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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Refrigerator

Written by Realty Times Staff Posted On Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:07

Almost 5 million refrigerators shipped in the early half of 2014, reports Statista, and with the advances in kitchen technology, sales of smart refrigerators are expected to reach almost $3 billion globally in 2015. This means, if you are looking for a refrigerator this year, you aren't the only one. But, how do you know what type of refrigerator to buy and then how to maintain it? The following are just a few tips:

Buying the Right Fridge

Many people inherit the fridge that comes with their apartment or home, so they are unsure of what style and size to buy when it comes time for a new one. According to CNET, there are four styles of refrigerators: top freezer, bottom freezer, side by side and French door. The article explains that the top freezer is best for bargain shoppers, the bottom freezer suits home cooks, the side by side is best for space conscious shoppers and the French door is good for fashionable chefs who want easy access.

Once you decide on which model suits your needs, you need to know what size to get. CNET explains that you need 4 to 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space per adult in your household, meaning at least 20 cubic feet for a family of four. However, if you have gourmet cooks, a really big kitchen or a large budget, you might opt for something roomier.

Remodelista Janet Hall advises fridge shoppers to measure and consider the space in their kitchens for the size of the fridge, the size of the kitchen entrance and the available space for the fridge door swing. You also need to think about what kind of food prep you plan to do with a new fridge when considering features like shelves, bins and cooling zones.

Maintaining Your Fridge

Your food freshness depends on the operating conditions of your refrigerator. That means you need to check on things like condenser coils, drip pans, the water filter, door gaskets and temperature settings.

BrightNest suggests that you should clean your fridge twice a year from dust, hair and grime. You also should clean the condenser coils with a vacuum and coil brush, and make sure the drip pan and drain hole are clear. Also, be sure to clean the door gaskets of any crumbs, spilled food and liquids. If you have high energy bills or are unsure about your fridge's performance, consider checking the condenser coils and door gaskets every three months, recommends HouseLogic. This can help you reduce any wasted energy from fridge doors that don’t close tightly and clogged coils that make the fridge run more often than is necessary.

Cleaning Your Fridge

Keeping the inside of the fridge clean also is important for food safety and optimal operation. Here are just a few suggestions from Martha Stewart and BuzzFeed hacks:

  • Clean spills as they occur rather than letting them accumulate and drip into places where they may interfere with operation or be harder to clean later.
  • Don’t let spoiled food sit in the fridge to smell and contaminate other foods.
  • Eliminate odors by keeping food in air tight storage containers.
  • Keep the door clean and free of smudges and stains with a weekly wipe down with soap and water.
  • Empty your fridge completely at least once a year for a thorough take-it-apart-and-clean-everything job.
  • Cover your fridge shelves with plastic place mats to protect against spills and to avoid bigger cleanups later.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood on bottom shelves to prevent them from dripping onto other foods.
  • Use organizing items like lazy susans and plastic bins to help you see and access everything easily. This also means you never have to dig into the back of the fridge again.
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