Befuddled about a fridge

We are shopping for a new refrigerator. 

With a price range of anywhere from $800 to $3000, this is not a small purchase.  In addition, the fridge uses about 20% of typical any household’s energy and we hope to save a few bucks by buying one that is energy-efficient. 

We thought we knew what we wanted – a side-by-side unit.  With a side-by-side fridge, the boys could get in and out of both the fridge and the freezer, at least at the bottom, and we’d be off the hook for having to run to the kitchen every time they wanted a snack or drink. 

But then…

Yesterday, I saw a commercial that Susan Sarandon has out for milk which got me thinking differently about the whole situation.  

  Susan looked so happy getting her gallon of ice cold milk out of the unit that had a fridge on top and the freezer drawer at the bottom.  It was not the french door kind either.  It was like the old fashion units, flipped upside down.

Now I am confused.

Real Simple had a review of shopping for appliances in their March 2008 issue.  Of course, I clipped it. 

Microwave and refrigerator in the kitchen
Source: Monica Buck

They outlined several things: what size you would need for a small family compared with a large one, how shelving arrangement changes functionality, energy efficiency and the care and maintenance of the materials.  (I know that we want an Energy Star rated unit and I am looking only for stainless or faux stainless finishes.) What it did not have was any helpful hints on the pros and cons of the kinds of fridge designs – side-by-side, top freezer, french doors with bottom freezer, single door with bottom freezer.

What do you like about your fridge?  Anything you would suggest we avoid?  Any insight, large or small, is much appreciated.


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