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Buying a refrigerator is one of the simpler appliance choices. There are essentially two types: dedicated refrigerators and fridge-freezer combos. It’s all a question of how much and what type of storage you need. If you’ve got a separate freezer already, then you’ll clearly only need a refrigerator. But some people choose to keep a larger freezer in the garage or basement, and have a more accessible fridge-freezer combo in the kitchen for everyday frozen goods.

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Combos can come either with the units stacked one on top of the other or placed side-by-side. The latter type will often have an ice dispenser on the door of the freezer, but obviously you’ll pay extra for that luxury. Some refrigerators come with just a small frozen compartment housed within the main compartment — this is known as a “top freezer” refrigerator. “Bottom freezer” refrigerators are the more common type in which the fridge and freezer are the same size and the fridge stands on top of the freezer.

Energy efficiency is an important consideration with refrigerators, since they run constantly throughout the day and night. As with all appliances, refrigerators’ efficiency has increased considerably in recent years, so if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you’re better off buying a newer model.

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