Stainless steel refrigerator in remodeled kitchen
Photo: Colin Poole/Epic Images
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Bottom-Line Fridge Facts

1. Get an in-door ice dispenser/beverage center only if you're choosing a side-by-side configuration. Otherwise you'll forfeit fridge capacity for what amounts to a mini freezer on the back of the door.

2. With French door models, make it easier to organize and access your frozen foods by choosing a two-drawer configuration for the bottom freezer. Those garden peas and fish filets are too easily deep-sixed in a single drawer.

3. Even counter-depth fridges stand proud of their cabinetry housings by 2 to 4 inches to provide clearance for the door and hinges. To keep the fridge from sticking out farther, choose a model with recesses in the back to accommodate the plug and water line. Just make sure to align your outlet and water hookup accordingly. Otherwise, furr out the fridge cabinet from the back by an extra inch or so to enclose the sides completely.

4. Safeguard the computer chips that control your fridge by replacing the power outlet with a surge protection receptacle, which you can find at home centers or electrical supply shops for less than $30. Or you can guard all your electronics with a whole-house surge suppressor for about $600 installed.

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