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Why we bought an Amana Refrigerator – and how we feel about it now.

Since we bought our house, we have had to make several major appliance purchases. We have to admit, it feels rather grown up – we have always rented places already furnished with these appliances. :-) Below details our decision-making process for buying a new refrigerator, and a review “three months after” of our purchase.

When thinking about our refrigerator, we had several criteria.

  1. Efficient. We want it to use the minimum energy possible.
  2. Functional design that mimics physics. Cold flows down – we decided that it makes most sense to have our freezer at the bottom of the fridge, instead of a design where the refrigerator works much harder to pump cold air up.
  3. Was reliable, didn’t have a lot of bells and whistles that could easily break down, and had good reviews in Consumer Reports.
  4. Fit our kitchen (size-wise), our price range, and our general aesthetic. In a previous post, Jeff Hawks told us to “shoot for mid-level” in our choices about how we remodel.
  5. Purchased at an independent store, if possible, that would deliver, and who we could go back to if we had problems. Why Buy Local? Buying local means more money stays in our communities – always a good thing, in our book.

So, we looked for a refrigerator that had a great Energy Star rating (Efficient), that had a freezer on the bottom, and that was white (ie, standard mid-level – no fancy stainless steel for us!)

What did we buy? (Drumroll, please…)

We chose the 18.5 cu yard Amana refrigerator. Amana is a lower-tier line by Whirlpool. It has a fairly open, simple design, two spacious chill-drawers for fruits and vegetables, a meat drawer, and a bottom freezer drawer. The choice was between this and another Amana Refrigerator that had French Doors, which seems great because you only have to open one side of the fridge at a time, saving on energy efficiency, and there seemed to be slightly more storage. Although I really liked that one, we decided it wasn’t worth the extra money. We spent that money on a better stove – a great choice, in retrospect. We purchased our new fridge from Tee-Vax, a local, independent appliance store, where we also ended up buying our washer-machine. They gave us great service, and really guided our decision-making by asking terrific questions.

What do we notice, three months later?

This refrigerator is still spacious, easy to clean, bright and usable. The only downsides – I find myself wishing I had a little egg cart for it, and some of the plastic doors and shelves don’t seem as strong as other refrigerators I have used; I hope they last. Most significanly, the freezer drawer is actually a grate – which means all of the cold air floods out of the drawer when we open it, and the freezer must regenerate when it is closed. These subtle differences are all things that have to do with price point – we have learned that appliance manufacturers, as a rule, really know how to differentiate their price-points. So, not as efficient as we had hoped, but overall we are satisfied with our purchase.

Energy Rebates

None for this one, although we did get the $35 for returning the avocado dinosaur of a refrigerator left from when we purchased the house.

Food Storage Systems

We decided to get a smaller refrigerator (as opposed to the 21.5 or 25 cubic yard fridge) because we would like to get a full chest freezer eventually. This is a very efficient way to go. There are even plans to convert a chest freezer into a refrigerator – one of THE most efficient ways to keep food cold. Further, we may decide to an earth temperature food storage system; a walk-in cooler of sorts. More on that if/when we do it!

What did YOU choose as a refrigerator?

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