If there is one home appliance that most could not live without, it is the refrigerator. This essential machine does much more than most people realize, at least until refrigerator repair, and calling refrigerator repair services becomes necessary. Yet, just like any other appliances, refrigerators have a life expectancy. If the time has come to think about a new one, there are many options available. Refrigerators are an expensive necessity, so when choosing a unit, reduce the need for refrigerator repair services by choosing the one best suited for the home, and the use it will see.

Electric or Gas Powered?

Although they are not commonly used, there are actually refrigerators that use propane gas. These are convenient in areas where there is no electrical service, such as RV's, vacation cabins and similar setups. Most refrigerators sold today are powered by electricity, and are what most consumers are familiar with. In either case, there are units available in various sizes, and with various options.

Refrigerator Size and Setup

After determining whether an electric or gas appliance is required, the next most important question is what size to purchase. In terms of standard upright refrigerators, sizes range from smaller apartment style, top freezer units that are between 8 and 15 cubic feet, and the full-sized refrigerator that is up to 20 cubic feet - with many other features. There are also mid-sized, compact refrigerators that range up to 10 cubic feet, along with various types of compact appliances, including the mini-fridge, with a 2 cubic foot capacity.

Full sized, combination refrigerator freezers are available in a variety of setups, which can be very convenient depending on space available, storage needs and who is using the various compartments, as follows:

  • Freezer on Top - This is the standard setup, with the main cooling compartment on the bottom and a separate freezer on top.
  • Freezer on Bottom - This is the reverse of the standard setup. These units have a pull out drawer-style freezer on the bottom.
  • Side-by-Side - These combination units have a two-thirds/one-third full height door split, with two full height doors that open outward. Side-by-Side units offer the convenience of a full-length freezer, and more freezer space.

Refrigerator Feature Categories

Besides size and setup, refrigerators are also categorized by how they defrost. This is an essential function to prevent food spoilage, and prevent overloading the motor, which is a common cause for damage requiring refrigerator repair. Following are some ways refrigerators defrost:

  • Standard Defrost - This type of refrigerator must be manually turned off and defrosted if frost develops. This is older technology, although some homes may still use these units.
  • Cycle Defrost - A sensor in the refrigerator compartment activates a heater to keep it frost-free as necessary, but the freezer compartment must be manually defrosted if there is frost buildup.
  • Frost-Free - These units are self defrosting, and keep both compartments frost-free by turning on a heater for a few minutes, two to three times a day. This prevents the accumulation of frost. Although these units are the most convenient, they also use the most energy.

There are also many other convenient features available on the latest refrigerator models, such as various water and ice functions, lighting, temperature programming and more. When selecting a refrigerator, also consider the amount of storage space necessary, since overfilled refrigerators and freezers make the unit less efficient. It can even cause problems to develop that require the need for refrigerator repair services. Purchasing a unit that is large enough for the people who use it, and keeping it well maintained and defrosted, reduces the need for refrigerator repair, promising a full service life of use!

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