Six steps to choosing the best refrigerator

By , Contributor

3. Pick your features

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    This Maytag French door model (pictured here in 2006) includes an external ice and water dispenser. Refrigerators include a great deal of add-on features, which are great conveniences but also represent added cost and more potential for breakdowns.
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Some of the basic features common to almost all models of refrigerators include shelves, crisper drawers, and door compartments. If all you’re looking for is a space to keep your food cold and fresh, then this is probably all you need. If you would like something with a little bit more luxury, manufacturers today are offering an increasing variety of new and useful features. These include:

• Icemakers

• Water dispensers

• Adjustable shelving

• Spill-proof shelving

• Soda-can dispensers

• Adjustable controls for crisper drawers

• Moisture controls

• Auto-defrosting functions

• Enclosed condenser coils

Icemakers and water dispensers are great conveniences, but they represent two more things that can break on your fridge. Adjustable and spill-proof shelving are great, too, but often come at an additional cost. Ditto for added controls and auto-defrost. Features are different across brands and models. If you find a fridge you really like but it lacks a feature you were hoping for, keep looking. Somewhere out there is a fridge perfectly suited to your needs. 

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