Talk fridgey to me, baby!

by DaniGirl on September 20, 2010 · 22 comments

in Consumer culture

In the ongoing evolution of the Great Moving Project of 2010, we have moved beyond the rush of finding, the excitement of buying, the panic of preparing and the pain of selling. While we endure the seemingly endless wait until the waiver of conditions, anticipated for late this week or early next, we now turn our attention to the thrill of acquiring new stuff to cram into the new house!

The new house comes equipped with a stove that seems fairly similar to our current one and a dishwasher. I was going to bring our well-loved high-efficiency washer and dryer with us, and buy a new fridge, but the people who are buying our place are coming from a rental and wanted all five appliances. Long story short, we now find ourselves in the market for a washer, a dryer and a fridge.

The washer and dryer are a no-brainer for me. I’m quite happy to simply reacquire the latest version of the LG front-loading washer and dryer I currently have. In fact, at one of the local appliance shops right now they have a sale on that makes them about $200 cheaper than what I paid for a set with a few less features back in 2008.

The fridge thing is another issue. Actually, it’s several issues. First, the spot for the fridge in the new house is on the small side, and the height clearance is only 66 inches. We took a good look at the cupboards over the fridge, though, and decided it would make more sense in the long run to simply have someone remove those cupboards for us so we can get a decent-sized fridge. With three teenage boys on the horizon, we’re gonna need maximum fridge capacity! I’m not sure what our current fridge is, but I think it’s either 17 or 19 cubic feet.

Who knew there were so many fridge features to consider! Freezer top-mount or bottom-mount or along the side; pull-out shelves in the fridge on some of the higher-end models; french versus full doors… there’s a lot of options! I already know I don’t want stainless steel and I don’t want a water dispenser, so that narrows things down a little bit.

I’ve already decided I want a bottom-mount freezer, and I am toying with the idea of that “french door” style, like this one. I was all ready to go with an LG, but I was peeking at a couple of the GE Profile models in the showroom, and they seemed to have a bit more solid feel to them, and an extra pull-out basket in the freezer that I liked.

So here’s where we play “ask the bloggy peeps” again. What do you love and hate about your current fridge? What features do you covet, or find useless? I’m especially curious to know if any of you have the “french door” model and find that the doors don’t close well — maybe because they’re lighter than a traditional fridge door, but they don’t seem to seal themselves as well and I’m worried the boys won’t remember to push them closed all the way. And pull-out shelves in the fridge compartment — worth getting?

I’m also wondering if it’s worth the effort to pull out the small bit of wall that marks the edge of the fridge’s space in the kitchen to give us the extra inch we’ll need to move from a 19 cubic foot to a 22 cubic foot fridge. It may mean the side of the fridge impedes into the doorway into the kitchen by half an inch or so, but may well be worth it for the extra space. Thoughts?

Brands, features, loves, hates or cautionary tales? C’mon bloggy peeps, talk fridgey to me!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sally September 20, 2010 at 7:58 am

We have a French door, side-by-side style fridge and freezer. The freezer is on the left and the fridge is on the right. We’ve never had any trouble with the doors or the seals. I’m rather short and my husband is very tall, so we both appreciate not having a freezer on the bottom or at the top.

We love that freezer set-up because it gives us so much space. Having multiple shelves just like in a fridge makes it much easier to find stuff. I’ve become a pro at stacking things on the shelves so that they will freeze flat and not slide out onto my feet. There’s a basket at the bottom, which is useful for giant bags of frozen chicken breasts. And we couldn’t live without our ice maker, but then we live in the desert. πŸ™‚

As for the fridge, the most useful feature is one split shelf at about mid-height. It can be pulled out to be a full-sized shelf or the front half of it can slide under the back half. This makes it a half-depth shelf so that I can put really tall things on the shelf beneath it. Sometimes you just have more pitchers and tall bottles than will fit on the top shelf of a fridge. I also really like having bins in the doors that can be adjusted for height. If I have lots of gallons of milk, I can makes space for them in the door, and there’s plenty of space for condiments.

As for the fridge size, I have no idea. It seems like bigger is always better, but it seems like the arrangement of the room would make a big difference. Good luck!

All the shelves in the fridge are the pull-out shelves you asked about. I find them pointless and annoying. I never pull them forward on purpose because my arms are long enough to reach stuff in the back. And sometimes they get pulled forward accidentally and then stuff falls off the back of the shelves. You might like them if you get the really big fridge, however.

2 Laura September 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

I have a freezer on the bottom and it’s fine. My Mom and friend have the french door style and they love it because it’s great for busy kitchens and smaller spaces. I wish I had them, then we wouldn’t block off a doorway every time someone opens the fridge. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, it might make a big difference to the “flow” of things. Exciting decorating a new space isn’t it? Good luck. πŸ™‚

3 Angela September 20, 2010 at 8:33 am

All I can say is that freezer on bottoms are awesome.

Unless you have a toddler.

We have a toddler. And no more freezes;)

4 Judy September 20, 2010 at 8:54 am

Our fridge space was small too… we spent a bit more to get a bottom freezer 19 cu ft Whirlpool without removing our top cupboards and it fits!!! It is taller in the front than back and was worth it. Fridge shopping nearly killed me. Email me if you want more details.

5 kev September 20, 2010 at 9:26 am

After a bunch of fridges that were freezer on top and french-door styles, I’m super happy with the layout of the fridge we have with the freezer on the bottom. The drawer makes getting in and out of the freezer easy, and there is ample room for ice (like, I could make 50 margaritas or so with what’s in there, and there’s more than enough room for all the other food). I’m a fan of the layout, but our Maytag (which came with the house) has given us a few problems in high humidity.

I can’t stand the double door fridges. At all. Too narrow a space for larger items, and as Sally says, you need to be a master stacker (and unstacker) to load and unload it. Too much effort for lazy folks like me, and I find you tend to have 50% or so of the space taken up by crap that never moves (and don’t get me started on in-door water and ice πŸ˜‰ ).

Like any major appliance, I’d recommend you have a look at the brand’s history online. Modern fridges are a lot more complicated than they used to be, and repairs are expensive. Look for problematic models that have lots of complaints about controller board repairs, or controls that freeze in high humidity, as those repairs are generally in the $300-500 range. A lot of the fridges are white label (one manufacturer, several brands – hello, Maytag/Whirlpool/Kenmore), and the familiarity between brands can go deeper than appearances (and that’s a plus and a minus, as some of the store brands are considerably cheaper for the same thing).

Make sure your warranty is in-house parts & labour for at least two years, and especially that the company who handles the service does callouts at all hours (ideally they do their own service, but that’s a little more rare these days). A lot of places will sell you extended warranties, but they’re of little value when it’s a huge contractor who tells you you have to wait 5 days for service, and a few hundred in foodstuffs goes into the wastebin.

6 bea September 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

We had an LG in our old house and really liked it. The Frigidaire I have now is not as good – the door doesn’t seal properly unless you give it an extra push, and the door shelves occasionally fall out without warning. I know that everyone raves about bottom freezers, but I always cheap out on appliances, so I’ve only ever had the good old-fashioned top-freezer kind. I like the fact that my kids are old enough now to help themselves to milk or juice from the fridge with no difficulty reaching the shelves. For smaller-child households, I think top-freezer is functional.

7 Valerie September 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

We have the french doors, but had no choice because a single door would have hit the island. The doors are heavy and won’t swing closed – you have to push them. It does have a warning beeper for when you leave them open, though. The half shelf that Sally mentioned simply annoyed me ’til I removed it fully. Be warned that once you find one you like, it will likely take a month to come in. Our choice in the end was defined by needing it immediately.

The bottom freezer – if I could do it over I would go for a single deep basket rather than two shallower ones. You have to be careful not to overfill the bottom one or it won’t fit under the top one – a PITA. We tried just removing the top one, but then the sides of the bottom one aren’t high enough to hold things in. :p

Personally, I love the icemaker (in the freezer, not the fridge door) but I love cold water when I head out biking or running or even for a drive, and I drink more water at home than I ever did because of it as well.

8 2Hirondelles September 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

We have GE Profile 22.2 cu ft freezer on the bottom, pull-out drawer style. We would not buy the same one again unless certain issues had been addressed. Model PDS22MBPABB

While we love the freezer on the bottom configuration, our model’s version of it leaves a lot to be desired. The pull-out is fine, but the deep basket is easily unseated from the rail on which it sits and we find it fidgety to get it back into place so that it will close. If you try to close it with the basket improperly seated, it catches on the plastic covering the rail, and will break that covering. While this doesn’t affect function, in my mind, it is a design flaw.

Also, in humid weather (read all summer long) a lot of ice and frost build up in the area of the ice cube tray, even when the fridge is not being opened. For some reason, clearly, the seal has never fit well in that area.

There is also a hole in the back of the fridge section that ventilates cold air. In very warm weather, when the compressor works more often, things placed close to that hole can freeze!

Other than these few things, we love this fridge, and the bottom-freezer configuration. Much easier to find things, nothing gets ‘lost’. The shelves are very flexible and the door stands up to a fair amount of overloading by my spouse.

9 Lana September 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

We have the bottom freezer LG… no french doors. Love it. Lots of rooms, customizable door shelving, quiet. Nice. Toddler hasn’t discovered the ice cream in the freezer. I imagine once he does, we’ll be looking for a chest freezer for the basement. : )

10 freemommiestuff September 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm Talk fridgey to me, baby!: In the ongoing evolution of the Great Moving P…

11 Roz September 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

i LOVE LOVE LOVE my bottom freezer. I can’t see us ever going back to the top-mount freezer. Makes so much more sense to have everyday items like milk, eggs, butter right there without having to squat down to find them. LOVE.

Also, just curious why you’ve decided against stainless steel? is it to match the other appliances in the kitchen?

12 Mrsgryphon September 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

We have an LG bottom freezer and haven’t had any issues with it all. I love the space and the flexible shelving in the fridge part. Personally, I wish we had a fridge without a freezer compartment at all, simply because we cook from fresh most often and the freezer stuff is only used once in a while. My plan for our next house involves having a small chest freezer out of the way in the pantry and a full-size fridge in the kitchen πŸ™‚

13 Amber September 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

We have a bottom mount freezer. Here’s the scoop:

– no bending down required
– the fridge door is out of toddler reach

– the kids can’t reach many things themselves until they’re quite a bit older, because they’re up too high
– the kids CAN reach the freezer door easily, so they like to go rummaging through the freezer

14 Gerry September 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

My children were not allowed to open the fridge, if they wanted something they had to ask for it. So that was not a problem.

I really love my bottom mount for all the reasons above. It seems crazy that you have to bend down to find things in the old style fridges when you hardly ever go into the freezer. I think mine is a Kenmore. The only thing you have to be aware of is that they make loud popping noises which is hard to get used to.
I don’t know if you have thought about this, but if you have room you could get a fridge that is ALL fridge, no freezer. Then get an upright deep freeze that hopefully would fit in the kitchen. I would definitely do that if I had the room. Also a drink fridge is really handy.

Good luck with the search.

15 coffee with julie September 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Sorry … I can’t help ya! The fridge we currently have has no bells and whistles to speak of (although it does leak at the bottom if that counts). We acquired it from our friends’ divorce. The one before that was that gold colour from the 70s that we acquired from my parents.

16 Lara September 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm

We bought our new fridge when we moved into this house this past January. I love it and it looks pretty much like the LG fridge you linked to. It’s the biggest size it comes in so it’s huge and kind of a bit too big for our kitchen. But with 3 kids I wanted big. And as for the doors, I leave them open sometimes, but the fridge beeps at me and tells me to come back and close them. And a drawer on the bottom. LOVE!!!

Have fun shopping! We had a good experience at Sears at Carlingwood dealing with Greg if you’re looking for a recommendation. πŸ™‚

17 Anonymous September 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I couldn’t live without my spill-proof shelves. In the three years since we’ve had our fridge, there have been at least five incidents of spillage, including one of yucky raw meat juices. All were confined to one shelf only thanks to that feature, ie. no dripping down into the veggie drawer or on top of other fresh foods. Whew! I also love the multiple door shelf adjustments, which help us store the all-important wine and juice bottles.

18 Jen September 21, 2010 at 12:07 am

I have never bought a fridge, but I definitely want one with a bottom freezer next time. And I really dislike our French door fridge. The fridge part is too narrow to hold lots of things, like pizza boxes or large serving dishes. It drives me crazy! I would never buy one again. On the other hand, we LOVE our water/ice dispenser…I had never had one before, but it would be a must now. We drink so much more water now, and it’s easy to let the kids get their own drinks even at a young age.

19 Krista G September 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

We have a freezer on the bottom, french doors fridge. I LOOOOOOVE it. WE modified our cupboards to make it fit, knowing that we would need the extra space in a few years. We had a side by side before (it came with the house) and I could not stand it.

If you are worried about space, have you thought about getting just a fridge for the kitchen? and having a basement freezer?

The thing I can live without that takes up a lot of room in some fridges? the water dispensor. It’s hard to find a fridge without, but there are a couple of models. We got our fridge at Future Shop, I was happy with their service.

20 marianne September 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

We have bought 2 GE bottom-freezer fridges now (sold the first with our previous house) and have been quite happy with them both. We currently have a 19.5 cubic foot fridge and I definitely wouldn’t go any smaller. We have a little room still to grow into it (so far we’re just 2 adults and a toddler, with #2 on the way) because we’re using one of the vegetable crispers as a beer abd wine cooler drawer. As our family grows, the beer will come out of the fridge, since we rarely drink it anyway. I also prefer the pull-out freezer door on this one to the side-opening one on our first ( though we had to go with the side-opening one the first time due to the configuration of our kitchen). We’ve never had a problem with ice build-up or funny noises. It works beautifully. We also passed on the ice maker in the freezer — it has a nice shelf for the ice cube trays and a drawer to empty the trays into. We also found it actually came with one shelf more than we needed and at least one more of the basket/shelves for the door than we needed — which is good for customizing how you want teh fridge set up.

When we looked for our first fridge we were interested in teh side-by side freezer model, but the feedback was that you’re never able to put bigger or wider things into your fridge or your freezer because neither side is wide enough — that makes problems at holiday times or when entertaining. the french door style fridge has the same kind of look, but depending how the shelves arrange you can still get wider items (such as a roasting pan, or one of the wide Pizza Pizza boxes!) into the fridge, you just have to open both doors to do it.

21 Tania September 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I desperately want a french door fridge because right now when we open our single door fridge, the person sitting at the breakfast bar on the island has to move out of the way since there isn’t enough ‘swing-out’ room. I don’t know if this matters in your case, but I thought I’d vent about it.

22 sue September 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

I have a Fisher & Paykel bottom freezer fridge, 3 years old, & I love it. It is a very simple box inside, with full width shelves that fit into slots on the sides. So, the heights are adjustable. The veg bins slide out on a drawer, & the three trays/drawers of the freezer all slide out as well.

On the outside, it’s a smaller fridge, but inside it’s big & all accessible. We bought it to suit the small dimensions of our kitchen but found it our best fridge ever. The brand is sold at Corbeil & at the Bay.

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