Buying a refrigerator

If your refrigerator is performing poorly – it may be on the fritz.

Now is a good time to be on the lookout for deals, since stores will be making way for new models before the end of the year.

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,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “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,” Clinton said.

“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,” Hicks said. “An average refrigerator may cost about $400, but you can spend up into the thousands for a refrigerator.”

“Stainless steel is probably the number one seller,” Appliance Store Operations Manager Vernon Schmidt said. “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 save a ton of energy with them,” Schmidt said. “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 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.