Don't go overboard on all the fancy new features available on the new refrigerators. The sole purpose of a refrigerator is to keep your food fresh, beverages cold, and icebox chilled. What you should be looking for when you are looking at refrigerators is the amount of free space, accessibility, and practical special features. The cubic footage is the first important thing. As a rule of thumb start with the smallest size of ten cubic feet for two people and add one cubic foot for each additional family member. As a general rule, when you are looking for a refrigerator, you will find that most appliance dealers carry about five different sizes that vary from 15 cu. ft. to 26 cu. ft. So you will need to choose the size they carry that is closest to what you need. They may even be able to order the size you want or something close to it. If you like to keep your refrigerator well stocked, you may as well choose a larger refrigerator to start with.
Look at the features that will keep your food fresh. Separate temperature and humidity controls for the different compartments can help keep food fresher. If you want ice and water, know that you will have a little less space. There are different options for ice and water available now on different refrigerator styles that are beneficial.
The three models available are top freezer, bottom freezer and side-by-side. A top-freezer is the lowest priced and usually has the most usable room. Icemakers are available for the freezer. A bottom-freezer will offer pretty much the same usable space, but will offer easier refrigerator access since the refrigerator would start at waist height. They are a little higher in price and have the option of adding an icemaker to the freezer. There is now a bottom-freezer French-door model available that offers the icemaker in the freezer and a water dispenser inside the left door on the side with a water filter. A side-by-side is usually the highest priced model, but offers ice and water on the front of the door. Access is more convenient, but much narrower. The freezer space is limited because of the narrowness. All models come with different features and are priced accordingly. Shelves will adjust, slide, crank, have covers, spill-proof glass, wire, and etc. Other features can be wine racks, refreshment centers, digital and computerized accessories, humidity controls for crispers, night lights, and a multitude of other creative ideas. You can now even get a refrigerator with a built-in LCD screen that provides Internet access and satellite TV.
Top-freezer: $600 - $900
Bottom-freezer: $900 - $1500
Side-by-side: $1000 - $2000
Any of these in a built-in model (not including panels): $3500 - $5000
Whirlpool offers a wide variety of refrigerators. The sleek design of the refrigerator may fit flush with kitchen counters for a streamlined look, without sacrificing capacity.
If you're looking for something special you might want to check out separate cold storage units such as wine chillers, under-counter refrigerators, drawer refrigerators and ice makers.