A refrigerator is a common household appliance that consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump (mechanical, electronic, or chemical) that transfers heat from the inside of the fridge to its external environment so that the inside of the fridge is cooled to a temperature below the ambient temperature of the room. Cooling is a popular food storage technique in developed countries. Lower temperatures in a confined volume lowers the reproduction rate of bacteria, so the refrigerator reduces the rate of spoilage.
Buying a new refrigerator is no small feat. They’re big, they’re expensive and you use it every day. They also use a lot of energy; in fact, refrigerators use an average of 12 to 20% of household electricity each year. They’re difficult to repair because of their size, complicated electronics and the special tools that are needed. Also, most people don’t think about replacing their refrigerator until it’s on the fritz and you’re already losing lots of money as food spoils and an inefficient refrigerator eats up your electric bill.
Side-by-Side refrigerator/freezers are the most popular design selling today with lots of makes and models to choose from. They have many advantages that have helped their popularity increase. Side-by-Sides have smaller doors that take up less space when open, allowing them to fit in more shallow areas of your kitchen. Ice and water dispensers are very common features in side-by-sides. And many people are attracted to the idea of having their favorite foods in both the freezer and refrigerator at eye level.
Refrigerator and freezer combinations where the freezer is on top or bottom are generally very energy efficient. Freezer-on-top models are much more common than freezer-on-bottom models, though most major manufacturers do make each type. If you use your refrigerator much more often than your freezer, it would be very convenient to have your freezer on the bottom and all of your refrigerated items at eye level. The opposite is true if you use your freezer much more than your refrigerator. Some freezer-on-bottom units now offer French door styles on the upper refrigerator, with two narrow doors opening in opposing directions instead of one large door.