:13 pm Post #27 - November 14th, 2011, 3:13 pm
    I have a stainless Kitchen Aide freezer on top. I would love a freezer on bottom model but HATE the drawer concept. Why don' they make them with shelves like the freezer on top models? The heaviest items always land on top of the desired item and you have to dig to get at what you want. But since we are tall it seems we are bending down getting stuff out of the fridge-a lot. And the 2 door side by side variety does not have enough room for party trays-ergo the 3 door system which for me-the more movable parts the more to break down in in the long run.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #28 - November 14th, 2011, 3:31 pm
    Post #28 - November 14th, 2011, 3:31 pm Post #28 - November 14th, 2011, 3:31 pm
    Not a lot of experience as most of my fridges came with the places I lived in.
    We did buy our current one and so far are quite happy with it. It's a black Amana, freezer on bottom. Drawer style. No water/ice dispensing.
    It's absolutely basic in terms of styling. A black box. We saw lots of very sexy body styles, but in the end price and cubic space dictated the Amana.
    We went to ABT and felt well done by there. They looked at display's, closeouts, returns (cosmetic, not functional problems) to help us get the best deal. They have also (on other items) happily matched other retailers' prices when I've found lower ones.
    Their delivery people were very good: on time, neat, friendly.

    The Amana is only about 2.5 yrs. old, but no problems at all so far. I guess how you feel about the freezer-as-drawer depends on how you use it. So far, it doesn't bother me.
    I do find that the fridge drawers can go off track, but they're not breaking and not difficult get back on track.
    Not a lot to say otherwise. It does what I need it to do, and hasn't caused any headaches.
    I think the price was very good, but can't recall it at present. I think the capacity is about 21 cf.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #29 - March 19th, 2012, 8:59 pm
    Post #29 - March 19th, 2012, 8:59 pm Post #29 - March 19th, 2012, 8:59 pm
    To revive a long dormant post....I went to Youngs appliances in Glen Ellyn and bought a new washing machine because mine started smoking. I bought it in l989. This must be the week my appliances are going on the blink. First the beeping on my GE profile stove and thankfully that stopped.

    When at Youngs, I looked at refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers. I asked the sales man what the average life was for a stove or refrig...seems like for any appliace I asked about he said ten to twelve years. I thought wow that is really a short lifespan. I recall we had our appliances growing up for decades. I have a freezer in the garage that I bought around l980 or so. The fridge I have in my garage is from my mom and was in her house when I moved out at age 21 and I am 60 now......my how things have changed with appliances. Never any repairs. Knock on wood. talk about planned obsolesence.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #30 - March 20th, 2012, 7:25 am
    Post #30 - March 20th, 2012, 7:25 am Post #30 - March 20th, 2012, 7:25 am
    I believe we feel this planned obsolescence more in the devices that have been in our lives for longer time. It applies to cell phones and laptops and all newer devices.

    We just love to consume :(

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