On Buying a Refrigerator

We recently bought a new refrigerator. Things have changed in the refrigerator industry, I’ll tell you that. For all the gimmicks, most of the modern refrigerator designs are clearly worse.

Freezers ought to be on the bottom. That’s common sense. Heat rises. Therefore, the cold stuff goes below. Yet, new refrigerators have the freezer area on top or on the side.

Side by side is another bad design choice. Ideally, the interior of the refrigerator is just open space that you can configure to meet your needs. But a side by side design puts a big vertical barrier in the middle. This reduces how you can arrange items in there.

The problem is compounded by building in all kinds of specific compartments for specific kinds of food. Here’s the milk area, and here’s the vegetable area, and here’s the fruits, and the butter, etc. You know what, why don’t you let me put my food where I feel like putting my food. It’s all the same freakin’ temperature, what’s the difference?

The biggest gimmick is the ice and water dispensers. If you look inside the refrigerator, it’s shocking how much room the machinery takes up. On some models, 20% of the total space is taken up getting the water and ice to the outside. And what do you get for that? The water never tastes good. The depression is never big enough to fit a normal glass. Oh, but you save a miniscule amount of energy by not opening the door. Whoopee.

Stainless steel is another one. What is the point of stainless steel? It makes your kitchen looks industrial. It gets dirty instantly, and you can’t even clean it with a normal cleaning solution. Why would anyone get stainless steel? They would get it because now everyone has stainless steel, so that’s how you have a “nice” looking kitchen, where “nice” is what all the other people have.

And the price… the cost of any refrigerator above the basic block model is incredible. When my friend told me how much he paid for his, I practically laughed in his face. Then we went shopping, and I ended up spending even more.

5 thoughts on “On Buying a Refrigerator”

  1. There is no argument that the freezer is worst at the top. This is eye-level — prime real estate for the fridge — why waste it on frozen items?

    Freezer at the bottom versus side-by-side is a little more interesting. You have a completely valid point in that the barrier hurts you on the side-by-side — especially if you want to fit in that big pizza box (completely hypothetical, of course…)

    On the other hand, I don’t like the fridges where a drawer-like freezer is at the bottom. I feel like I’m rummaging through my sock drawer trying to find a damn Flavorice.

    Side-by-side at least gives you some prime eye-level space in both freezer and fridge. It also gives you a bigger freezer-to-fridge ratio, which is key if a lot of your dinners consist of frozen nuggets, frozen peas, and ice cream for dessert (again, very hypothetically).

  2. Side-by-side is the worst possible design. I actually like having freezer on top, which is how my current fridge is configured. I eat a lot of frozen food, so I’m rummaging in their most. Unlike my midget brother’s case, for me the top freezer is at eye level.

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