Yale Appliance University - Refrigerators

Chris Wurlitzer  |  September 28, 2013  |  3 Min. Read

Refrigerators  |  Yale Appliance University

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Hi folks, it's Chris Wurlitzer from Yale Appliance + Lighting in Boston, MA. We're back again with another round of commonly asked questions. Today we're talking about refrigeration, more specifically the differences between counter depth, built-in and standard depth. As always, follow the links below for more information.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTEGRATED AND PROFESSIONAL REFRIGERATOR?

Professional refrigeration comes in two different categories. Standard, which stands proud in the kitchen, it sticks out an inch to two inches and makes a statement. Or integrated, which hides away with the cabinetry so you can fully integrate into the rest of your cabinets as we have done here.

Read more: Sub-Zero vs Bosch Built-In Refrigerators

WHAT MAKES A BUILT-IN REFRIGERATOR DIFFERENT FROM OTHER STYLES?

Built-in refrigeration does come with a higher price point and that's because they are built to a higher standard. So you can expect double the life expectancy compared to a regular refrigerator. Also, the biggest difference is some of these refrigerators will have dual compressor systems.

What this means is a regular refrigerator generates cold in the freezer. There's a trap door that opens up and sends cold air up to the refrigerator compartment. The problem with that it is that there's no moisture in that air. It's very very dry. As that cold air warms it robs moisture and odor from your foods in a regular refrigerator. So that's why lettuce will only last 4 or 5 days. In a dual compressor system you end up with a much higher humidity level in that refrigerator compartment. So lettuce can last up to two to three weeks. The average family throws out about $1,000 every year in produce. You eliminate a lot of that cost by produce lasting a lot longer in this type of refrigerator.

Read more: New Sub-Zero IC Series Integrated Refrigerators

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SIZES AND STYLES OF STANDARD DEPTH REFRIGERATORS?

Standard depth refrigeration is going to give you the most flexibility and styles. You can get it in top freezer, bottom freezer, side by side or French door. They come in three general categories of width. That would be 30", 33" and 36". One thing to consider is how deep this refrigerator is and how much it will stick out of your cabinetry. Keep in mind, if you do a standard depth refrigerator next to a standard counter you will see part of the refrigerator sticking out.

Read more: Best French Door Regular Depth Refrigerators

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SIZES OF COUNTER DEPTH REFRIGERATORS?

Counter depth refrigerators, generally speaking, are going to be in the 36" wide category. There are some exceptions to that rule. The standard right now is 36" wide by 70" tall. I do recommend you make that cabinet opening 72" tall because that does seem to be the way the standard is going in the future. Over the years we have seen those changes and many customers will come in with a 68" high opening from years ago and now they can't really fit a refrigerator inside. So if you actually make that opening 72" tall you'll help future-proof yourself.

Read more: The 5 Best Counter Depth Refrigerators

WHAT ARE THE SIZES OF BUILT-IN REFRIGERATORS?

Built-in refrigeration is going to come in a variety of sizes. You can get a 30, 36, 42, and 48 inch. One of the newer trends out there is columns. You can get those in 18, 24, 30 and 36 and combine the fresh food column and freezer column to make your own custom size.

Read more: The Best Integrated Refrigerator/Freezer Columns

Well, those are some of the common questions we receive about refrigeration. If you'd like us to answer a question, leave a note in the comments section and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Additional Resources

Download our Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide which features all the brands and explains all the types of refrigerator options available. Over 40,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

View our counter depth refrigerator buying guide

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