Refrigeration is no longer a question of which refrigerator do you need. It can also be how many refrigerators do you want. If you’re a traditionalist and you only want one refrigeration unit, then the decision is either side-by-sides, or freezer above or on bottom. The drawback with a side-by-side is that bulky items are hard to store.


The drawback with above or bottom freezers is that you’re having to reach down more often. So in choosing between an above or bottom freezer, think about how often you’re going to use it. If you’re sticking with one unit, the better options are ones that have either two thermostats or dual compressors that allow you to program the refrigerator and freezer separately. Make sure that shelves are easily adjustable and that fresh foods compartments offer individual temperature control.

Today, an equally valid decision is how many refrigeration units to have. You can pair smaller under-counter refrigeration units with a large model. The advantage with smaller additional units is intelligent placement. You can separate the items like drinks that you reach for all day and put them in a separate refrigerator that is outside the working triangle. If you’re an avid chef, you may want a separate refrigerator for those fresh fruits and vegetables placed right where your main countertop workspace is.

Once you’ve got that figured out, you still have some decisions about the look of the equipment. The two most popular choices are either the “commercial” stainless steel look, or overlay panels that match your cabinetry that allow your refrigeration equipment to blend in perfectly. Regardless of the style of your home, either of these options can work beautifully.

And remember, regardless of what option you go with, always choose Energy Star appliances if there is one available that fits your needs. Your refrigeration equipment should last for years and Energy Star choices could equal big savings over time.


Wine Storage

Wine cellars have become very popular lately, and when you have a wine cellar, you also need wine cooling. With new wine cabinets available in a variety of sizes, you can have chilled wine at your fingertips in the kitchen, the butler’s pantry, the theater room, and the wine cellar.

When choosing wine storage, first consider your needs. Do you have a large collection? Do you entertain? Or do you just like a perfectly chilled bottle of wine on a Saturday night over a candlelight dinner? These questions will help you to determine how many cabinets you need and how large they should be.

A wine cabinet that holds 20 bottles should be considered a minimum. Regardless of how much storage you think you’ll need, you really need more. It’s just like any other storage area of your home; if you have the space available, you’ll fill it up.

Generally, a good wine cabinet has exceptional temperature control and keeps the humidity level around 70%. They are also vibration-proof and have tinted doors. Vibrations as well as sunlight can spoil wine by causing it to age prematurely.